Another tragic passing for a Real Housewives of New Jersey star. Alum Kathy Wakile and her family are mourning the death of her mother-in-law, Malake Wakile, according to Us Weekly. The 74-year-old was Kathy’s husband Richard Wakile’s mother, and she opened up about how the family is coping during this difficult time.

“Our entire family, close friends and members of the church community have been by her side since she first entered the hospital,” Kathy told Us Weekly about the complications Malake had after a stroke brought on by her diabetes.

Undoubtedly, Kathy is taking her role as the “rock” of the family in stride, despite being “so terribly heartbroken” by her mother-in-law’s passing, which came just one day after Christmas on Dec. 26.

“I’m Richie’s partner for life, his best friend,” the former RHONJ star told Us Weekly about supporting her husband during this difficult time. “I know what he needs before he knows himself. My job is to take care of the one who takes care of everyone else.”

rhonj kathy wakile mother-in-law passing christmas
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The 53-year-old has also been there for her children, Victoria, 24, and Joseph, 22, as they deal with their grandmother’s passing. “My children are extremely sad and heartbroken as they were close to their grandmother,” she said. “They know the best way to honor her is to continually make her proud and be there for one another as well as their family, now and always.”

Kathy’s cousin, RHONJ OG Teresa Giudice, also recently dealt with the passing of her mom, Antonia Gorga, in March of 2017. Teresa and her mother were extremely close, as seen by her difficulty dealing with the death on Season 8 of Real Housewives of New Jersey.

We hope that the two tragic passings will bring the two RHONJ ladies back together again to support each other. But either way, Kathy has many fond memories of her mother-in-law to get her by. “My fondest memories of her would be her incredible sense of humor, her love of feeding everyone and her undying love for her family,” she said.