In 2020, Cordero was one of the first high-profile celebrities to come down with COVID-19, enduring a three-month bout against the infectious disease in the process. After several setbacks and procedures, Cordero succumbed to complications of the deadly virus in July at just 41 years old.
Now, just four days before her birthday, Cordero’s widow is looking back on the loss of her late husband with a poignant reflection on Instagram.
“Our last family photo taken on my birthday last year. Nick started feeling tired on this night so after dinner we went to bed early,” Kloots, 38, prefaced the caption. “Nick kept telling me that day, “next year I’ll give you the best birthday ever.” It was early quarantine days so we felt lost, unable to do anything. Despite that, I still had a lovely day.”
“The truth is, this is week is very hard and I’m sad. I’ve been dreading it and it’s caught up to me,” the mom-of-one continued. “This isn’t easy for me, but I truly believe in honoring the highs and lows in grief. The rollercoaster is full of many including twists and turns. If I’m not honest about them how do we learn and help each other through this part of life?”
“Life is precious. Time is precious. Health is precious. Treasure it all and don’t take it for granted because it’s the best birthday gift you can give yourself and to anyone,” she concluded the post.
In the photo, Kloots and Cordero are all smiles as they pose outside. Cordero is seen holding the couple’s son, Elvis.
Kloots announced Cordero’s death via Instagram on July 5, noting that she was “in disbelief and hurting everywhere.”
“I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him. Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone’s friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. He loved his family and loved being a father and husband. Elvis and I will miss him in everything we do, everyday,” she wrote at the time.
Cordero entered the emergency room in March and had a succession of health setbacks, including mini-strokes, blood clots, septic infections, a tracheostomy and a temporary pacemaker implanted. He had been on a ventilator and unconscious and had his right leg amputated. A double lung transplant was being explored.
Cordero played a mob soldier with a flair for the dramatic in 2014 in Broadway’s Woody Allen 1994 film adaptation of “Bullets Over Broadway,” for which he received a Tony nomination for best featured actor in a musical. He moved to Los Angeles to star in “Rock of Ages.”
Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report