How Melania Trump Has Handled The Death Of Her Mother Amalija

Melania Trump lost her mother, Amalija Knavs, in January 2024, marking the beginning of a difficult period of grieving for the former first lady. Knavs had been suffering from an undisclosed illness, and Donald Trump shed light into her condition in December 2023 when he explained Melania's reason for skipping the Trumps' New Year's Eve party. "Melania — great first lady, so popular, the people love her — she's now in a hospital with her mother. Her mother, Amalija, is very ill, but hopefully she'll be recovering," he told guests at Mar-a-Lago, People reported. Sadly, Amalija would not recover.

Melania was close with her mother who, along with her husband Viktor, moved to the U.S. from Slovenia after Barron Trump was born in 2006. The Knavs became naturalized citizens in 2018 and lived with the Trump family in New York, Washington, D.C., and Florida. "Melania has always been very devoted to her entire family. It should be no surprise that she spent this Christmas with her ailing mother," a source told Fox News, addressing why she missed the New Year's festivities amid speculation about Melania Trump's absence on the campaign trail.

In her statement announcing Amalija's death, Melania showed a deep admiration for her mother. "Amalija Knavs was a strong woman who always carried herself with grace, warmth, and dignity," she wrote on X, previously known as Twitter, highlighting her mother's dedication to her family. Losing that support system took a toll on Melania, especially amid the difficulties she has faced with Donald's legal and political troubles.

Melania Trump opted not to celebrate her birthday while grieving

Melania Trump turned 53 on April 26, 2024, but she didn't feel like making a big day of it. "She is still suffering the loss of her mother and this birthday is difficult in that respect," a source told People. She wanted an intimate celebration with her loved ones, opting to shield herself from the outside world in the company of Barron Trump and Viktor Knavs. The source made no mention of Donald Trump, who was on trial for the Stormy Daniels hush-money scandal in New York.

Melania sought to tune out Donald's court case on her birthday. "In these days, which are embarrassing for her, she finds comfort in her small family," the insider said. Melania knew the gap left by Amalija Knavs would be hard to fill. A few days after her mother's death, she gave insight into how she had been handling the tragic news in an Instagram post. "On behalf of my family, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude for the love and support that you have showered upon us throughout this journey of loss and grief," she wrote.

In Melania's eulogy at Amalija's funeral, she highlighted how her mother's devotion had a long-lasting impact. "Her nurturing spirit had no limits, creating a legacy that will last for generations," she said (via Fox News). Melania has been largely absent from social media, using her platforms mainly to promote a jewelry line inspired by motherhood.

Melania Trump's mother played an important role in raising Barron

The Knavs were an integral part of Melania's motherhood journey, helping create a cohesive environment for her son to grow up in light of Donald Trump's busy schedule. As a result, Barron Trump developed a close relationship with Melania's parents. "Both her parents spend huge amount of times in the White House, living there. There's a unit within the family unit, and it's Melania, her mother, her father and Barron. And they all speak Slovenian," Mary Jordan, author of "The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump," told CBS News in 2020.

Melania has been open about raising Barron pretty much on her own, as Donald Trump was often away for work. "He needs somebody as a parent there, so I am with him all the time. As you know my husband is traveling all the time," she told People in 2015. Since she and Donald preferred not to rely on hired help, her parents stepped in to fill the void. "[Amalija and Viktor] are also close to Barron and have been instrumental in his rearing," a source told People in 2023.

The former first lady didn't take her mother's support for granted. Melania choked up at the mention of Barron in her eulogy for her late mother, showing how big a role Amalija played in her son's life. "She showered her grandson, Barron, with affection, illuminating his world with love, tender care, and unwavering devotion," she said (via Fox News).