Reality star Alexia Echevarria’s mom dies on her wedding day

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MIAMI, FL - MAY 07: Alexia Echevarria "Real Housewives of Miami" Alexia Echevarria Celebrates Birthday at Kiki on the River in Miami, FL on May 7, 2021 (Photo by Manny Hernandez/Getty Images)

Alexia Echevarria is mourning a tragic loss on what was supposed to be her wedding day.

The Real Housewives of Miami star, 54, announced her mother Nancy’s death from COVID-19 on Wednesday — the same day Echevarria planned to marry fiancé Todd Nepola.

“Early this morning, I lost my mom to the horrible and deadly COVID-19,” she wrote on Instagram. “The last couple of days have been a rollercoaster of emotions for me. I was on the road to marry the man of my dreams when I had to stop everything as my mother became ill. What was supposed to be the happiest day of my life today has turned out to be the saddest.”

In addition to sharing a series of sentimental photos of the pair, Echevarria also paid tribute to her mother, describing her as a “woman of strength and beauty.” She revealed her mom was a political refugee from Cuba, who put herself through medical school and raised three children on her own.

“To say I will miss you does no justice for what I feel,” Echevarria added. “No amount of tears can express the pain I feel in losing you, but then again, thank you for the honor of sharing a lifetime with me. Rest in Peace Mami. I know you’re in a better place dancing and drinking champagne.”

She concluded, “Please watch over us, as I need all the help from up above. I now have another angel. Until we meet again.”

Echevarria starred on the first three seasons of Bravo’s RHOM, until the show went off the air in Nov. 14, 2013.

The show is back in production now on a fourth season, set to air on Peacock, NCBUniversal’s streaming platform.

Back in December 2019, Echevarria — who shares two sons with ex-husband Pedro Rosello — got engaged to Nepola. She later told Bravo’s The Daily Dish in May 2020 about their plans to postpone the nuptials until 2021 due to the pandemic.

“I want it to be a religious wedding because I never was able to marry in the past religiously and, for me, that’s very important,” she said at the time.

“We’re still trying to figure out if we want it here, if we want a destination wedding, so those are things that we’re still working out. But meanwhile, we’re really enjoying each other. He’s an amazing man and I’m very happy.”

PEOPLE