Regina King has paid tribute to her late son, Ian Alexander Jr., nearly one year after his death.
Late Thursday evening, the 52-year-old actress shared a moving tribute to Ian on her Instagram page, captioning the video of an orange sky lantern she’d lit in honor of what would have been her son’s 27th birthday.
“January 19th is Ian’s Worthday,” King wrote. “As we still process his physical absence, we celebrate his presence. We are all in different places on the planet … so is Ian. His spirit is the thread that connects us.”
The hue of the candlelit, floating paper lantern King lit has special meaning for the Oscar winner and for her late son. “Of course orange is your favorite color,” she said. “It’s the fire and the calm.”
“I see you in everything I breath [sic],” King added. “My absolute favorite thing about myself is being …. Regina the mother of Ian the GodKing. Continue to shine bright, my guiding light.”
This is the first time King has posted to her Instagram page since Ian’s death. He died on Jan. 20, 2022, a day after turning 26.
Ian was King’s only child, whom she shared with her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander Sr.
In a statement given to PEOPLE last year at the time of his death, King said, “Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian. He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time. Thank you.”
Following in his father’s musical footsteps, Ian was a deejay. King previously told PEOPLE that he was “an amazing young man.”
Despite her success as an actor and director, King has long said that Ian was her biggest source of pride. After separating from Ian’s father in 2007 after nine years of marriage, King admitted being a single parent wasn’t always easy, but that nothing is stronger than her love for her son.
“You don’t know what unconditional love is. You may say you do, but if you don’t have a child, you don’t know what that is,” she explained. “When you experience it, it’s the most fulfilling [thing] ever.”
The pair also has matching tattoos, which read “unconditional love” in Aramaic — Ian’s on his shoulder and King’s on her arm.