By Jolie Lash
June 20, 2021 at 07:18 PM EDT
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Joy Vogelsang, mother of actor Nicolas Cage, has died at 85.

Vogelsang's son, Christopher Coppola, shared the sad news of her passing last month on Facebook.

"My mama died at 10:33pm 5/26," the director shared in a lengthy post. "I was with her all day but left for a couple hours and missed her passing by a couple hours so wasn't able to hold her hand to give her my love and affection before her journey to peace land."

Coppola mentioned his late mother's battle with mental illness in his post, but said she gave him one of his most important life lessons.

"She had a very hard life with mental health issues. In all of that painful emotional chaos she still managed to teach me something super important. My mama lioness told me, her middle son cub, that I was affectionate," he wrote, explaining how he learned what "'affection' really means" from Vogelsang.

"It's not love thy neighbor. It's smaller yet bigger," he continued, further explaining what the emotion meant to him. "Shake one's hand with tenderness and meaning. Don't let your mind [wander] while you hug someone."

The director went on to thank fans and friends for their support during the difficult time.

Vogelsang was mother to three sons with Francis Ford Coppola's brother, August Coppola; Cage, Christopher, and Marc Coppola. Vogelsang and Coppola's marriage lasted from 1960-1976, per PEOPLE. She also was a dancer and choreographer.

Cage previously opened up about his relationship with his mother, and her mental illness, in an interview with David Sheff for Playboy in the 1990s.

"She was plagued with mental illness for most of my childhood," Cage said at the time. "She was institutionalized for years and went through shock treatments. She would go into these states that lasted for years. She went through these episodes of poetry - I don't know what else to call it. She would say the most amazing things, beautiful but scary. I'm sure they had an impact on me."

Cage went on to credit Vogelsang for his creativity.

"The strangest thing about it is that, even when things got really bizarre, I was able to detach and look at it with a scientific curiosity. I'm sure it had some impact on me, though. I do consider her the driving force in my creativity," he said, adding that his mother "never wanted to hurt anybody."

A rep for Cage didn't immediately respond to EW's request for comment on Sunday.

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