The lights have dimmed a little...

Music legend and actress Della Reese passed away at the age of 86 in her home in Encino, Calif., on Sunday night.

Many knew that Reese had been gravely ill due to social media sharing of her longtime friend, Roma Downey, who co-starred on the heavenly show Touched By an Angel from 1994 to 2003.

On Monday, the Northern Irish actress shared an Instagram post with her followers, breaking the sad news to them that the woman she thought of as her "mother" had passed.

"Heaven has a brand new angel Della today. On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home surrounded by love."

The 57-year-old actress continued in the post about the loss of her dear friend, writing, "She was an incredible Wife, Mother, Grandmother, friend, and Pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer. Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people."

Downey, who is married to producer Mark Burnett, added, "She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years on Touched By An Angel. I know heaven has a brand new angel this day. Della Reese will be forever in our hearts. Rest In Peace, sweet angel. We love you."

"My mother had died when I was 10 years of age," Downey told CBS News in 2015, "and you know, my whole life, I was looking for that mother figure, that nurturing figure, and I can see a lot of my own behavior, particularly through adolescence that was almost like a cry out for that...and I had a prayer as a young girl that somehow someone would come into my life and fill that roll. Well it's a prayer that took almost 20 years to be answered."

In addition to being a friend, co-star and mother figure to Downey, Reese was also the godmother to the actress' daughter Reilly Marie.

It's clear that Downey was touched by Reese's life in so many ways.

Check out images from Reese and Downey's profound and meaningful friendship, which lasted over two decades...

This is what LOVE looks like ?? #touchedbyanangel #dellareese #romadowney #angelfriends

A post shared by Roma Downey?? (@romadowney) on

Della Reese, Roma Downey, Touched By An Angel

CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

Della Reese, Roma Downey

Jim Spellman/WireImage

Della Reese, Roma Downey

Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images

Della Reese, Roma Downey

Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Della Reese, Roma Downey

Roma Downey/Instagram

Della Reese, Roma Downey, Touched By An Angel

CBS

Della Reese, Roma Downey, Touched By An Angel

CBS

Della Reese, Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, Rick Warren

David Livingston/Getty Images

Della Reese, Roma Downey, Touched By An Angel

CBS

Della Reese, Roma Downey

David Livingston/Getty Images

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