Saturday was a sad one for Lady Gaga: it would have been her late friend Sonja Durham’s 42nd birthday.
Durham, who was the longtime managing director of Haus of Gaga, battled stage four breast, brain and lung cancer. She passed away in May. The singer started a series of post with an illustration of her friend smiling in a pink heart and running her hand through her hair.
“Happy Birthday to my late best friend @sonjad7777 Sonja Durham Dubois,” Gaga wrote. “#breastcancerawareness month is so important. Share your stories of survival and treatment plans with each other. Everyone’s cancer is different. But the More we talk and share the more we learn. 💕🌸 I have no words for you girl, just tears and dreams. & I know you’re running Haus of Gaga from Heaven.” Gaga, 31, also shared a photo with her pal, writing, “I 💖 you forever Sonja,” adding the hashtags #breastcancerawareness and #womenempowerment.
Gaga’s boyfriend, talent agent Christian Carino, was there for support on the difficult day, appearing in a selfie by the singer on Instagram.
“After rollin around on the couch feeling sad with the help of some of my #grigiogirls and a very special someone I managed to dress up and feel better in a beautiful pink sequined dress generously gifted to me from @oscardelarenta,” she captioned the image. “Sonja would want us to celebrate her Birthday. So we are. Dressed in Pink and handing out pink chocolate kisses for #breastcancerawareness.”
Gaga also shared a close-up of a special accessory: a black pearl necklace that contains some of her friend’s ashes gifted to her by Durham’s husband.
“My extended family @angiepontani, mother of my godchild Sissy and wife of @briannewmanny my buddy I’ve played jazz with in NY for over ten years told us she had a dream,” the singer wrote. “That we could talk to Sonja through her pearls. And I will Sonja. I Will. Happy Birthday. I love you.”
Gaga paid homage to Durham in “Grigio Girls,” off the Joanne deluxe edition album. The opening lyric sheds light on Gaga’s lost years pre-fame, during which a “Texas girl real strong” showed her the strength to be found.
“I was 23, she was 35 / I was spiralin’ out and she was so alive,” the lyrics read.
The songstress swore to be a voice for cancer patients after Durham’s passing.
“I vow to be a little stronger every day for her because that’s what she would have wanted, I vow to be stronger for anyone who’s lost somebody to cancer,” she wrote. “I’m a part of that family now. I vow to be a warrior for her and be a voice for cancer patients so the world can continue to improve the dialogue and the fight. I loved her. I still love her. And I love so much her husband Andre, stepson Sante, and friends. I made them some food yesterday. I will keep cooking. Cooking my soul until it understands this.”
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.