The Help star Octavia Spencer has asked for prayers for her family after the death of her nephew (Picture: Getty Images)

Octavia Spencer has shared the news of her nephew’s death as she opened up on the ‘terrifying’ emotion of grief.

The actress, who has appeared in the likes of The Help and horror film Ma, said she felt ‘gutted’ by the loss and asked for prayers for her family.

Octavia, 52, shared her grief openly on social media as she mourned the loss of her nephew and ‘the first of the next generation of us.’

Taking to Instagram, Octavia posted a photograph of a vase of flowers, and, in a message to her 1.5 million followers, wrote: ‘Grief.

‘You wouldn’t know it by this picture that today was the second worst day of my life,’ she wrote.

‘My family lost the first of the next generation of us, and we’re gutted. Grief is the most terrifying of emotions because I can’t laugh my way out of it.

‘I have to feel. Right now, I’m feeling for my sister who lost her only son. Her only child.’

Octavia pleaded with her followers that if they were religious, to pray for her sister and brother-in-law as they come to terms with the loss of their only child.

The actress, who did not mention her relative by name, disabled the comment section of her post, but her message received thousands of likes from fans and friends wishing to support her.

The film star lost both her parents at a young age (Picture: Getty Images)

Octavia and her siblings were previously struck by tragedy when their father died when they were still children; Octavia herself was just 13.

Their mother, Dellsena, also died in 1988, the year Octavia graduated from high school.

More: Lifestyle

Academy Award winner Octavia went on to have a glittering Hollywood career despite tragedy in her early life, winning an Oscar for her role in The Help.

She recently starred alongside Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul in Apple TV Plus series Truth Be Told, a show which she described to as ‘exciting and accessible’.

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