updated 01/22/2014 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 01/22/2014 AT 2:20 PM ET
“This AM my brave brother Gary Griffin passed away in palliative care after a brutal struggle w cancer,” Griffin wrote. “Oh & he was funny as s––t.”
Kathy posted a collage of photos, including two of Eagles musician Joe Walsh – whom she called her brother’s idol – signing an autograph for Gary with the message “Keep your chin up.”
Gary was the middle sibling of the five Griffin children. Kathy, 53, is the youngest.
A former attorney, Gary suffered from stage-four esophageal cancer for more than two years. Kathy gave her brother a special shout-out while hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live broadcast with Anderson Cooper.
“Gary, I love you and I hope you’re doing great tonight,” she said on the air. “He promised he would watch.”
On Friday, Kathy posted an Instagram snapshot of her cozying up to her brother and encouraged her followers to share their own stories of influential loved ones.
“This is my #HERO. He is my brother Gary Griffin,” she wrote. “He is fighting esophageal cancer. Who is YOUR hero? #inspiration.”