Justin Bieber was devastated this week when 6-year-old super fan Avalanna Routh (affectionately known as "Mrs. Bieber") passed away after a long battle with brain cancer.
The pop star's mom, Pattie Mallette, stopped by Access Hollywood Live on Friday, where she discussed Justin's reaction to the tragic situation.
"It's so sad. He was so fond of [Avalanna]," Pattie said of how Justin is handling the loss. "Every time he went to New York he was like, ‘I have to go visit her – I love her so much, Mom.'"
Pattie said Avalanna's death has been tough for her son to wrap his head around, especially since he had an enormous soft spot for the little girl.
"He would tear up thinking about her and show me videos and things like that," she shared.
Justin's desire to help Avalanna is just one example of the singer's strong character, according to Pattie.
"Of course I'm proud of his success and stuff, but as a mom, I'm most proud of his character and the kind of young man he's grown to be," Pattie said, adding that Justin has "always loved little kids [and] babies."
Pattie — who chronicles her struggles as a young single parent in her new book, "Nowhere but Up" – also shared how faith saved her life after a childhood rife with molestation, substance abuse and a failed suicide attempt.
"I was in the hospital from trying to commit suicide… and I just cried out," she said. "I said, ‘God, if you are real, you have to come and live this life for me. If you have a plan and a purpose, let's see it. Let's see what you can do with my life, because I'm certainly not doing so well.'
"I [felt] this amazing presence that I can't explain – I was just weeping and saying, ‘Oh my God… you're real!'" she continued. "And from that moment [it] just switched everything of how I perceived everything and the possibilities were endless [and] the hope for me."
Pattie's newfound Christian faith led her to abstain from sex until marriage after Justin was born, though she admitted she'd like to settle down and have more children.
"I'm dating, but there's nobody serious right now," she said, adding that Justin is "really protective" when it comes to who is allowed to date his beloved mom. "He definitely wants to have a say and approve."
"Nowhere but Up: The Story of Justin Bieber's Mom" is in stores now.
-- Erin O'Sullivan
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