The world lost an absolute musical icon when George Michael passed away on Christmas Day in 2016. The 53-year-old pop singer had risen to considerable stardom from the 80s onwards, thanks to both his time in the absolutely prolific duo Wham!, as well as his multitude of solo albums that sold millions of copies.
Unfortunately, like many pop stars, Michael also led something of a chaotic life. While he had numerous run-ins with the law over his sexuality (considering homosexuality was wholly outlawed in England for the longest time), the more troubling matters were his numerous arrests for possession of hard drugs, as well as driving under the influence of them.
The singer had been admitted to the hospital several times for life-threatening conditions, and while he had repeatedly bounced back, his life seemed to catch up to him when he died of heart failure at the age of 53. The world of music was devastated at the news, and tributes from fans and friends alike began to pour in for the fallen icon.
Now, a full year after his death, Michael's family opted to share their own tribute to the man, and it's one of the most touching things we've ever seen.
Alongside a picture of the singer and his brother David playing in the snow from 1967, Michael (who's referred to as "Yog" by his close family, a short-form of his real, Greek first name, Georgios) is commemorated in a touching letter from his whole family on his official website.
Michael's family talks about how hard it's been to deal without him for an entire year, saying:
"This year has been a series of new and tough challenges for those of us close and loyal to Yog, not least of which was steeling ourselves this month, to hear ‘Last Christmas’ and ‘December Song’ streaming out of shops, cars, and radios, as it has done for decades, knowing he’s no longer here with us, missing him.
This Christmas will be hard without him, but we know that we are not alone in our mourning the anniversary of his loss, and that the sadness of our wider family, and true friends, is shared by many of you."
However, more than anything, his family seems to wish for his fans to carry on his spirit, rather than mourn:
"Yog, who loved Christmas, and always hoped it would snow… would want each of you that admired and loved him, (yes—he knows you did!!) to take a moment, raise a glass, enjoy his music and think of him fondly, making sure to enjoy your time with, and appreciate your family and friends.
Yog shared his music with all of us, and many of you connected deeply with his words, yet in life, many hold their own important words and feelings inside, as so often they are the hardest to say out loud.
So if you can, in his memory this year, take a moment and a deep breath and say those ‘I Love You’s’ out loud.We all think there is time, don’t we? – but, just maybe, it’s later than you think…
Have a good Christmas everyone…and as our darling Yog would say…