Late Love Island host Caroline Flack is being remembered on the first anniversary of her tragic death.
Flack, who hosted the popular reality series from 2015-19, died by suicide in her London apartment on Feb. 15, 2020 at age 40. In remembrance of Flack, multiple friends posted heartbreaking tributes to the late TV personality on Monday.
Lewis Burton, who was dating the TV presenter at the time of her passing, posted a photo of the pair on his Instagram Story. "I will never forget you," he wrote. He also included a broken heart emoji under the words "1 Year".
Iain Stirling, who hosted the hit U.K. reality series with Flack, paid a social media tribute to his friend on Instagram. "To my friend Caroline, thinking of you today. Miss you mate x," Stirling posted.
Flack was charged with assaulting Burton in December 2019 and took her life two months later. An inquest at Poplar Coroner's Court in London later ruled that Flack died by suicide because she knew she would be prosecuted for assaulting Burton and was terrified of the publicity the court case would bring.
On Sunday, Laura Whitmore — who took over as host of Love Island — paid her own personal tribute during her BBC Radio 5 show by playing a special cover version of "The Glory of Love," which was one of Flack's favorite songs and featured at her funeral.
"In many ways, it still seems so fresh and in others, the last year does feel like a decade but it doesn't get any easier to comprehend, and sometimes when you can't think of the right words to say, a song can feel more appropriate," Whitmore said.
"It will be a difficult time, but I hope a chance to celebrate her memory and this song, to those who knew Caroline well, is very special," she added. Said Whitmore: "Her family played it at her funeral last year and a very good friend of the show, musician Imelda May, has kindly recorded a version just for us. This is one of Caroline's favorite songs. This is 'The Glory of Love.'"
Whitmore — who is currently expecting her first child — posted some poignant lyrics from the song on Monday, followed by an image of her enjoying some good times with Flack.
"You've got to laugh a little, cry a little, until the clouds roll by a little," she wrote.
Others who honored Flack include her manager Nathan Charles Smith, who posted an Instagram Story showing the Love Island host preparing for a photoshoot inside a rusting camper van. "Miss you. I hope you're singing wherever you are," he said.
Friend Lou Teasdale shared, "I just really miss you" on her own Instagram feed along with an image of Flack smiling in a waterfall. Close pal Mollie Grosberg posted a happy group snap and simply captioned it: "Look after each other @chooselove".
Love Island also posted a tribute on the show's official Instagram account, writing: "Remembering Caroline. 1979-2020. Always in our hearts."
Talking to BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour on Monday, friend Ophelia Lovibond opened up about her own memories of Flack and spoke movingly about the impact of the "suddenness" of her death.
"Because of the way Caroline died, it is very easy to let that overshadow everything else. But her life counted for so much more than the way she died, and those are the things that I've been thinking about," said Lovibond.
"Whenever you lose anyone it's enormously difficult and I lost a family member to breast cancer and that was very hard, but this felt very different. I think something that was very interesting to discover was that the grief feels different because it was a complete shock, there was absolutely no way of getting used to the idea or visiting someone [in] hospital. The suddenness is very hard to comprehend," she said.
Lovibond continued: "We should remember Caroline as someone who loved telling jokes, she loved making people laugh, she loved karaoke more than anyone. She loved leopard print, she loved musicals, she loved going to theaters. Her life was so rich, it was so full of love and laughter and I want people to remember her by the things that she did in her life, not in the way that she went away."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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