George Michael’s family have written an emotional Christmas message, four years on from his death.
The Wham! singer died on Christmas Day in 2016, aged 53, with his sister Melanie Panayiotou beginning a tradition of penning a Christmas message every year.
Last year, Melanie died aged 59, exactly three years to the day after Michael’s passing. This year, their sister Yioda took over the tradition.
Siblings: Yioda included an image in the Christmas message of George and Melanie together, with Melanie standing next to her brother who sits behind a microphone, holding a guitar
In the emotional post, Yioda thanked fans for the well wishes they had sent following Melanie’s death, saying their love and kindness brought her immense comfort at such a tragic time.
She included a picture of George and Melanie together in black and white, with George sitting at a microphone holding a guitar gazing at his sister.
Yioda wrote: ‘Hello Everybody, Lovelies and Friends everywhere,
Emotional: George Michael’s family have written an emotional Christmas message four years on from his death (pictured in 2005 in Berlin)
Moved: In the emotional post, Yioda thanked fans for the well wishes they had sent following Melanie’s death
‘At this time last year Melanie was writing to you, as she had done so beautifully since George passed away on Christmas Day 2016, to thank you all for the love and good wishes you had sent to the family in 2019.
‘Melanie loved to communicate with George’s fans and Lovelies all over the world, but when she wrote…
‘We will be swerving the bad and enjoying the good as much as we can this coming year… none of us could have known just what a tough year 2020 would turn out to be, and none of us could have known that within a few days she would be taken from us so suddenly.
‘We want to thank all of you who sent us your thoughts and love last Christmas when Melanie passed away; we read every message and your words and love were a huge comfort at a time of terrible sadness.
‘There were so many beautiful messages, but one stood out for me….and thank you to the group of fans who sent it.’
Tragic: The Wham! singer died on Christmas Day in 2016, aged 53, with his sister Melanie beginning a tradition of penning a Christmas message every year until she died last year
The fan message said: ‘Dear Melanie, your messages and support gave the Lovelies such strength. They motivated us to support charity and ‘pay it forward’.
‘We will continue our good deeds in both your names. May you now rest in heavenly peace with George and your Mother. Heaven Sent Heaven Stole.’
Yioda continued: ‘Perfect words to close with…. Sending hopes for a peaceful and loving Christmas break however you will be spending it. With love Yioda, Jack and David xxxx’.
According to The Mirror, former hairdresser Melanie passed away after falling into a diabetic coma as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones.
Sad: According to The Mirror, former hairdresser Melanie passed away after falling into a diabetic coma as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis (Pictured together in the 1980s)
A post-mortem was carried out, and, according to the publication, in March this year Melanie’s cause of death was certified by Assistant Coroner for Inner London North, Jonathan Stevens.
Her body was found at her £6.2 million home in Hampstead, North London, previously owned by her brother on Christmas Day.
Sources at the time said she had become a near recluse in her final years since her brother’s untimely death.
As well as travelling the world with George, the hairdresser became a regular on the London nightclub scene in the early 1990s.
Like her brother, however, she was devastated by the death of their mother Lesley in 1997.
When George later began a well publicised battle with drugs and alcohol, she devoted herself to preventing him being consumed by his demons.
Sources say she was ‘heartbroken’ and in ‘desperate pain’ when she failed.
It was reported in December that Melanie would be buried alongside her brother’s unmarked grave at Highgate Cemetery, where the late siblings’ mother is also buried.
Devoted sister: Melanie had written to George’s fans every year since his passing (Pictured in December 2005)