George Michael's Family Pays Tribute On One-Year Anniversary Of His Death

The late music legend is being honored by his loved ones.

On the one-year anniversary of his death, George Michael's family shared a heartfelt letter on, in which they opened up about their loss and thanked fans for making the posthumous reissue of his Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 album rise to the top of the UK charts.

"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," his family wrote.

"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," their letter continued. "We are at 'that age' and realize that this year many of you will have had difficult losses too."

"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," they went on, while encouraging fans to "raise a glass, enjoy his music and think of him fondly" this holiday season. 

"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," they concluded. "We all think there is time, don't we? — but, just maybe, it's later than you think..."

As Nicki Swift previously reported, Michael died of heart failure at his home in England on Dec. 25, 2016. He was 53 years old. A private funeral was held for the former Wham! singer three months later following a delay as his family awaited toxicology results amid rumors that substance abuse may have played a role in his untimely passing. However, in early March 2017, a coroner officially ruled that Michael died of natural causes.