Dawn O’Porter has revealed she sometimes gets “locked in grief” over the loss of her friend Caroline Flack.
The 41-year-old was very close to fellow TV presenter Flack, who took her own life in February at the age of 40, and said it was still “the rawest form of agony”.
Writing on Instagram, she told how the grief came flooding back this week when someone gave her a Christmas tree bauble containing a picture of Flack and the words: “Your wings were ready but my heart was not.”
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She was also given a bauble with a picture of her late cat in it.
O’Porter wrote: “This morning two very kind women in my life gave me these Christmas decorations. One for Caroline and one for Lilu.
“They handed them to me as I was leaving the house to take the kids for a hike. I was so touched and so happy but I cried for the entire drive.
“Sometimes I just can’t keep it in. I can get catapulted back to around 7.30am on February 15th 2020 so easily.”
“My body went into immediate shock,” wrote the star. “My head hurt. I couldn’t catch my breath. Awful. Actual hell.
“Caroline is always on my mind. But sometimes I get locked in grief so badly and I can’t get out. I don’t know when it will hit me and when it does, I’m down. Out for the count.”
The TV star said she was writing about it on social media because she had learned that it was good to share her feelings.
“Generally you talk about it less as time goes on,” said the mother-of-two.
“You can feel a bit bad for bringing it up when things are supposed to be jolly. But such a collective experience shouldn’t be private. It’s so awful and so sad.
“It doesn’t mean good life can’t happen around it. It also doesn’t mean that positive changes can’t occur because of it. That good lessons can’t be learned. That happy memories vanish. That perspectives can’t shift for the better. New friendships made. Which is all really nice.
“But it’s still the rawest form of agony.”
O’Porter said in her opinion “shock never really leaves your body”.
“It changes you physically,” she went on. “Your nervous system remembers it and can put you back in that state at anytime.
“Not ideal when you’re driving your kids to the park. I had to pull over for a few minutes. I took deep breaths on the hike.”
The presenter said she was “trying to be more in the moment” and that she and her children went on with their hike, along with their dog.
“Up and up and up. The furthest we’ve ever gone,” she said.
“Potato got tired because he’s old, so I carried him and cuddled him down the hill. I carried Valentine too, even though he’s massive and it hurt my back.”
“I tried to be grateful etc etc,” she continued. “I can see all the wonderful stuff so clearly. But that doesn’t make the sad stuff less sad. I miss my friend and my cat so very very much and no amount of gratefulness or being present makes that easier.
“Also, is it STILL 2020?”
Watch: Celebrity deaths of 2020