Melbourne, Jan 25 : Oscar nominee Heath Ledger's family has paid a heartbreaking tribute to the star who passed away at the young age of 28 on January 22 in New York.
In two columns of death notices in today's West Australian newspaper, the family described in words their loss.
News.com.au quoted Ledger's father Kim as writing: "Heatho'', "Beef'', . . . my beautiful boy, so loving, so talented, so independent, so caring, so young . . . no more chess games mate . . . this is it, couldn't beat you anyway!
"My body aches for the sound of your voice, our chats, our laughs and our life and times together.
"Your truly varied artistic skills, insatiable desire to improve and eclectic abilities set you apart from any other person on the planet . . . it had only just started for you ... and for us to further enjoy. We were one, in soul and commitment. Just . . . Father and Son. I will love you forever, Dad.''
Heath's mother, Sally, wrote: "Our darling boy, special in so many ways to all of us. You knew you were so loved. You lived life with courage and daring and we are so grateful for the wonderful times we shared. We will be there for Matilda. Your loving Mamma, Rog and Ash."
Elder sister Kate wrote: "I can hardly breathe when I try to write this . . . we were the ultimate in soul mates. I feel both my heart and life have been torn apart. I loved our special talks, our daily chats from wherever you were in the world.
"I especially loved all the precious time we spent together. We were so fortunate to have you as long as we did. You were so many things to so many people, but to me you were just my little brother.
"There will never, ever be another "Heath'' and I think that in itself is the greatest tragedy.
"I will continue to talk with you everyday and love you just as if you were here. You will never leave my thoughts "Roast'', ever.''
Younger sister Olivia wrote: "Heath inspired so many young actors around the world to pursue their dreams. You're my idol, my hero, but most impoartantly, my loving big brother. I'll treasure every moment we spent together. I love you Heath, I miss you and pray every night you're safe.''
Stepmother Ines wrote: "How do we ever recover from such a tragic loss? You have left us all broken-hearted yet filled with such wonderful memories.
"Your generosity, love and kindess you showed to me, Elana and Nadia was beyond comprehension. You are the beautiful stepson I grew to love and respect and it was a privilege to have known you during the last seven years.
"You charismatic persona will be truly missed.''
Stepsisters Elana and Nadia added: "Heath, you were the older brother we always wanted. Such an amazing person who entered our lives, someone we looked up to and admired. We loved having you around and being a part of such a beautiful family. You will never be forgotten. We promise to look out for the ones you so loved. Our hearts go out to Matilda. We love you.''
Heath's brother-in-law Nathan said Heath dared to live his dreams. "My dearest brother-in-law, my loss, my life will never be the same. Your kind nature and generosity will be something I will never forget. You will live on in my memory forever. You achieved so much in such a short time. You dared to live your dreams and accomplish so much, mate. Your sister Kate and your nieces Rori and Scarlett will be in good hands. Goodbye my friend.''
A tribute from all members of Heath's immediate family said: "How do we describe our sudden and tragic loss? ... You were the most amazing individual "old soul" in a young man's body.
"You so loved us, as we dearly loved you. As a close knit and very private family unit we have observed you so determined yet quietly travelling in your self-styled path in life, nothing would get in your way ... no mountain too tall, no river too wide.
"You dreamed your dreams and lived them with passion and intelligent commitment. We have been priviledged to accompany you on a ride through life that has simply been amazing and through it all, we have loved each other beyond imagination.
"Your true legacy lives on in beautiful little Matilda, who will always remain in the greatest of care. Our hearts are broken . . . Dad and Ines, Mum and Roger, Kate and Nathan, Rori and Scarlett, Ashleigh, Olivia, Elana and Nadia.
Notices were also posted by grandparents Jackie and John, aunty, uncles and cousins Sue, Lester, Jarrad, Simon and Sascha, Mike, Di, Adam, Verity, Tim, Thea, Llew, Jess and James.