Strictly Come Dancing star Alexandra Burke has posted an emotional tribute to her late mother, revealing her heart is "still broken."
The singer tragically lost her mum, Soul II Soul singer Melissa Bell to kidney failure last August, shortly before filming for Strictly began.
Beside photos of her mother, Alex, 29, wrote: "They say to keep strong. They say smile and wave. They say everything will be okay. But deep down in my heart I know my heart is still broken. And I don’t feel like I’m getting stronger. Most days I feel like I’m getting weaker."
Alex's tribute was in honour of what would've been Melissa's 54th birthday.
The X Factor winner continued: "Your first birthday in heaven. I cry as I write this because you were taken way too soon.
"I’m grateful to God for giving me such a loving mother. I miss you mummy. So so [bleeping] much - it makes me so angry that I can't just pick up the phone or hug you. Hold your hand. Hear your voice.
"You were my strength. And I no longer feel strong. I just put on the bravest face because I have to. I know if I didn't you would be angry."
I cry as I write this because you were taken way too soon.
The star added that she found comfort knowing her mum was with family, writing: "So - the only thing that brings me a little comfort is knowing that you’re with your parents on this special day. I know I need to stop being selfish but I would give anything to have you here with us.
"The truth is I get a little scared now that we're older. The truth is I get a little scared of life without you. You're the one to lift me up when I'm weaker. The truth is I feel like I'm alive when I'm with you.
"I'm counting down days until I see you again. For now - I will do what you asked of me and try my best to keep going."
The final, poignant line read: "I love you mummy. Happy birthday x."
Alex's 162,000 followers rushed to offer their support and love at this difficult time.
One wrote: "She hasn't left you. She is with you all the way as always! Every time you open your mouth to sing she sings with you. When you wake in the morning, it's mum hugging you awake!"
Another added: "I am sending you all my love, and know that your mum will forever be with you and proud of you.
"She is always in your heart and the memories will always be with you, and it will become less painful to look back on them with time."
It's been a year of ups and downs for the star, who got engaged to her boyfriend Josh Ginnelly.
Alexandra told Good Morning Britain: "It was literally two days after the Strictly final. I just got woken up at four in the morning and [Josh] said, 'Pack your bag we are going to Paris'.
"I was like oh wow that’s amazing!"
She added that the proposal – which happened on 18th December but wasn’t announced until 7th January – took her completely by surprise.
"I definitely didn't expect that to happen at all. We're both very, very happy."
But it also came after Alex got "really, really sick" towards the end of Strictly Come Dancing.
The former X Factor winner recently told HuffPost she was so unwell in the final weeks of the BBC One dancing competition that she had to stop visiting the recording studio every day.
Alexandra said it had been "difficult" juggling her Strictly commitments with working on new music.
And even more difficult when she fell ill.
"I'm not going to lie to you, it was difficult," she said.
"I was in the studio every single day while doing Strictly, and I had to stop towards the end because I got really, really sick during the last three weeks of Strictly, which I didn't tell anyone about.
Alex didn't reveal the nature of her illness.
The Silence singer made it to the finals with pro partner Gorka Marquez, but lost out on the Glitterball Trophy to Holby City's Joe McFadden and Katya Jones.
Sending you our love, Alex.
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