Ruth Langsford offered her support to Shirley Ballas after the Strictly head judge shared a story about the death of her brother.
Dance star Shirley, 60, took to social media on Saturday to share her memories of her brother – who she explained had taken his own life in 2003.
The star uploaded a number of images to Instagram along with a heartfelt message about the brother that she misses and continues to think about every day.
Shirley wrote: “It’s hard to imagine that 17 years ago today my wonderful brother David took his own life. There is not a day goes by that you are not in my thoughts.
“With tears flowing I’m remembering how much I miss you and your cuddles, how strict you were with me so I would be safe and how you made me laugh. We will be reunited one day in a place so beautiful. Until then I’m carrying you very close in my heart in all I do.”
Opening up about their sibling relationship, Shirley continued: “We were tremendously close in so many ways and the pain will never go away, today and everyday my heart goes out to my mother Audrey so difficult to have lost your only son, to my beautiful niece Mary and my son Mark and to all who loved you I only wish you had known how much you where loved and what an impact you made in so many peoples lives.”
Shirley went on: “I have shared this today not only to remember my Dear Brother but because suicide and depression are tough subjects to talk about.
“If someone you love is hurting, needing company or just a shoulder to cry on, let them know you are there and most importantly let them know you love them.
“If it’s YOU feeling this way it’s nothing to be ashamed of reach out connect with family and friends or ask for help. I’m sending healing energy to all who have lost loved ones and to any one who is suffering in silence.”
She added: “RIP David some of your favorite songs I’ll be listening to today.”
This Morning star Ruth was among those sending thoughts and well wishes to Shirley following her statement.
The 60-year-old wrote: “Beautiful words Shirley….feel your pain and your love. Sending you & your Mum the hugest hug.”
Just last year, Ruth lost her own sister, Julia Johnson, who lost a long battle against depression and sadly took her own life.
Ruth has shared her own struggles with processing her sister’s suicide.
She told Best Magazine earlier this year: “It seemed wrong to be cheery on screen, when, inside, my heart was breaking.”
She explained that husband Eamonn Holmes helped her find her footing back on TV.
Ruth said: “Eamonn pointed out that he was, in effect, losing not one, but two of the most precious people in his life – Julia and me.
“He showed me how I had so much to live for in Julia’s memory – and beyond.
“He pleaded with me not to let it win, by ruining everything I had achieved – and still had to celebrate.”
* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org