Princess Märtha Louise of Norway along with her daughters quietly marked this Christmas day which came exactly a year after her ex-husband Ari Behn took his own life.
Princess Märtha Louise took to her Instagram account on December 25 to pay tribute to the late author on his first death anniversary, and also sent a message to those who are finding it difficult to celebrate the holiday amid the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed several lives. Alongside a picture of an ornament hung on a Christmas tree, the 49-year-old wrote: "Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas. This year has been a very different Holiday season because Ari, the beloved father of my three girls, is no longer among us."
"He chose to leave this plane last year on this day. We celebrated his life today, we cried over his loss and how much we miss him. It has been a day of loving whatever is," the Norwegian royal added about her ex-husband, who died by suicide last year at the age of 47.
Märtha and Ari were married for 15 years before they called it off in 2017. Together they shared three daughters, Maud Angelica, Leah Isadora and Emma Tallulah.
In her Christmas Day post, the royal urged others to seek help if they are struggling. She wrote: "LIFE hits us all. We can't avoid it. We have to meet it. reach out to all of you who are struggling through the Holidays. Know you are loved. Know you are needed. Know you are worth the help you can get. Please ask for help. Please express how you are. You are loved."
Märtha and Ari's eldest daughter, Maud Angelica, also came forward to encourage people to talk about their mental health. She wrote in a post on her Instagram account: "I wanted to say: One year ago today, my dad killed himself and it's really been one of the hardest years of my life. But if you are alone and/or feeling lonely, I want you to know that you're not alone!"
"I know my words can maybe not do anything, but if it can help at least one person it's so worth it. In these hard times, mental and physical health are so important!" the 15-year-old added.
The teenager made the same appeal in a video for Western Norway Regional Health Authority as a part of their campaign which urges people to come forward and talk if they are having suicidal thoughts.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts about suicide, the Samaritans provide a free support service for those who need to talk to someone in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Visit Samaritans.org or call 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Visit this website to find a support phone number in your country.