Family and friends of late music icon George Michael were finally able to say their goodbyes at his London funeral on Wednesday, more than three months after his shocking Christmas Day death.
A publicist for the now-deceased “Faith” and “Careless Whisper” vocalist, 53, relayed to the media that an intimate service took place at North London’s gated Highland Cemetery, which is where his mother is also reportedly buried. The ceremony was attended by a small collective of loved ones who knew the singer best, including his former Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley, model Kate Moss, and Fadi Fawaz, Michael’s ex-lover who purportedly discovered the singer unresponsive in his bed at his Goring-on-Thames cottage late last year.
“Family and close friends gathered for the small, private ceremony to say goodbye to their beloved son, brother and friend,” a family rep of Michael’s, born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, stated to ABC News regarding the funeral.
“[His] family would like to thank his fans across the world for their many messages of love and support,” the representative went on to say, “[and] we ask that the family’s wish for privacy [continue to be] respected so that they can [go on] to live their lives away from any media intrusion.”
A formal inquest into George Michael’s death was completed last month and uncovered that the superstar died from “natural causes” that stemmed from dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis — an enlarged heart and an inflammation of the muscle surrounding the organ — and a fatty liver.
“As there is a confirmed natural cause of death,” coroner Darren Salter explained, “the investigation is being discontinued and there is no need for an inquest or any further inquiries.”
Spokespersons for the Thames Valley Police backed up the coroner’s findings in a statement of their own via their official Facebook profile on March 7.
“The investigation into the circumstances of [George Michael’s] death has now concluded,” it read, “and a file was passed to the Coroner.
“As the cause of death was natural, no further action is proposed or required.”
With the matter officially resolved, funeral services for George were finally able to proceed 94 days after Michael was initially discovered unresponsive inside of his home by Fawaz.
“We were supposed to be going for Christmas lunch [that day],” Michael’s lover recalled to The Telegraph shortly after George’s passing, as the Inquisitr noted last December.
“Everything had been very complicated recently,” he continued, “but George was looking forward to Christmas, and so was I.”
In the lead-up to his sudden passing, neighbors of the singer alleged that the once-in-demand celebrity had undergone both physical and emotional changes due to his rumored history with drugs and alcohol.
A speculative pictorial post from TMZ around the same time displayed a more robust Michael and incidentally added fuel to the whispers that the “Fastlove” and “Jesus To a Child” star may have been dealing with severe health issues.
“His boyfriend would sometimes go to the cafe opposite his house to pick up food, but never George himself,” one supposed Gorings-on-Thames resident claimed to People, while another referred to Michael as being a “recluse” during his last days.
“He had put on a lot of weight and hardly ever left the house,” the unnamed person claimed.
“Occasionally, I think he would pop to the local pub, but he wasn’t exactly a regular in any of the pubs or restaurants there.”
A report from LGBTQ publication Pink News additionally noted that Fawaz was witnessed making a mad rush to George Michael’s funeral service, prompting suspicions that he may not have been told about the event beforehand. Nonetheless, he ultimately was able to make it in time to grieve with fellow mourners.
[Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]