VIA| It’s been nearly a decade since Bindi Irwin last saw her crocodile-hunting father, Steve, but says she still feels his presence.
The last photo as a family, before I had to wave goodbye to my hero, for the last time. Dad, I love you. pic.twitter.com/qvu8Cl2IoP
— Bindi Irwin (@BindiIrwin) November 24, 2015
For a moment on “Dancing With The Stars,” Bindi and the audience, felt like he was there, too.
After a beautiful performance with Derek Hough to a seemingly fitting song — “Footprints in the Sand” — she turned around and saw a glowing photo of her guardian angel.
Hough surprised the 17-year-old, who was moved to tears at the sight of her late-father.
Bindi tells DWTS host, Erin Andrews, the entire experience has “meant the world” to her family and has changed her life.
“I never really talked about everything that I felt when my dad passed away, and I never thought I’d revisit that,” she said in a DWTS behind-the-scenes video.
She even explains how she sometimes feels like there’s “three people in the room” during their rehearsals.
Another relationship in the spotlight: Bindi and Derek’s friendship. The Australian-native credits Hough for her opening up about grieving not only her father, but her best friend.
“To have Derek there to say, ‘It’s okay, I’m there for you,’ was something that I was so grateful for.”
The dynamic duo’s performance tugged at the heartstrings of both the audience and the judges alike, earning the highest possible score of 30 points. At the end of the night, the team ran away with the coveted Mirror Ball trophy. Bindi’s reaction on DWTS proves that grieving the loss of a loved one might get easier with time, but it never truly goes away.
I love you so much. And miss you every day. pic.twitter.com/uReEbBSRqm
— Bindi Irwin (@BindiIrwin) June 21, 2015
But with the help from family and good friends, embracing the love you feel from those around you just might help heal your heartache.