Here Michelle was snapped at Heath’s funeral yesterday, clutching Heath’s older sister Kate’s hand for support.
What started out as a subdued wake after Heath Ledger’s funeral ended in an emotional goodbye by mourners including Michelle Williams, who all took a plunge into the ocean as the sun began to set.
“It’s exactly what Heath would have wanted,” one mourner told People magazine, dripping wet in his underwear as he made his way out of the water.
An unidentified man led Michelle by the hand, followed by several guests, who walked down the stairs behind the Indiana Tea House on Cottesloe Beach, the site of the wake and one of Heath’s favorite spots.
At least 50 people attending the wake ran onto the beach and many began to take off their clothes. While some women took the plunge in their black dresses, other men and women stripped down to just their underwear and jumped into the ocean.
Michelle, still wearing her cream-colored sundress and black sunglasses, was briefly dragged into the water as everyone cheered. She was then quickly surrounded by a group of mourners, creating a protective circle around the actress.
Those in the water laughed and cheered as Michelle watched from the shore. Heath’s sister Kate also took a dive into the water and was surrounded by pals splashing around her while her father Kim Ledger watched from the restaurant’s balcony and shouted, “Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!” giving two thumbs up in the air.
As the sun began to set, the swimmers came on shore and stood in a line on both sides of Michelle and linked arms. In the last five minutes, as the sun moved toward the horizon, the mourners stood in silence, watching and embracing.
Michelle hugged Kate Ledger and smiled as she watched the sunset at 8:15 p.m., local time.
Two mourners in the group summoned up the moment as they stood behind Michelle.
“The sun goes down on our love,” they said. “But it will never go down on Heathy.”
Michelle left the wake with Heath’s mother Sally Ledger Bell and her husband Roger Bell at 9:20 p.m., local time. Sally Ledger Bell held on to Michelle as they got into a black SUV. Once inside, Sally rested her head on Michelle’ shoulder as the car drove away.
What a beautiful sounding ceremony.
Earlier Saturday afternoon Heath’s remains were cremated.
Following a memorial at Penrhos College for hundreds of mourners, Michelle Williams, escorted by police, arrived with a small entourage of Heath’s closest family for a more intimate service at Fremantle Cemetery, just outside Perth, Australia. The chapel at Fremantle, which was blacked out with sheets and scaffolding, has only eight wooden pews and a lectern.
There, Michelle read William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”).
“It was a very emotional service,” a source told People magazine.
Less than an hour after arriving, the mourners were spotted putting their arms around a clearly distressed Michelle and hugging the chaplain in gratitude as they departed.
From there, they headed to the Indiana Tea House on Cottesloe Beach, where attendees from the earlier memorial could be seen smoking and drinking beer and red and white wine on the patio of the establishment, which has a spectacular view of the ocean. Michelle was visibly shaken and looked like she had just been crying when she entered the restaurant.