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Dancing With the Stars’ Cheryl Burke Reflects on Losing Her Dad in 2018

Cheryl Burke David Livingston/Getty Images

Still in mourning. Cheryl Burke reflected on losing her father this year in an emotional tribute.

Before They Were on 'Dancing With the Stars'

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“As I sit here and reflect on this past year, I have to say that 2018 will always be the year that I will never forget,” she began a lengthy post on Instagram on Friday, December 28. “From my Dads passing in March, to getting engaged to the love of my life, [Matthew Lawrence], on my birthday and last but not least, competing in my 21st season of Dancing With the Stars with an incredible partner, [Juan Pablo Di Pace], that culminated in the ‘most shocking elimination in all 27 seasons of @dancingabc,’ this year has been a rollercoaster ride to say the least.”

Burke, 34, continued: “There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about my Dad. I have never been through so much pain, heartache and sleepless nights since he passed away. When I got that call in March, a call that I’d never wish upon anyone to receive, my life changed forever. I’m sure you all have heard of the saying ‘whatever you do, don’t take anything for granted.’ Well, that saying is so unbelievably true.”

There was always one person in her corner. “Through every second of my heartbreak, the person standing by my side was Matt. The way that he was there for me when I lost my dad, and has shown up for me every day since, solidified that he is the person I am meant to spend the rest of my life with,” the professional dancer said of the Boy Meets World alum, 38. “When he asked me to be his wife as we celebrated my birthday this year, there was not a doubt in my mind that the answer was yes! Our engagement has been the biggest blessing and I am so excited to be finishing this year planning our wedding. He truly is the man of my dreams!”

Celebrity Engagements of 2018

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She concluded her note, writing, “I can’t say that I am leaving this year with closure. I think I still have a lot of mourning left to do and I have a lot of questions that may never be answered, but moving forward I am choosing to let go of the things I can’t control and am learning how to make peace with knowing that my dad wouldn’t want anything else for me but to live a happy life with my soon to be husband. I could not have made it through this year without him or the friends and family [who] have been there with me every step of the way. Thank you for being my rocks.”

The dance competition vet previously paid homage to her dad 10 days after his passing. “Dad, if I had one more chance to have you here with me today, I would do things differently. Every day I would tell you how much I love you. I miss you so much already,” she captioned an old snapshot of her dad sweetly kissing her head as they embrace in a hug in a March 19 Instagram post. “Rest In Peace Stephen Louis Burke April 13, 1950 – March 9, 2018.”

The DWTS pro and the Mrs. Doubtfire star got engaged on May 3, Burke’s 34th birthday. “OMG! So far so good for 34! 💍#amilliontimesyes #imengaged #herecomesthebride,” Burke wrote at the time, along with a series of Instagram photos of the future spouses embracing.

Celebrity Couples and How They First Met

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The couple dated in 2007 after meeting back in the DWTS ballroom during season 3 — when Matt’s brother Joey Lawrence competed and introduced them — before going their separate ways a year later. They rekindled their romance in February 2017, after spending nearly a decade apart. Their plan is to walk down the aisle sometime next year. “We don’t plan on getting married until 2019,” Burke told Us on October 15 of not rushing to tie the knot. “So just one thing for me, I’m really bad at multitasking.”

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