Mitchell Layton/Getty Images, Mike Powell/ Getty Images
Nancy Kerrigan is opening up about her father's tragic death for the first time.
The former Olympic star has penned a letter to friends and fans about her love for her 70-year-old father, Daniel, who suffered a fatal heart attack Jan. 24 after allegedly being assaulted in the family's Massachusetts home by her brother Mark.
"The last several weeks have been the most difficult of my life," writes Kerrigan in the note, first published by ETOnline.
Talk about an understatement.
"As many of you who ever met my dad know, he was someone who took an interest in everyone that he came in contact with and, if he knew you much at all, had an endearing wisecrack that would be sure to make you laugh. For me, he was my safety net. He was always there for me no matter what turn the world might take. He was a friend to [Kerrigan's husband] Jerry and a doting grandpa to our kids.
"For my mother, he was much more than that. He was her eyes, her confidante, her dance partner, her life partner. In short, he was her everything," reflects Kerrigan.
Regarding her siblings, including Mark: "For my brothers, he was the ultimate role model: the guy they continue to try to emulate. And his impact spread far beyond our family. Over 2,000 people lined up in 20 degree weather and stood for over 3 hours to pay their last respects."
Mark Kerrigan, 45, was arrested shortly after his father's death. He was barred from attending Daniel's funeral and remains at a psychiatric facility under observation.
Meanwhile, the family, including matriarch Brenda Kerrigan, has stood steadfast by Mark's side, issuing a statement earlier this week saying the medical examiner's determination that Daniel died of a homicide was "inaccurate," noting that he had a preexisting medical condition. The Kerrigans also don't hold Mark responsible for what happened.
"We will miss my dad every day," concludes Nancy. "Whether it is hearing him tell the kids one of his silly stories or watching him roll his eyes as he goes to the market for the fourth time that afternoon or having a beer with him at the end of the day. Mainly, we will miss just knowing he is there."
Kerrigan will be providing coverage of the Vancouver Olympics starting this week for ET and The Insider.
The Olympics are less than a week away. Check out E! Online's Our Winter Olympians gallery.