From the moment they were first introduced at a birthday party in October 1990, David Bowie and Iman were utterly inseparable. Now, as the world mourns the death of one of music's greatest icons, his devoted wife must try to come to terms with losing the man behind the persona – a devoted husband and father and her best friend.
Despite her immeasurable pain, Iman is trying to stay strong in the wake of her loss, not least for the sake of the couple's 15-year-old daughter Lexi. She is coping with his absence by making funeral arrangements that will be a fitting tribute to her husband of nearly 24 years.
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Iman is coming to terms with the loss of her beloved husband David Bowie
Her longtime friend Bethann Hardison told People on Tuesday: "She's fine. We're fine. We're holding up. It comes in waves, you know. He's a great loss – not just a loss as an artist, but as a human."
David's secret battle with cancer began 18 months ago, unbeknownst to his fans and many of his closest friends. Iman was by his side throughout and, aware that the end was close, posted a series of moving tributes to her husband on social media just last week in honour of his 69th birthday. One poignantly read: "Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory."
The supermodel posted this poignant message in the days before David's death
The supermodel will no doubt have great taken comfort from the outpouring of love and support she has received following David's death, and the overwhelming tributes to her late husband from around the world.
In London, a sea of flowers, candles and paintings were left at a famous mural of David in Brixton, while other fans visited his birthplace in nearby Stansfield Road. Then, as darkness fell on Monday, hours after David's death was announced, hundreds gathered in the street to celebrate his life with impromptu performances of some of his biggest hits.
"We hugged, we wept, we laughed, and we danced. We screamed 'Starman' at the sky hoping that whatever planet/universe he has returned to, he could still feel the love and heartbreak emanating from Brixton, and the entire world tonight," one attendee at the Aladdin Sane mural said.
The couple were married for nearly 24 years and were utterly inseparable
Similarly, in New York, fans flocked to David and Iman's Soho apartment to leave flowers, records and candles in honour of the rock star. A memorial concert is also being planned for Carnegie Hall in March, which may well be attended by Iman, Lexi and Duncan, David's son from his first marriage.
In the days since the star's death, his family have received a number of messages of condolence as friends and fans remember the loved ones he left behind. Madonna, Alicia Keys, Zoe Saldana and Cyndi Lauper are among those who have publicly sent their love and best wishes, while Coco Rocha wrote: "The world lost an amazing artist but my thoughts are with Iman who lost a husband and best friend."