This Disney Channel star posted the most heartbreaking tribute to her late father

You’ve definitely heard Dove Cameron‘s name before, and you’re likely to hear it a lot more in the future. She rose to stardom in 2013, playing both of the titular twins on the Disney Channel series Liv and Maddie. She also starred in the enormously popular DCOM Descendants as Mal, the daughter of classic Disney villain Maleficent. She even formed a pop duet, “The Girl and the Dreamcatcher,” with her fiancé, Rocky Horror remake star Ryan McCartan (though, sadly, the two recently announced that they’d parted ways).

With Liv and Maddie ending next yearDescendants 2 dropping soon, and a role as Amber von Tussle in the upcoming Hairspray! Live, we’re so excited to see where the talented 20-year-old Cameron will go next.

What you might not have known about the Disney star is that she tragically lost her father at a young age. Five years ago, Philip Alan Hosterman, passed away.

Earlier this week, Dove took to Instagram to post a touching and emotional tribute to her father, with whom she was clearly very close.

Accompanying a photo of her father, Dove addressed the caption “to the most beautiful man I have ever known, and my best friend.” The singer-actress noted that as of October 18th, it had been five years since her father died. Despite the length of time, Dove still felt that he was close to her and her sister Claire, in spirit. She went on to thank him for the lessons he’d imparted to them before his death:

"I feel as though I understand you more and more as I begin to understand myself in these formative years, and although it can't ever replace the years I've lost with you, I know I am never without you because you are in me 🙂 I am so happy every day, dad, and so is Claire. Both of your girls are following their bliss and living their great adventure. Taking no prisoners, loving all they can and eating ice cream bars and overly salted popcorn in bed."

Dove went on to explain that the loss of her father had brought both her and her sister a clarity and a depth of emotion, a remarkably insightful and mature way of acknowledging grief for someone so young.

"The gift that you have given to me and Claire, the intense pain and loss, has brought a clarity, a deep human connection, an empathy and a color to our lives in a way that nothing else could. I can never go back to who I was before, and I would never want to. You still teach me lessons every day, and make me laugh as the lessons you instilled at a young age begin to settle into my bones and make more sense. You set me up for the best life imaginable, and I plan to make your [sic] proud every single day and never waste it."

The Disney star ended her emotional tribute with a heartfelt sign off.

"I love you eternally, and can't wait to see you again, maybe in our next life as we find each other over and over. Forever your best friend, and your little girl."

So many tears over this eloquent memorial. Our hearts are with Dove at this difficult time, and we’re so in awe that she’s channeled her devastating loss into a drive to make her late father proud.

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