I’ll always remember where I was the day Steve Irwin died. I was working at an ice cream shop part-time as a Uni student when someone texted me a really blunt, to the point: Steve Irwin died : (

I don’t even remember who sent it, but I can remember my blood ran cold, and I thought they were playing some kind of sick joke on me. I wrote back asking if they were serious and they said yes, that he’d been killed by a stingray while shooting one of his wildlife shows. These were the days before smartphones — said text had come in on my trusty Nokia 3200 — so I couldn’t even frantically Google for more info. I was trapped there, crying amongst the 30 ice cream flavours on a Tuesday morning, waiting for the bloody radio news to come on and tell me more.

Steve Irwin was a national treasure — a funny, kind-hearted person full of enthusiasm and passion for animals and also for his young family. His wildlife shows were informative and entertaining, and the khaki-clad larrikin was a great ambassador for Australia. To lose him at the age of 44 was just so sad, and to be honest I’m still not over it.

Today marks 13 years since that horrible day, when a stingray barb to the heart killed Steve while he was filming at Batt Reef off the coast of Queensland for a show called, horribly enough, Ocean’s Deadliest. So the tributes, all well-deserved, are rolling in.

Of course his wife Terri Irwin spoke beautifully as always as she remembered her late husband.

Bindi Irwin, who recently got engaged to her long-time boyfriend Chandler Powell and has continued her father’s work in conservation, shared this post on Instagram.

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f o r e v e r

A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on

Her brother Robert Irwin hasn’t posted so far today, but I will update this story if and when he does.

He did upload this adorable pic on Father’s Day. My HEART.

The thing about Steve Irwin is, even people who didn’t even know him loved him, and still mourn him to this day. All week, folks have been posting tributes to the great man and honestly I challenge you to get to the end of these without sobbing.

And I think we all feel this on a deep level:

We miss you Steve Irwin. Rest in peace wherever you are — no doubt looking after everyone’s dearly departed reptilian friends.

Image: Instagram / @bindisueirwin