An excerpt from Elton John's 2013 book Love is the Cure has been doing the rounds online since the release of the hugely popular Queen biopic movie 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.
In a section from the book, Elton speaks about his friendship with Freddie and shared a story of a touching gesture he made just days before he tragically passed away...
"Freddie didn't announce publicly that the had AIDS until the day before he died in 1991. But Freddie told me he had AIDS soon after he was diagnosed in 1987. I was devastated. I had seen what the disease had done to so many of my other friends."
"I knew exactly what it was going to do to Freddie. As did he. He knew death, agonising death, was coming. But Freddie was incredibly courageous."
"By all rights, Freddie should have spent those final days concerned only with his own comfort. But that wasn't who he was. He truly lived for others. Freddie had passed on November 24, 1991, and weeks after the funeral, I was still grieving. On Christmas day, I learnt that Freddie had left me one final testament to his selflessness."
"I was moping about when a friend showed up at my door and handed me something wrapped in a pillowcase. I opened it up, and inside was a painting by one of my favourite artists, the British painter Henry Scott Tuke. And there was a note on the front from Freddie."
"Years before, Freddie and I had developed pet names for each other, our drag-queen alter egos. I was Sharon and he was Melina. Freddie's note read, 'Dear Sharon, I thought you'd like this. Love, Melina. Happy Christmas."
"I was overcome, 44 years old at the time, crying like a child. Here was this beautiful man, dying from AIDS, and in his final days, he had somehow managed to find me a lovely Christmas present."
"As sad as that moment was, it's often the one I think about when I remember Freddie, because it captures the character of the man. In death, he reminded me of what made him so special in life."
The two of them clearly shared a very special friendship.