Ricki Lake Reveals Her First Tattoo Is Dedicated to Late Ex-Husband Christian Evans — See the Ink

"It's not only a message from him, but it's a message to continue loving myself," the former talk show host shared on the tattoo dedicated to the late jewelry designer 

ricki lake, Christian Evans
Photo: Michael Kovac/WireImage; John Lamparski/Getty

Ricki Lake's first tattoo is a meaningful one.

During an appearance on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, the Hairspray actress, 54, opened up about her new ink dedicated to her late ex-husband Christian Evans, who took his own life at age 45 in February 2017.

"My beloved [ex] husband passed away from suicide and bipolar five and a half years ago. So this was his wedding vow to me that I found on the stationary after he died and it says, 'I vow to continue loving you,'" Lake shared of her forearm tattoo.

Not only is it a tribute to Evans, but it's also a reminder for Lake, "to continue loving myself."

"That relationship and that loss was definitely the darkest period of my life, but through it, so many gifts have come out of it," she said, adding that she's "very much in the happiest place I've ever been in my life" with her now-husband Ross Burningham, who she wed in January.

ricki lake, Christian Evans
John Lamparski/Getty

Lake and Evans eloped in 2012 one year after their engagement, the former television host telling PEOPLE at the time that they "clicked."

However, the couple separated in 2014 and then divorced in 2015. While court files cited irreconcilable differences between the two, Evans' death prompted Lake to share that his manic episodes had led to the couple's split.

"I have to spread the word about recognizing this disorder and getting treatment as soon as possible," Lake told PEOPLE one month after Evans' passing. "Christian didn't want to be labeled as bipolar, but he admitted he was in the note he left. That was him finally owning it. That was him giving me permission to tell his story.

In a tribute — a photo of the two looking into each other's eyes — shared to Instagram following his death, Lake shared only loving words for her "beloved soulmate."

"For anyone who has ever lost a family member or friend to mental illness, my heart goes out to you. I am a greater person for having known him and spent the past 6 and a half years of my life with him," she wrote. "He was a man of love and what mends my broken heart today is knowing that he is finally at peace and his spirit is free."

She ended the post with, "Rest in peace, my love."

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.

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