Heath Ledger Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger's family members are proud of his Oscar nod for his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight, but they are still "nursing broken hearts."

On Friday in Perth, Australia, Ledger's family gathered at the Indiana Tea Room on Cottesloe Beach, which was one of the actor's favorite spots, according to People.

"Like anyone who loses a family member, it has opened our eyes to the intense suffering and painful journey that is death," older sister Kate Ledger said.

Ledger, who had a child with actress Michelle Williams after they starred together in Brokeback Mountain, died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs last year. He was nominated for best supporting actor on the first anniversary of his death.  

"Michelle is doing an amazing job with 'our girl,' and together we will cherish every moment of her steps through life," Kate Ledger said of 3-year-old Matilda.

Ledger's younger half-sister, Ashleigh Bell, also spoke of his nomination. "Although we would love to have him here with us, we are so proud and so excited on his behalf," Bell said. "We will take this opportunity today to honor his wonderful life and take comfort in knowing Heath will continue to touch future generations through this amazing art form."