Richard E Grant was overcome with grief when his wife died

·2-min read
Richard E Grant with his late wife and their daughter credit:Bang Showbiz
Richard E Grant with his late wife and their daughter credit:Bang Showbiz

Richard E Grant wasn't prepared for his wife's death - even though she was terminally ill.

The 65-year-old actor lost his wife Joan in 2021, after she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, but Richard admits that he struggled to deal with the heartbreak.

Speaking to the Daily Mail newspaper, Richard - who had one daughter, Olivia, with Joan - recalled: "At 7pm, her breathing slows quite suddenly. Keep repeating: ‘It’s all okay, my angel. Don’t hold on. We all love you so. So, so much.’

"After each intake of breath, the gap until the next inhalation gets longer. At 7.25, I thought that her hand felt like it was cooling in mine.

"Was I just imagining this?

"No, it is getting colder.

"Do I let go of her hand and call Oilly to come?

"Can’t let go now.

"Then another breath, and count the seconds before the next one.

"None comes.

"She died at 7.30pm."

Richard still has vivid memories of his own response to his wife's death.

And although Joan was terminally ill, the actor was unprepared to deal with his grief.

He said: "Let go of her hand and call out for Oilly to come quickly. Feels like my heart is going to explode out of my chest, such is the intensity of this grief.

"Even though we had warning that this was imminent.

"Even though we knew that her time was terminally measured out in months, weeks and days.

"Even though we knew all of this.

"Nothing can properly prepare us for this moment."

Richard also recalled feeling like he was drowning in grief the day after.

He shared: "Moment my eyes opened, was hit by a tsunami of grief. So overwhelming, I felt like I would drown.

"Her handbag is next to our bed. As is her tapestry kit, with the needle and thread waiting for her next move.

"Make-up on the chest of drawers with a lipstick that’s no longer needed. Her pile of bedside books. Her handwriting in her book of crossword puzzles.

"All hers and yet no her here any more."