Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Debbie McGee has opened up about coping with grief and isolation since losing her husband Paul Daniels.
The 61-year-old lost her late husband in 2016 when he died shortly after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
“I’m really lucky. Because I’m in the public eye, people know what I’m going through,” Debbie said.
“And what’s really important with grief, it used to be that people thought that grief shrunk with time… time heals and all of that, but what they believe now is grief stays the same size. It’s how you build your life around it and make it bigger.”
'People thought grief shrunk with time but grief stays the same size.'@thedebbiemcgee explains why the amazing work from volunteers at Widows Empowerment Trust are needed to help people deal with the loss of a loved one, after losing her husband Paul.#1MillionMinutes pic.twitter.com/8ZRmmTGSQv— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) January 24, 2020
Debbie also revealed that she had to schedule things into her day otherwise she wouldn’t be able to get out of bed at times due to grief.
“As long as I’ve got things to do, I’m fine. I’m very happy, I can have nights at home on my own and not feel lonely, but every day you still get up without them so you have to have a purpose.
“The days that I don’t have a purpose, I really have to force myself to say, ‘Right, go and do the ironing, do something.’”
Dame Barbara Windsor gave a special video message at last night’s 1 Million Minutes Awards.
The actress, who has Alzheimer’s Disease, awarded Danny Brown the inaugural Dame Barbara Windsor Award – an accolade for someone who has helped people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia combat loneliness.
Dame Barbara told Danny: “Volunteers like you are so important in the fight against loneliness, especially for those like us, who know all too well the struggles of a cruel illness. Your dedication to helping others has not only helped bring your community together, but brought much-needed attention to the valuable cause.”
Winner Danny was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2014 and struggled with the diagnosis, so made plans to end his life.
But after contacting the Alzheimer's Society, he got support, became involved in volunteering and he hasn’t looked back. He has visited schools, churches, shopping centres and even a cinema to raise awareness about dementia.
Barbara added: “And doing all this at the same time as living with dementia yourself, is truly inspirational. Thank you Danny, and congratulations again. God bless.”
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