'Sweetness and sorrow' Richard E. Grant's emotional post as he senses late wife's presence

He said: “Since her stage four lung cancer diagnosis two days before Christmas, she was accepting, clear sighted, sanguine and totally without self-pity.”

Richard praised the oncology team at the Royal Marsden Hospital, NHS nurses, Price’s Mill Surgery and Longfield palliative carers from their “beyond exemplary” work.

“It’s been my privilege to be by your side, sharing our last eight months together, enabling us to say everything we possibly wanted and needed to, so that when you asked Olivia and me two weeks ago ‘to let me go’, we unequivocally said ‘yes’.”

The couple had got married in 1986 and share a daughter, Olivia, and a stepson, Tom, from Joan’s previous relationship.

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