Helen McCrory’s brave plea to husband Damian Lewis as she told him to have ‘lots of girlfriends’ after her death

Helen sought to "normalise" her death for her family

Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory attend the Roksanda show during London Fashion Week February 2019 at The Old Selfridges Hotel on February 18, 2019
(Image credit: Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Acclaimed actor Helen McCrory tragically passed away last week after a heroic battle with cancer, leaving behind her devoted husband of over 13 years Damian Lewis and their two children. 

The news of Helen’s death has been met with overwhelming sadness by fans across the world, whose hearts go out to her loved ones. 

‘I’m heartbroken to announce that after an heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family', Damian wrote in a deeply personal Twitter statement.

‘God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.’

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Following the devastating announcement of Helen’s passing, many of her co-stars throughout her career including Harry Potter actor Tom Felton and Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy have also released heartbreaking tributes to Helen. 

Known for her sense of humor and bravery, it seems this shone through even in the darkest of times. Damian has now revealed an extraordinary request his wife made of him prior to her death.

In a deeply moving piece for The Sunday Times, Damian shared how Helen hoped he’d find love again after her death and even told him to have “lots" of girlfriends. 

She also encouraged him and their children, Manon and Gulliver, to “live fully” and “take opportunities” and directly spoke to them about how they must love again.  

“Only a couple of weeks ago she said to us from her bed, ‘I want Daddy to have girlfriends, lots of them, you must all love again, love isn’t possessive, but you know, Damian, try at least to get through the funeral without snogging someone’”, he wrote.

Opening up on her strength despite her devastating illness, Damian was awestruck by Helen, adding: “She has shone more brightly in the last months than you would imagine even the brightest star could shine.

“In life, too, we had to rise to meet her. But her greatest and most exquisite act of bravery and generosity has been to “normalise” her death.”

Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory arrive at the press night performance of "Uncle Vanya" at The Harold Pinter Theatre on January 23, 2020

(Image credit: Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Damian went on to reveal that his wife showed “no fear, no bitterness, no self-pity” in the face of her illness. 

Instead, he wrote, she “armed us with the courage to go on and insisted that no one be sad, because she is happy."

“I’m staggered by her. She’s been a meteor in our life”, he declared.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!