Leah Bracknell's widower reveals the TV show that's helping him cope with grief in heartbreaking post

Leah tragically passed away back in October after a three-year battle with lung cancer.

leah bracknell widower reveals tv show helping grief
(Image credit: Getty)

Leah Bracknell’s widower has opened up about his grief, revealing the surprising TV show that is helping him through it.

Jez Hughes has opened up about his late wife, who played Zoe Tate in ITV soap Emmerdale.

Leah tragically passed away back in October after a three-year battle with lung cancer.

And now her widower Jez has spoken out about his grief and how he is working through it, revealing that Ricky Gervais’s Netflix show After Life has been a help to him.


I've been watching Ricky Gervais' Afterlife,’ he revealed in a post on his Facebook page. ‘I've never really been a fan of his and it was bitingly close to the bone, but there were moments that captured something honest and true.

‘Which I suppose is the point of all art, writing, ritual, ceremony, spirituality- the moment where we are able to step out of the cage of isolation and separateness and into something greater than ourselves and our lives through the magic and resonance of shared experience. These things are never individualistic endeavours, despite the hype that surrounds them nowadays.

‘I've always liked the idea of renewing and rebuilding,’ continued Jez, ‘so to face such a prospect when every fibre in my being is resisting and just wants to go backwards in time is an interesting and painful dichotomy. A theme that kept emerging in Afterlife, and in other stuff I've read of people with similar experiences, is 'I have no choice’’.


Death has that affect, the non negotiable nature of it,’ he went on. ‘When you come that close to it with someone who you share your heart, your bed, your most intimate thoughts and feelings, your dreams, your life path, your memories, your secrets, your soul- you begin to understand and experience death in completely new and visceral way. It's certainly nothing to be romanticised.

‘And you understand that often we have no choice, our excessive belief in free will in modernity is just another illusion, there are fates and forces at work that are far beyond ever our understanding or ability to change or control’.

‘No one expects to become a widower at 46,’ added the dad-of-two.

MORE: Emmerdale’s Leah Bracknell reveals poignant ‘cancer manifesto’ after being given months to live (opens in new tab)

I share these words to feel them as well,’ he concluded. ‘In the hope that there may be some secret lurking beneath their mundane surface that will help transform the time they are written in.

‘Writing helps lift the unknown into the known, the unspeakable to the relatable. To communicate is to commune with the sacred, in each other and the world. Which is always healing’.

Our thoughts are with Jez and his family.

Aleesha is a digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows what the best buys are at any moment. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. A year on the w&h news team gained her invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first—as well as an AOP awards nomination.