holly matthews

Waterloo Road's Holly Matthews remembers late husband on second death anniversary

The actress lost husband Ross Blair in July 2017

Sharnaz Shahid

Holly Matthews, former Waterloo Road and Byker Grove actress, opened up about her life two years on from her husband Ross Blair's tragic death from a rare form of brain cancer. The couple share two children together, daughters Texas, eight, and six-year-old Brooke. Speaking to Lorraine Kelly on Tuesday, the 34-year-old explained: "I'm doing really good [and] they're doing really well, sassy as anything, as you can imagine." On keeping her late husband's memory alive, she added: "We talk about Ross and we kept everything open from the very beginning and that's all you can do.

Holly's husband Ross passed away in July 2017

"They cry when they need to cry and they laugh when they need to laugh. There's no question that they can’t ask me and I think that’s really important." Following on from Ross' death, Holly and the girls have begun to embrace the new. "Everything's new," the mum-of-two shared. "New house, new car, new school. It wasn't really intentional as such, but personally I think it helped."

MORE: Holly Matthews opens up about death of her husband in first TV interview

Holly went on to reveal that she encouraged her daughters to vent in order to cope with their devastating grief. "It's not the parent I thought I would be, but this is the reality of stuff," she said. "So when the feeling of anger comes up… they're little people and so in their bedrooms at night I say 'Right, this is your room, you can swear, you can stomp, you can scream.' I encourage them to do it, because it helps them. They can jump on the bed, they have a little trampette and get it out. It doesn’t need to be sat inside."

Holly first spoke about the loss of her husband on Lorraine last year and she had such an amazing response from the public that she decided to set up some workshops - The Happy Me Project workshops - all based around achieving a positive mind-set. She revealed: "The last time I came on the show, it was such a great platform, and I think people watched me and they went 'How is she dealing with it as she is?'... And not just people who are grieving, but men and women who just can’t deal with the fact that the ironing is up the wall. And they’re watching and going ‘I need some guidance.'

READ: Holly Matthews thanks fans for support following husband's death

"I don't profess to be the oracle of anything… It's about getting people to work on themselves… here are some ideas, this is what works for me. Have a bag of tools that you can go away and try this when things get a bit tough, when you’re not feeling great. It's not about pretending that things are going to be amazing all the time, you’re not going to be happy all of the time but what can I do when it gets tough?"

Holly concluded: "I'm not asking you to sage the room… I want it to be accessible to a bricklayer. You can meditate on the bus. It's for men and women, I'm encouraging men to come along as they talk less about their mind-sets. I want it to be for people who have never even considered it."

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