The Crown star Jason Watkins has spoken candidly about losing his daughter Maud at the age of two in a new mental health podcast for ITV, Britain Get Talking. The actor, whose daughter tragically passed away in 2011 from sepsis, opened up about the impact her loss had on his family, and how his other daughter, Bessie, dealt with the loss.
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Speaking on his daughter Bessie's grief, he explained: "That was the most difficult thing. Explaining to her what had happened. I think she knew because she was there, that was the shocking thing, the traumatic thing for her.
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"Telling a child, 'Your sister is not coming back' is difficult. You can use euphemisms of heaven and those sort of things. Whatever helps for you is the way to do it. You have to say that she's not coming back, that's the difficult part. Even now, Bessie's a teenager. And she exhibits typical teenage behaviour. Difficulties and emotional ups and downs. But coupled with that one is always thinking 'is this born out of something else?' It's a very difficult place to be that."
Maud died from sepsis in 2011
He spoke about how he deals with the loss on a day-to-day basis, telling presenter Kylie Pentelow: "There are days when you just don't want to have to think about it too much. Then of course there are days when there is nothing you can do about it but it just consumes you. It'll just hit you like a train. It could be anything."
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The Being Human actor also spoke candidly about how it affected his relationship with his wife, Clara, saying: "It's changed both of us. And made us much more aware of our own mental health and other people's. It is the most extreme perhaps thing that can befall a parent in one's life. You have to deal with it. One of the ways of dealing with it is being able to share your own feelings and not feel embarrassed about sharing them. And not feel that your pain is somehow unpalatable to people. People do want to help you."
Listen to Jason's full interview on the ITV Britain Get Talking podcast, which is available to download at all podcast providers, including Apple and Spotify.