Dame Judi Dench describes how the grief over her husband changed who she is

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“Sometimes the door in this house just opens and I think that he’s just wandered in…”

Conversations around grief are complicated. On the one hand, speaking about it can act as a form of therapy. But for a lot of people, talking about their experience is just too difficult. That’s why podcasts about grief sometimes offer comfort; offering the listener an opportunity to hear someone else’s relatable and reassuring words. 

Martin Lewis recently opened up about the grief he experienced as a teenager when his mother suddenly died. And Zoe Ball has talked about celebrating the life of her former partner who died by suicide. Laura Whitmore also discussed her grief over her friend Caroline Flack’s death earlier this year. 

Each individual shared a unique experience, helping listeners to understand that there really is no right or wrong way to grieve. And earlier this week, Dame Judi Dench added to the conversation by reflecting on her own grief.

Talking on David Tennant Does A Podcast With.., the actor opened up about her 30-year marriage with her husband Michael Williams who died in 2001.  

“I don’t think we ever had to work at it,” she told Tennant. 

“I mean, sometimes. Mikey used to have black dog days, sometimes. But he was the most unselfish man, and he wouldn’t ever attribute that to anything that might be between us… Oh, God, how he used to make me laugh. He used to make me absolutely howl.”

Judi Dench
Judi Dench and Michael Williams married in 1971.

Asked how long it took to learn to live without him, Dench replied: “I don’t know. Perhaps I’ve never done that, quite. Although I have met David, who runs the British Wildlife Centre. And he’s about four miles away, and that’s just lovely because we laugh about the same things. But I suspect I shall never ever get over Mikey.”

She added: “It changes who you are completely, I think. Because it’s like you’re walking along, and suddenly you’re not looking and there’s an enormous chasm in front of you. And suddenly all sorts of things take you, expected kinds of things happen.

“I don’t expect you ever get used to it. Sometimes the door in this house just opens and I think that he’s just wandered in.”

David Tennant Does A Podcast With... is available on Apple, Spotify and all podcast providers. 

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…