Richard E. Grant Feels Crippled by Grief Over Wife's Death

The 'Downton Abbey' actor was so heartbroken by his spouse Joan Washington's 2021 passing from lung cancer that the star felt 'incapable' of doing anything.

AceShowbiz - Richard E. Grant is often left feeling "incapable" of doing anything as he grieves for his wife. The 65-year-old actor had been wedded to Joan Washington for 35 years when she lost a battle with lung cancer at the age of 71 in 2021 but, in the days before her death, she urged him and their daughter Olivia, 34, to find a "pocketful of happiness" in each day and her optimism has now inspired the title of his new memoir.

"Four days before Joan died, she said to my daughter and I, 'I know that you're going to be sad but I challenge you both to try and find a pocketful of happiness in each day.' It became really a great mantra by which to navigate the abyss of grief that we've dealt with in the last 17 months," he said on UK TV show "This Morning".

"Not that you've got to do something life-changing but just in the ordinary things to find joy in them and it's been really helpful. There are days, it even happens now, all these months later where you feel like you can't move."

"And people tweet you or send messages saying 'Go for a walk' or do this, but sometimes when it hits you like a tsunami, you feel incapable of doing anything. And I just accept that you've got to do nothing at all, not even have a cup of tea or phone somebody."

However, the "Withnail and I" star went on to add that he has found a new hobby in gardening and explained how "small acts of kindness" from friends mean far more to him now than ever before."

He said, "Gardening has been an extraordinarily good thing, I'm going for a run every day. Small acts of kindness are something that you might take for granted but in grief, the kindness of people is something that lifts you up and I never take it for granted now."

Richard also revealed that in the lead up to his wife's death, King Charles - who at the time was known as Prince Charles prior to the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth - carved out time to spend time with Joan and recalled how they "talked about everything" in the garden of his Cotswolds home.

He added, "A few weeks before she died, King Charles contacted us and asked to come round to see Joan because he knew it would be the last time. He came and sat with her in the garden for about half an hour and they talked about everything. It was a very kind thing for him to do when he is as busy as he is."

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