LOOSE Women star Brenda Edwards broke down in tears as the panel paid an emotional tribute to Kate Garraway after her husband Derek Draper’s funeral.
On today’s Loose Women, panellist Ruth Langsford, Kelly Holmes and Brenda praised Kate for her inner strength during this difficult time, leaving them emotional.
Ruth said: “She’s [Kate] spoken so many times about Derek which has been amazing because so many people were going through similar things post-Covid but how she’s managed to do this just after he’s passed away. I mean the extraordinary strength she’s found.”
Kelly said: “I need to thank Kate, she’s shown support to members of our family. She’s obviously not aware but Bobby and Steve, has also been in the same difficult situation as having long-Covid and has had drastic life-changing consequences of having Covid.
“Her humanity strikes me more than anything.
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“Her ability to reach in and connect with everybody at every level, despite her own challenges of what she’s actually going through.
“She seems to have this selfless nature, where she reaches in and go ‘I’m with you, I’m holding hands with you’, there is no separation of us and them, it’s where in this together.
“Watching her and how she’s managed this whole situation, heartbreaking for her and her family but never forgetting everybody else also going through the same challenges.”
Brenda, who tragically lost her son Jamal Edwards in 2022 at the age of 31, broke down in tears as she drew on her own experiences with grief.
Ruth said: “She did talk, Brenda, about how much support she’s had from people, viewers and colleagues. And we all need that, from wherever it’s coming from.”
Brenda’s voice broke as she replied: “Absolutely, it was very moving hearing her talking about the challenges of life now.
“We’ve spoken about it here so many times, it’s not when you’re going through it and it’s the after and what happens then.
“Hats off to her for her to come back to work on Thursday.
“There are so many people that have something to say about how soon you come back but that is what she obviously needs to just have that support network around and there are so many people who don’t have that.”
Ruth went on: “As she said, Derek wouldn’t want them to be grieving forever. She said, we’ve got to pick ourselves up and go on, that’s what Derek did and he would have want me to do the same.
“The way she talks about her children and how extraordinary she’s been and how mature they’ve been about it all.”
They then touched on Kate’s 17-year-old daughter Darcey being a coffin pallbearer as she carried her father in and out of the church.
Kelly said she will “remember that moment feeling proud”.
Ruth said: “For me that’s the final act of love you can show someone is to celebrate their life in that way.”
Visibly upset, Brenda broke down in tears, as the camera cut away.
Ruth handed her colleague a box of tissues and told viewers: “We knew this would be hard but Brenda still wanted to talk about this today, we’ll just give her a moment.
“Thank you Kate for speaking so candidly this morning, she said she didn’t want to talk too much about it this morning but said she’ll be talking a lot more about care and the care system and I think that will be quite a mission for her now,” Ruth added.
Brenda’s son Jamal received an MBE at the age of 23 for his services to music – and he was a Prince’s Trust Ambassador.
And the trailblazer was also known for his charitable services and helping the next generation, setting up a series of youth clubs in London communities in 2020.
It was later revealed how he died from a “sudden heart attack” at the home he shared with mum Brenda.
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