Kate Garraway has been praised for her “bravery” after she shared her husband Derek Draper’s final moments with viewers.
On Monday morning (5 February), Garraway appeared on Good Morning Britain for the first time since her husband’s funeral on Friday (2 February). Draper, a former political lobbyist, died on 3 January aged 56, nearly four years after he was admitted to the hospital with a severe case of Covid.
Reflecting on her final moments with her husband, Garraway said in the moving interview: “The children individually had time with Derek on their own as well as all of us together. Darcey said ‘Dad, if you can’t do this, then we will be OK. You release yourself if you need to go, don’t worry about us.’”
Garraway added that her children were “extraordinarily brave” on the day of Draper’s death.
Elsewhere in the interview, Garraway shared the final words her 17-year-old daughter Darcey told her father.
“We will be OK. Don’t worry about mum. We will be fine. You don’t have to worry about looking after us all. You will live on through us,” said Garraway, recalling Darcey’s words.
She revealed that her daughter “insisted” on carrying her father’s coffin at the funeral.
“Darcey came into the room when we were taking about [the funeral] and said ‘please can you let me carry the coffin?’ and I said crikey, that’s a practical challenge…. Anyone who’s ever done that, it’s a heavy thing….She basically insisted on doing it and I thought that was a beautiful thing.”
Garraway has been widely praised for her “strength” and openness about her experiences of grief and caring for a loved one.
TV presenter Lorraine Kelly said on her talk show, which airs shortly after GMB, that Garraway had “shone a light” on the reality of becoming a carer for a loved one and gave an “extraordinary interview” that would have made Draper “proud”.
Garraway had spent a significant portion of her time caring for Draper as he dealt with the effects of long Covid, which included requiring round-the-clock care.
On Friday (2 February) Garraway laid Draper to rest at a funeral held at the same London church where they were married 18 years ago.
Garraway was joined by her and Mr Draper’s children, Darcey and Billy, for the private service at the Church of St Mary The Virgin in Primrose Hill on Friday.
Among the many recognisable faces in attendance were Garraway’s ITV colleagues, including Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard, along with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, former prime minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie Blair, and Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish.
Also present were TV stars including Piers Morgan, Alex Beresford, Robert Rinder, Fiona Phillips and her husband, This Morning editor Martin Frizell, and pop star Myleene Klass.
Garraway said: “I had the most beautiful letter handwritten from David and Victoria Beckham, their handwriting was so neat, and also had one from the royal family and Katherine and William sent me a letter.
“Also the King sent me one and he knows about grief but I just think it is lovely for them to reach out to me,” she added.
“Elton John sweetly sang the most beautiful song and we got Derek to see Elton John which was something he wanted to do.”
Days after Draper died, Garraway shared her gratitude for the public’s kind words with a video message on GMB.
“Hello everyone,” she said. “Thank you so much for all the wonderful messages that you have sent me. It really does mean so much to me, Darcey, Billy and all of Derek’s family.
“They are an extraordinary comfort and I’m so lucky to feel connected to you all through these messages at this time when the raw pain of grief can be so isolating.”
Garraway continued: “And that is the wonderful thing, isn’t it, about our Good Morning Britain family. That all of us on the team and all of you watching from home are connected, supporting each other through the challenges of life, knowing that we can also laugh at the fun and joys together that we share too.”