Kate Garraway has thanked the public for their support as she deals with the “raw pain of grief” following the death of her husband, Derek Draper.
The TV presenter announced on Friday that the 56-year-old had died after living with extreme complications from Covid.
In a video message on Good Morning Britain, Garraway said messages of support “really does mean so much”.
She added that they were of “extraordinary comfort” to her family.
Draper, an author and former political adviser, married Garraway in 2005 and had two children with her, Darcey and Billy.
He suffered long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus and required daily care, which Garraway chronicled in ITV documentaries.
‘Hug your loved ones’
In a message to GMB viewers, Garraway said on Monday: “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.
“I am certain that it is the support that you have given me and sent to Derek that has sustained us through these tough nearly four years, motivating us to fight on for each other and for those who can’t fight for themselves and it will sustain us to continue that fight in the weeks and months and years to come.
“I look forward to waking up with you very soon again on Good Morning Britain to celebrate life in all its wonder and challenge again.”
She continued: “I hope you forgive me for taking some time to be at home. My family is so grateful that we could be with our dearest Derek in his final moments – something not all get to share.
“Maybe you too are going through grief yourself or have done in the past. I send love and support for you too.
“We are taking time to heal ourselves now that Darcey and Billy know their daddy is at peace and free from pain and struggle. I shall be thinking of you all until we are reunited very soon.
“In the meantime, hug your loved ones close. All my love, Kate.”
On Friday former prime minister Sir Tony Blair led the tributes, describing Draper as a “good colleague and great friend”.
After being diagnosed with Covid, Draper was put into a coma in April 2020 and did not wake from it until the October of that year.
Despite being Covid-free by early June, his body had undergone significant damage and he had been re-admitted several times to hospital over the past four years.
It was reported on GMB in December that Draper was in “a very serious condition” after suffering a heart attack.
Garraway is taking an indefinite leave of absence and has cancelled all of her TV and radio work.