Former Cricketer Andrew Strauss Opens Up About Losing His Wife
English cricketing legend Andrew Strauss has been open and honest about the devastating loss of his wife, Ruth, from cancer.
Ruth died eight months ago at the age of 46, after a battle with a rare form of lung cancer.
Strauss opened up to former English cricketer Jonathan Agnew in an emotional interview on BBC Radio.
The former England captain, who has been left the sole parent for his two sons, Sam and Luca, said his family is "navigating their way through" their grief one day at a time.
"It's definitely got bit easier, but at the same time that sort of grief doesn't leave you and you just have days where you remember and that's part of the process," Strauss said.
Before Ruth's death, she and Strauss were "most petrified" of the affect her death would have on their sons.
"You just have thoughts in the back of your mind that they're just not going to be able to deal with it," he said.
The couple had their sons see a bereavement therapist to prepare the boys for the loss of their mother.
"There's certain things you want to do, you don't want to lock them away from this, they need to be involved in it, they need to understand what is going on," Strauss said of the advice given.
"Don't be afraid to cry in front of them, explain how you are feeling, and that gives them permission to say how they are feeling.
"If you do those things, there's nothing preventing them from leading a really rich and full and happy life."
But the therapy also helped Ruth come to terms with leaving her children behind.
"For Ruth to hear that, the weight of her world came off her shoulders," Strauss said.
In the interview, he was joined by former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath, who Strauss reached out to following Ruth's death.
Having been widowed himself in 2008, when his wife Jane McGrath died of breast cancer, McGrath has become a close friend of Strauss.
"Hearing Andrew there takes you right back there. Jane was at home, we had a nurse looking after her, and she passed away there," McGrath said.
"The kids went up, gave her a kiss, said goodbye as she left."
Jane and Glenn McGrath founded the McGrath Foundation to provide breast care nurses to those suffering from the disease.
Every year, the Sydney Test is renamed the 'Pink Test' with third day called 'Jane McGrath Day', turning the Sydney Cricket Ground pink.
Andrew and Ruth began the Ruth Strauss Foundation, to help provide "emotional, psychological and wellbeing support to patients and their families going through a similar experience", and raise funds for research into rare lung cancers.
This year, during the second Ashes Test at Lord's Cricket Ground, spectators are encouraged to wear red -- Ruth's favourite colour -- on the second day.
"Ruth would have gone 'no, don't do that, please, it's not about me!' - and this isn't about her, actually," Strauss said.
"It's about her experience and using it as a way to make something positive come out of the situation.