Waterloo Road actress Holly Matthews reveals how Jeff Brazier counseled her through husband’s death

Jeff Brazier Holly Matthews

by Francesca Specter |
Published on

Waterloo Road's Holly Matthews opened up on Lorraine about how Jeff Brazier, who was left in sole custody of his sons after his ex-wife Jade Goody passed away, counselled her through telling her kids about her husband's death

Holly lost her husband, Ross Blair. back in July, after he was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour in 2014. She told Lorraine about the pain of having to tell her daughters, Brooke, 6, and Texas, 4.

"The reality was that there was nothing they could do and that Ross was dying, I had the feeling that I needed to tell them."

WATCH: Holly Matthew's opens up on Lorraine about losing her husband, Ross Blair

However, she was at a loss of how to explain what was happening to young children: "'Oh Dad's got brain cancer'...what does that mean to a four-year-old and a six-year-old?"

Holly Matthews on Lorraine
Holly opened up to Lorraine Kelly (Credit: ITV/Lorraine) ©(Credit: ITV/Lorraine)

She was helped by Jeff Brazier, who had to tell teenage sons Bobby and Freddie about the death of their mother, Jade Goody, back in 2009.

"He phoned me and we spoke, and he gave me to the confidence to…it backed up what my intuition was telling me and he said you need to tell them, you must tell them.

"Just like adults, they need to grieve before, they need to say sorry, or I love you, they need to say goodbye."

Shortly before Ross' death, Holly opened up with a raw and honest post on Facebook, during his final moments in a hospice.

Ross was diagnosed with and Holly has spent a month by his side during his final moments in a hospice.

holly matthews
Holly with husband Ross shortly before his death (Credit: Facebook/Holly Matthews

On the social media site, she wrote, “What a f***ed up reality to be waiting for one of the people you love most in the whole world to die and even hoping that it will come soon.

“That is a weird space to be in, but a space that I and his family are living in.

“Grieving before they have gone, waiting for the last breath, half knowing it's best if it is, half relieved when it's not.

“None of this feels real at all and I keep having moments of 'what the f***?!', 'how did we even get here?!’

“And I have to drag my mind into the now and deal with it.”

The father-of-two underwent brain surgery and chemotherapy after being diagnosed with the rare grade-4 primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET).

holly matthews
Holly kisses dying husband Ross in a candid shot (Credit: Facebook/Holly Matthews)

At the time, doctors gave him a 50/50 chance of surviving for more than five years. He responded well to treatment so his condition remained stable for two years.

They later discovered the tumour had grown, so Ross underwent an operation to remove 75 per cent of tumour. He also underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy and again responded well, so the family enjoyed a holiday together.

However two days after his holiday, Ross had a seizure and his health has since deteriorated. Holly’s husband was taken to hospital before being transferred to Coventry hospice, where they stayed for a month.

Our thoughts are with Holly and her family at this time.


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