It’s been nine years since Lisa Riley’s mother, Cath, tragically died in her arms after a cancer diagnosis — but the Emmerdale actress reveals the painful grief she felt is still as raw .
Speaking in an emotional podcast for Sue Ryder charity, the 45-year-old Manchester-born star, Griff Kind, has revealed intimate and poignant details about her beloved mom’s final moments — and admitted to attending Strictly Come Dancing. It helped him and his family recover. .
Competing in a dance show in 2012, Lisa told how she kept the news of her mother’s death a secret so that she would not get the sympathy vote.
When Lisa and her partner Robin Windsor opened the Wembley show, the producers left one seat vacant so that her mother was “there”.
In the candid podcast Lisa also talked about how her biological clock “didn’t let her be a mother”—but she’s grateful in part because she doesn’t want her child to go through the pain she still feels about losing a parent. Suffers after.
She also recounts how she and her mother were still laughing and joking together on the day of his death, with Cath admitting that she felt like she was on an episode of The Sopranos when her family said goodbye. was gathered for.
‘I feel like I’m being judged’
Cath was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died in 2012, 12 years after being diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in 2000.
Breaking down on the podcast, Lisa — who plays Mandy Dingle on the ITV soap Emmerdale — revealed how she first noticed her mom had sore breasts when she came out of the shower one day.
“I’m a woman, I know what breasts should look like,” she told host Clover Stroud.
The actress also revealed that she felt judged for still grieving for her “life and soul” mother, adding: “I still feel sometimes, ‘Should I end this now? What should I do? people looking at me i’m stupid [because] I’m still in a lot of pain?’
“I feel like I’m being judged because of the sadness… Basically, it doesn’t go away, you learn to live with it.”
still tell jokes on his death
Lisa – who recently revealed her ex ‘booz hell’ – also revealed how her mom and family got through the dark days by cracking jokes her mom called herself a “wonky ass” after her breast cancer op. Said, and even made people laugh. The day she died in Lisa’s arms.
Lisa said: “We always laughed and joked.
“In the last three days we got what was called Night Nanny… Mom was just so tired. I couldn’t sleep. I was looking at her like a newborn baby.
“She died in the morning, night Nani said, ‘It’s going to happen today’.
“We come from a very devout Catholic family… so we called the priest.
“Mother looks at the priest and she says, ‘What are you doing here?’ You don’t swear by a priest! But she was the mother, and then she looked around us and said, ‘I think I’m in an episode of The Sopranos.
“I heard him say to Aunt Joyce… ‘Can you please fell some trees?’ And Joyce said ‘Why?’ And she said, ‘The amount of paper will require Lisa to write my praises’.”
told to prepare for death
Lisa also revealed her family’s frustrations and anger through laughter as her mother battled cancer, saying: “We got quite angry as a family because it was like… today… it really It is a matter of protection, which is giving us pamphlets.
“They were basically saying, ‘Will you go and sort out your mom’s coffin… Mom felt like that.
“There was a picture of me and our Liam next to her bed all over the hospital, and she just said, ‘No matter what, I’m fighting and I won’t stop fighting for the two of you because you’re all my life. I should’.”
‘Strictly our family was the object of mourning’
Incredibly, Lisa chose to keep her mother’s death a secret during Strictly Come Dancing that year, saying that appearing on the BBC show helped her entire family through their shared grief.
She explained: “Strictly our family was mourning. They’d come down from Manchester every Saturday. They’d come to the audience, everyone made a ruckus, and my dance was on the rise and they were loving it. ”
Lisa also shared how she didn’t for a moment think she’d be involved in the Wembley episode — which is now held in Blackpool — but that night was “magical” when she got the chance to open the show for her mom. The chance was given.
She recalled: “The producers knew I was really struggling. Robin would have talked to them and said, ‘He’s a mess’ – there’s only so much you can cover me in sequins and do my hair.” and cannot hide the pain.
“I never wanted the press to know that Mom had died because I didn’t want anyone to vote for us knowing she had just passed away.
“[A producer] organized that [my family] Were at Wembley’s front line and Robin and I were going to open Wembley and [they] Mother was there when one seat was left vacant. That night was magical.”
‘I don’t know if I could have coped with a baby’
BAFTA winner Lisa, who talks openly about her IVF struggles, explained how “unfortunately” her biological clock “didn’t let me be a mother”.
She continued: “I don’t know if I could ever have a baby because I don’t want my child to go through the pain I go through… I don’t want to do that to my worst enemy.
“I put myself in my work. I am very lucky because I can use my pain in my work.
“I’ve never [had to] Use a tear stick. I have a really special angel who wants me to do well and she was there when I was nine when I started acting… and she’s still with me.”
‘I am carrying on his legacy’
Now, despite her pain, Lisa chooses to carry on her mother’s legacy – revealing that he promised to remember her through her beautiful smile.
She said: “Her love for life, her smile – which I’m so glad I carried on.
“I promised her, even in the last week of her life, ‘If there’s one part of your legacy I’m going to take it’s your smile,’ and that’s lightning. [that] It becomes so inviting to others.
“That’s what he did – he invited people into it … he had a zest for life.”
Appearing on Lorraine this morning, Lisa said: ‘I’ve struggled massively hard to be judged. When I’m at work I put it on set with Emmerdale…everyone knows me as this fun, happy personality that I am.
“But the days I’m down, I find myself going, ‘It’s okay, okay,’ because I feel like I’m being judged.
“People are like, ‘Come on Liz, it’s been nine years – you should have gotten over this by now.’ Well no – it’s as bad today as it was nine years ago in July when my mother passed away.”
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