Former Ashes-winning cricket captain Andrew Strauss has opened up about how he coped with the death of his wife last year.
The ex-England skipper lost his wife Ruth to an inoperable form of lung cancer last December aged just 46.
Speaking on ITV’s ‘Lorraine’, Strauss opened up about the grieving process and having to help the couple’s two sons come to terms with the tragedy.
“It was a horrible situation for us knowing Ruth was gonna die, but Ruth was very very keen, she always talked about doing death well,” he told presenter Lorraine Kelly.
"That meant involving the kids, making sure they understood what we were going through, but also just preparing ourselves for what was to come.
“It was a big thing for her when the end came to know that we were as well set up for life after her as possible.”
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Strauss met Ruth in 1998 before they married five years later.
The couple have two sons, Sam and Luca, and the former Middlesex batsman revealed how the three have worked to come to terms with their loss.
“My role as a father has changed and so there’s a big adjustment period for me, but you also have to move forward especially when you’ve got young kids.
“You have to create an environment that allows them to sort of grow and prosper as well.
“The boys are very strong, they’re adapting to a new life exceptionally well, and they’ve got great support from friends and family around them.”
As captain, Strauss led England to Ashes victory over Australia in 2009 and often credits Ruth for her support during the series.
Following his retirement from the game, he was appointed director of England cricket in 2015.
Strauss stepped down from his role at the ECB following Ruth’s diagnosis in order to spend more time caring for her before her death.
To establish a legacy for Ruth, Strauss has set up a foundation in her name which aims to discover more about the rare form of cancer that took her life. It also provides support for those in a similar positions.
“The reality is that we tend to leave people to grieve on their own. It’s a hard thing for people to know what to say.” he added. “Having professional help is really important.”
“People say ‘you don’t go and see a counsellor unless things are really bad’ - well, you go and see a counsellor to avoid things getting really bad so the foundation is designed to give people going on a similar journey to the one we’ve been on some professional support if they need it and to also start this conversation about death.”