Konnie Huq has admitted she found it challenging grieving for her parents whilst trying to parent two young children herself.
The 45-year-old former Blue Peter presenter has taken part in photographer Rankin’s new exhibition Lost For Words, about grief, which includes a projection of her late father, who died from prostate cancer in 2014, and mother, who had dementia and died in 2017.
Huq told Entertainment Focus: “Both of my parents died within two years of each other when I had very young children. It was a weird time, watching them grow, learn to walk and my parents doing the opposite – the circle of life.
“Often people compartmentalise death and store it away, only for it to hit you when you least expect it. It’s such a personal thing that people are quite awkward around it and when it comes to other people, some are in touch to see how you are and others give you a wide berth – maybe because that’s what they wanted when they experienced loss themselves.”
The TV presenter – who is mother to sons Covey, eight, and Huxley, six, with husband Charlie Brooker – said she has learned it is important not to avoid talking about lost loved ones.
Watch: Ask Anna - I'm lonely and sad since my mum died - how do I rebuild my life?'
She said: “It is an important thing to have conversations in the immediate aftermath of loss but when the moment has passed, you feel you can’t bring it up or you’re harping on about the past, but it’s something that most people will encounter – so it seemed like good timing to contribute to Lost For Words, to pick-up that conversation again.”
“If you’re having a conversation you can own it more and have more control, but, if you are compartmentalising, you may sweep it under the carpet – and mentally it’s going to be manifested in some way, so having outlets for that dialogue is the best way to release build up.”
Huq – who found fame as a presenter on CBBC show Blue Peter – married satirist Brooker, 49, in 2010.
She recently revealed she gave him an ultimatum when he said he did not want to have children.
Speaking on the Lockdown Parenting Hell podcast, she told hosts Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe: "He didn't want kids but he hadn't met the right person and all that changed. I said, 'I am not really interested unless I am going to have kids.
"And so... he obviously saw the gene pool that I possessed and thought 'it wouldn't be right!' I dunno, he just sort of changed his mind.”
Watch: Konnie Huq hasn’t bought new clothes for 10 years