Damian Lewis is remembering his late wife, Helen McCrory, in a heartfelt tribute, and he's marveling at how she "spread happiness" even in her final days.
"Many people have spoken about her career and many more will, so that's where I'll leave it, because it strikes me that two things are happening this weekend: an outpouring of grief and shock, and a celebration of Helen McCrory the actress from fans everywhere, and of Helen the person," Damian wrote in an essay for The Sunday Times. "And that's who I want to talk about."
"Helen was an even more brilliant person than she was an actress," the "Billions" star continued. "She was a people person, sure. 'I'm much more interested in who I'm with than where I am,' she would say, and innately wanted to share. But she also lived by the principle of kindness and generosity. That you put these things out into the world to make it better, to make people feel better."
On April 16, Damian announced that Helen had passed away at the age of 52 after a battle with cancer. Still, the "Harry Potter" star managed to "spread happiness" as her time was coming to an end.
"Even when dying in her last few days, when talking to our wonderful carers, she repeatedly said, 'thank you so much' in her half delirious state," Damian said. "I've never known anyone able to enjoy life as much. Her ability to be in the present and enjoy the moment was inspirational. Nor was she interested in navel-gazing. No real interest in self- reflection; she believed in looking out, not in. Which is why she was able to turn her light so brightly on others."
In addition to Damian, Helen leaves behind two teenage children.
"They have in them the fearlessness, wit, curiosity, talent and beauty of their mother. She has exhorted us to be courageous and not afraid," Damian said of daughter Manon, 14, and son Gulliver, 13.
The actor gave fans an insight into the waning hours of the beloved "Peaky Blinders" star's life.
"She has been utterly heroic in her illness. Funny, of course — generous, brave, uncomplaining, constantly reminding us all of how lucky we've been, how blessed we are. Her generosity has extended to encouraging us three to live. Live fully, take opportunities, have adventures," he said. "Already I miss her. She has shone more brightly in the last months than you would imagine even the brightest star could shine. In life, too, we had to rise to meet her. But her greatest and most exquisite act of bravery and generosity has been to 'normalise' her death. She's shown no fear, no bitterness, no self-pity, only armed us with the courage to go on and insisted that no one be sad, because she is happy."
"I'm staggered by her," he said of his late wife. "She's been a meteor in our life."