Leah Bracknell’s widower has said his heart is truly broken, in an emotional tribute after the actress’s death.
Emmerdale star Bracknell died in September, three years after being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. She was 55.
Her widower Jez Hughes has penned a moving message on Facebook, in which he said Bracknell was “the bravest person I’ve ever met”.
He wrote: “Thank you everyone for all your kind words, prayers and love.
“They mean the world to me at this time and I apologise that I can’t respond individually as I haven’t the words in me right now.
“My darling wife, best friend and soul mate flies free in spirit.
“I have been the luckiest man in the world to spend time walking, dancing, laughing, praying, dreaming, singing, drumming, talking, travelling, crying, planning, hoping, loving, going wild, exploring, rebelling, forgiving, celebrating, playing, sharing secrets at dawn, opening hearts, minds and soul – alongside a woman of such depth, power, humour, humility, honour, intelligence and love- it is impossible to do justice to with the transient, flimsy power of words.”
Hughes said the late actress, who was born Alison Bracknell, was “the bravest person I’ve ever met” and said she “faced the last three years of cancer with dignity, grace and light”.
“She shone bright in this world with fire in her heart and water in her soul,” he said.
“The great mystery of existence always visible through her beautiful eyes.
“She inspired and changed the lives of so many, loved ones and strangers alike.
“Every day I learn of more people who she helped which brings the warmth of pride and gratitude to have known her into my heart.
“She taught me more than I’m able to comprehend and we shared more than I dreamt was possible in this life. More than either of us thought was possible.”
Hughes continued: “My heart is truly broken and the pain is intense as I wander aimlessly, waiting to awake from this dream, from hour to hour, day to day.
“My only prayer is that through the burning down of everything that I hold sacred and precious, through this raw, primal, timeless wound, something else will arise and I am able to embody just a little of Ali’s grace, bravery, tenacity, and lightness, in order to serve her legacy well in the world.”
ITV remembered Leah Bracknell as a “hugely popular member of the Emmerdale cast”, after the actress’s death at the age of 55.
Bracknell played Zoe Tate on the ITV soap for 16 years until 2005.
She also had roles in Judge John Deed, A Touch Of Frost, The Royal Today and DCI Banks