TV presenter Martin Lewis has opened up about being not being able to leave the house after tragically losing his mother when he was only 11-years-old.
The finance expert spoke about the tragic loss during a Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, saying, “I never left the house, couldn’t leave the house, because I wasn’t at home when it happened to my mum and I couldn’t cope with the thought of leaving the house because something else could happen.
“It was very difficult because when all my friends from school were going to parties and meeting girls and things like that, which I’d have liked to do, I couldn’t cope with it.’
“I was a little boy struggling to deal with something that nobody should be dealing with at that age.”
How did Martin Lewis’ mum die?
Martin was only 11 years old, and a few days away from turning 12, when his mum, Susan Lewis, died in an accident.
‘What happened to me was, three days before my 12th birthday, I went to Sunday school, or Jewish Sunday school, as it was.
‘Someone strange picked me up and took me home. I knew them but it wasn’t what I was expecting and when I went home I was told there had been an accident’, he said during a Radio 5 Live interview.
‘My mum and my sister had been horse riding and there had been an accident involving a lorry, and nobody told me how serious it was’, he recalled.
Martin then confessed that he didn’t realise how serious the accident had been, and that his worry was that his mum wouldn’t be able to come to his birthday party.
‘I always remember worrying because my mum was in hospital and I was worrying that she wouldn’t be there for my birthday in three days time.
‘And my grandmother, my Dad’s mother, said to me, ‘It’s alright, she’ll be here for your Bar Mitzvah.’ I’m a Jewish boy, that happens when you’re 13, and I thought nothing of it.’
The TV presenter went on to say that his mother’s death marked the end of his childhood.
‘The next day my dad told me that she had died that morning and that was the end of my childhood, that moment. I cried every day until I was 15 and then I stopped crying and became brittle.’
‘I am still now 35-odd years later deeply scarred by what happened to me.
‘It was a defining moment of my life that changed the way I act and behaved, and it was devastating.’
The TV presenter opened up on the ITV show to promote a new Grief Talk helpline, which is run by Grief Encounter, where Martin is a patron.
Martin, who’s been married to Lara Lewington since 2009, added that he was only able to celebrate the day again after his daughter was born.
‘Even when I married my wife, when it was Mother’s Day, she would go with her mother for Mother’s Day and I could not go with,’ he admitted. ‘I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t cope with Mother’s Day.’
‘Only now, thank God, with the great joy of having my daughter, only now is my wife has become Mummy, has Mother’s Day become something that I can actually cope with going through’.
If any of the topics above have affected you, visit griefencounter.org.uk for support.