star claimed his late sister still visits him in his dreams as he marked the launch of National Grief Awareness week by urging the British public to be more open with their feelings.
The husband of Oscar-winning actress Dameraised awareness of the fundraising initiative – which aids 800 support services across the United Kingdom – during an appearance on Thursday’s edition of Lorraine.
And Greg, 55, admitted the country was hampered by a widespread reluctance to express raw emotion with others following the loss of a loved one.
Emotional: Strictly Come Dancing star Greg Wise claimed his late sister still visits him in his dreams as he marked the launch of National Grief Awareness week on Thursday
He said: ‘We are terrible in this country talking about grief and about being able to go friends who are grieving and help them and actually, all we need is a little bit of warmth, a little bit of support, a little bit of love and what this week is about is spreading some warmth.’
The actor spoke from experience after watching his beloved older sister Clare, a film industry executive, lose her battle with cancer in 2016 at the age of 51.
Greg eventually turned the candid blog she wrote about her fight against breast and bone cancer into a book, titled Not That Kind of Love.
Devastating: The actor saw his beloved older sister Clare, a film industry executive, lose her battle with cancer in 2016 at the age of 51
The actor later paid a moving tribute to Clare on Strictly Come Dancing in October by dedicating his final dance to her memory.
He said: ‘ [Grief] affects everyone in different ways – it lasts a different amount of time. All I say to everyone is the grief you feel equals the love you felt. It’s that clear, because the universe is balanced.
‘So the wonderful joy and love has to be balanced by the great great pain and the space that has been ripped out of you by this person dying.’
A good cause: The husband of Oscar-winning actress Dame Emma Thompson spoke grief about coping mechanisms during an appearance on Thursday’s edition of Lorraine
He added: ‘My sister died five years ago. I will always carry that around with me. The hole that was created by her death has become slightly less jagged over time, that’s all, but it’s all still there.
‘We are the expressions of the life we live. Look at all my fingers, they’ve all been broken over the years, my heart has been broken over the years, the shape we are is down to the love and the loss and we have to be able to explore that and share that.’
On dedicating his Strictly dance to Clare – a disco boogie to If You Could Read My Mind by Ultra Naté, Amber and Jocelyn Enrique – he explained: ‘She was the big disco diva, she was cremated in a glitterball coffin to baying old 80s disco music so I had to do this for her.
‘When people have died and have left us, they still come back from time to time. They still do reappear and that’s what the dance was about, this person has turned up, is this real? Let’s celebrate because we know this time is going to be short.
‘People who have died always come back. My sister constantly visits me in dreams and what’s wonderful about the fact that with the passage of time comes a bit more health, is that she was so very ill her last few years, she was so ill, but now she visits me as a healthy person, as the old silly fun sister – which is just wonderful.’
Dedication: Greg paid a moving tribute to Clare on Strictly Come Dancing in October by dedicating his final dance to her memory
Family: His late sister Clare was a fan of disco music (pictured with Greg and his wife Dame Emma Thompson)
Speaking after his Strictly performance Greg looked visibly overwhelmed with emotions as he told Claudia Winkleman: ‘People who’ve left us have never left us, they come back, they visit us, we can dance with them, and they leave again. That’s what this was about.’
Greg recalled how Clare was first diagnosed with breast cancer and had ‘brutal’ chemotherapy treatment, but it was later discovered that she also had bone cancer.
He said: ‘Family is fantastically important to me. I feel very fortunate that we’ve moulded, Emma and I, a family over the years and an extremely important part of the family was my sister Claire.’
He added: ‘It’s one of the hardest things, when you are with someone you love, witnessing their pain and their fear and to work out what you are able to do to mitigate that.
‘I think my sis will be absolutely thrilled that I’m doing this because of her. I hope that she will be laughing like crazy.’
Always there: ‘When people have died and have left us, they still come back from time to time,’ Greg told Lorraine, saying his sister still visits him ‘in his dreams’
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