The TV presenter, 56, said goodbye to her husband of almost 20 years on January 3 after former political lobbyist Draper had a cardiac arrest following years of complications since he contracted Covid in March 2020.
Draper died aged 56 holding Kate’s hand after spending Christmas and New Year together with their children – Darcey, 17, and Billy, 14 – in hospital.
In her first interview since his death, surrounded by lego and flowers in a video call on the ITV show from home, Kate took a pause before talking to the camera, looking teary throughout the chat.
‘Do you know what, they arrived with this this morning, it’s amazing. This is from you, beautifully done, thank you,’ Kate said of all the gifts she’s received.
‘I’ve also got three baskets of messages, cards from viewers, from crew. I’m sure you picked out many of them in here. It’s just amazing and it feels like my emotions are at 110%.
Politicians and famous faces arrived in force to support Kate and her family at Draper’s funeral (Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
‘The unbelievable love that we all have as a GMB family, and ITV generally. I think we are lucky,’ she said.
As well as an outpouring of sympathies from fans, Kate revealed how she received a handwritten letter from David and Victoria Beckham, as well as correspondence from the Royal Family in the wake of Draper’s death.
After months off work, Kate will rejoin co-host Ben Shephard on Thursday marking her return to work.
‘A new life starts now. I don’t quite know how it’s going to be, but grief isn’t containable in a day or a month or a year,’ Kate explained.
Of going back to the studio, Kate said: ‘We have to pick ourselves up and go on and that’s what Derek did, and would want me to do. Thank you to everybody that’s made it possible.’
Billy, she joked, was late for school as Kate spoke. ‘Somebody better tell him to hurry up or I’ll be in trouble with the teachers,’ she said.
Kate and Draper’s daughter Darcey was a coffin bearer for his funeral (Picture: PA)
The mum-of-two spoke of how her children had been ‘extraordinary’ throughout their shared grief, and explained how it was hard for them to hear ‘so many times’ that he wouldn’t survive.
Of Draper’s final weeks, Kate said: ‘Derek could still hear. It was a challenge to make Derek not feel like he was letting us down. They were so beautiful the children, about that.’
She also recalled her daughters Darcey’s ‘brave’ words to her dad, tearing up at the memory.
‘Darcey said, “Dad if you can’t do this we’ll be okay, you release yourself if you need to go. Don’t worry about us,”‘ recalled Kate, adding: ‘I thought that was brave.’
Throughout the chat, Kate made the point that she’s not the only person going through such pain, and there are people in mourning everywhere.
While some are not lucky enough to get to say goodbye, Kate explained: ‘I had the chance to hold his hand, smell his skin, and say, “We’re here,” all the way through.’
Kate has kept a low profile in recent weeks since Draper’s death, aside from her emotional appearance at his Primrose Hill funeral on February 2, for which Darcey was a coffin bearer.
Today, Kate revealed Darcey ‘insisted’ on carrying the coffin at the funeral.
‘She said, “Please will you let me carry the coffin,”‘ recalled Kate. ‘I said, “Crikey, that’s a practical challenge, it’s a heavy thing,” and she basically insisted on doing it. I thought that was a beautiful thing.’
The family were joined by a plethora of famous faces and politicians at the ceremony, which took place at the same church Kate and Draper wed in 2005.
After a successful career in politics, Draper retrained as a therapist, and Kate revealed at his funeral she met someone for the first time whose life he’d saved.
Kate generously shared her experience of caring for Derek over his four-year battle with long Covid through personal documentaries – Kate Garraway: Caring for Derek, and Kate Garraway: Finding Derek – for which she has been credited with raising awareness of the condition, and the job of the country’s carers.
‘People will know how unbelievably hard it is, but what an honour is too,’ Kate said of her role as a carer for Derek over the past few years.
Kate and Draper married in 2005 (Picture: James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock)
‘I wish I was caring for Derek today,’ she said, welling up. ‘It’s the ultimate honour and privilege.’
The presenter said supporting carers will be her ’cause forever’ and while she is going to talk about ‘so much that needs to change’ in due course, for now she’s focusing on giving an ‘outpouring of love’ to those who have supported them.
Announcing his death on January 5, Kate took to social media and wrote: ‘As some of you may know he has been critically ill following a cardiac arrest in early December which, because of the damage inflicted by Covid in March 2020, led to further complications.
‘Derek was surrounded by his family in his final days and I was by his side holding his hand throughout the last long hours and when he passed.’
The Good Morning Britain presenter went on to write: ‘I have so much more to say, and of course I will do so in due course, but for now I just want to thank all the medical teams who fought so hard to save him and to make his final moments as comfortable and dignified as possible.
‘Sending so much love and thanks to all of you who have so generously given our family so much support. Rest gently and peacefully now Derek, my love, I was so lucky to have you in my life.’
Draper’s death came after he was left ‘fighting for his life’ following a ‘massive heart attack’ in December.
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