Emmerdale’s Laurel is about to face the toughest time of her life, as her husband Ashley loses his battle with vascular dementia and dies.
And according to actress Charlotte Bellamy, Laurel’s grief and despair could see her spiral back into alcoholism.
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In heart-breaking scenes next week, Laurel will arrange for her husband Ashley (John Middleton) to leave hospital and return to their home to pass away peacefully.
She and her father Doug are devastated as doctors tell them there is no chance that Ashley will recover. So after deciding that the former vicar would want to return home, his friends and family gather to say their goodbyes.
And there won’t be a dry eye in the house as Laurel has to break the news to their children, before the couple share their final moments together.
“Ashley has pneumonia, but she doesn’t want him to die in hospital where it is clinical and cold,” Charlotte told Woman’s Own magazine.
“She wants him to be at home surrounded by his family and his children, by the pictures around him of his life. She doesn’t know how long he has, but she knows that it’s days.”
But, as she is left to cope with the aftermath of her husband’s death – and caring for their grieving children – could Laurel end up turning to the bottle again for comfort?
“She is an alcoholic and she’s off the drink at the moment, but there’s always the possibility that she might wobble,” explained Charlotte.
“Especially with the tragedy that lies ahead.”
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It’s set to be a long hard road for the grieving wife. Let’s hope she gets through it without the booze.