It was an emotional episode of Loose Women today as the family of murdered soldier Lee Rigby joined the presenters to chat about their loss.
Lee’s mum, Lyn, and his sister, Courtney, talked about what happened on the day four years ago when Lee was brutally murdered.
While Lyn spoke of how she felt “heartbroken” every day, the family also talked bravely of how they were trying to make sense of what happened, and help others.
“We’ve learned to live… how to get through the grief. It’s heartbreaking every single day. The grief doesn’t go away but you do learn to wake up with it, put your mask on and get through it every day,” said Lyn.
Lyn explained how the family were in tears earlier this year, as the Manchester bombing in May took place on the anniversary of Lee’s death.
“It hit me hard. We had been out celebrating Lee’s anniversary. It just hit me so hard,” she said.
“We actually stayed up crying all night. It was horrible, seeing mums pleading for the safety of their daughters put me right back to when Lee was killed. My heart went out to them.”
And she added that she felt so strongly about helping the grieving families that she’d met up with some of them, just to say she was there to support them.
“I saw a lady who was pleading for her daughter, hours after the bombing, and she didn’t know if she was alive or not. My heart went out to her and I wanted to connect with her. I found out she was a local lady. We went up to meet her and took a few presents up for the family.”
She also spoke about the foundation the family have set up in Lee’s memory, to support service men and women.
“We set it up as a legacy for Lee and keeping his name out there. It’s like a retreat, to get away as a grieving family, a military family or a veteran’s family. If you’re distressed, you can go away to the countryside.”
And his sister Courtney explained that she was hoping to study criminology at university.
She has been driven to her future career by her brother’s murder and said she wanted to study crime so she could “understand how someone could think like that”.
Andrea told the women: “You are incredibly brave to come on the show today. We are glad you have. We all know about Lee, but we know the horrific end to his life. The fact you’re carrying his memory forward is an incredibly brave thing and we salute you both.”
Viewers agreed and took to Twitter to praise the brave women.
“Inspirational,” said one viewer. “The family are so brave.”
“Such a brave family,” said another.
While another simply said: “My heart goes out to them.”
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV.