Dame Maureen Lipman: Coronation Street star turned to therapy to help with grief

Maureen Lipman discusses 'woke' culture in acting

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Dame Lipman, who was made a dame in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to charity, entertainment and the arts spoke out about the loss of her partner of 13 years for the first time late last year and how she had turned to art therapy in order to cope with grief. Castro, who was aged 84 when he passed away, had been receiving treatment for Parkinson’s disease before learning he was positive for Covid. Despite being vaccinated, Dame Lipman described the virus as having “knocked the stuffing out of” her partner who died after a short while with the infection.

Opening up about her grief and how she coped after the loss of Castro, Dame Lipman told The Mirror: “My experience is just one of thousands of feeling bewildered and out on a limb.

“The residual pain, the grief, I let it drip out inclemently. Sometimes I can’t sleep.

“It is unbelievable to have to say goodbye to somebody with gloves and a pinafore on.

“He survived COVID in a care home. But he didn’t really survive. It knocked the stuffing out of him.”

Despite her heartbreak, Dame Lipman threw herself back into her work, motivated by The Queen, who also returned to work just 10 days after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death back in April 2021.

“I don’t know what to do if I am not working, I don’t know what to be if I am not working,” she continued to explain.

“I lost my partner in January and what gets me through is what gets the Queen through, work.”

In addition to work, Dame Lipman also took up art therapy, and often finds herself painting or doodling her late partner’s face.

She said: “I just painted him and painted him and painted him until I got it out of my system.

“It is therapeutic. I still paint him – I still often find myself doodling his face.

“It changes you,” she added, talking about the benefits of art therapy.

Speaking briefly about her own health, Dame Lipman believed she also caught Covid in May 2021, fearing that she may have inadvertently transmitted the virus to Castro.

Speaking about the symptoms she experienced, she told Lady magazine: “I believe myself to have had a mild form of coronavirus masquerading as a fortnight’s persistent cough, with attached fatigue and sweats.”

With Covid still rampant in the UK, the latest data reveals that there were another 94,524 infections reported on Tuesday, March 22, revealing that infections have surged by about a fifth week-on-week.

The Evening Standard reported that this figure compares with 226,524 reported on Monday, March 21 – the highest figure posted by the UK since the start of the pandemic more than two years ago, although that included positive tests over the weekend.

Despite this Tuesday’s figures being 14 percent lower than the previous week, looking at a wider time frame suggests that infections are still on the rise.

In addition another 250 deaths have been reported within 28 days of a positive Covid test, a significant rise compared with the 169 reported on Monday.

The newest hybrid variant to be identified in the UK is known as deltacron, which combines both the delta and omicron variants of Covid. As there are so few cases confirmed in the UK it is too soon to know whether deltacron infections are more transmissible in comparison to other variants.

According to the NHS, the symptoms of deltacron are the same as typical Covid symptoms, but researchers are closely monitoring it.

These common Covid symptoms are:

  • High temperature: This means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
  • New, continuous cough: This is defined as coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste (anosmia): This means you have noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

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