Michael Palin reflects on love, loss and shared memories as he nears first anniversary of wife’s passing

Apr 18, 2024
In a touching interview, Michael Palin opens up about navigating grief after bidding farewell to his wife, Helen. Source: Getty Images.

Almost a year has passed since beloved actor and comedian, Michael Palin, bid farewell to his wife, Helen.

Now in a recent heartfelt interview, Palin shared insights into his ongoing journey through grief, reminiscing about the cherished moments and qualities he misses dearly as he approaches what would have been their 58th anniversary

“I find myself looking for reassurance she was terribly good at telling me what I should do and what I shouldn’t do,” he said during an appearance on ITV’s Lorraine. 

“She knew what I liked and when I was happy with work, rather than getting into something I didn’t like, so I do miss that.”

Reflecting on the lighter moments they cherished together, Palin shared, “I miss the jokes that we used to have together.”

“I mean it would be our 58th anniversary and every anniversary we used to try and do something with increasing incredulity – that humour, I do miss a lot,” he said.

“I knew Helen for 60 years and no-one else in my life have I known for such a long time.

“In that time you build up so many experiences, so many mutual experiences that you just don’t need to make a big thing out of it.”

Fans were quick to rally around Palin after the Monty Python star took to his website to announce the tragic passing of his “dearest wife”, Helen in May 2023. 

“My dearest wife Helen died peacefully in the early hours of Tuesday morning. She had been suffering with chronic pain for several years, which was compounded a few years ago by a diagnosis of kidney failure,” he wrote at the time.

“We first met on a summer holiday on the Suffolk coast when we were both sixteen and we married in our early twenties. Two and a half weeks ago we celebrated our 57th wedding anniversary.

“Her death is an indescribable loss for myself, our three children and four grandchildren.

“Helen was the bedrock of my life. Her quietly wise judgment informed all my decisions and her humour and practical good sense was at the heart of our life together.

“The family ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”

While fans offered their condolences it was the support from his fellow Monty Python members that Palin revealed was “touching” and “very sincere”.

During an interview with Radio Times, shedding light on the profound bond that still exists between the Pythons.

Although Palin acknowledged that they didn’t communicate as often, he expressed his gratitude for his co-stars reaching out following his loss.

“No, we don’t speak to each other very often. There’s no ex-Pythons WhatsApp group or anything,” Palin said.

“But we are in touch, and their reactions to Helen’s death, from all of them, were very touching, very immediate and very sincere. I really appreciated that.”

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