Sam Armytage: ‘Losing your mother changes you’
Sunrise host Samantha Armytage has opened up about the grief she experienced following the recent death of her mother, Libby.
In a candid conversation for her new podcast Something To Talk About, the media personality confessed she had "never really experienced grief" before her mother's passing.
"To lose your mother is just such a pivotal and extraordinary event in a woman's life," Armytage told the preview episode's guest, Stellar editor-in-chief Sarrah Le Marquand. "It changes you as a person."
Often grief is a difficult thing to discuss and empathise with when you haven't personally experienced it. Armytage discovered this for herself after an uncomfortable encounter with an old friend.
"I remember standing in the carpark of Bunnings one day and I ran into an old school friend. She was very sweet and sorry, but she said to me - 'I don't know what I'd do without my mother'. And I thought, 'is that meant to make me feel better?' Six months ago, I don't know what I would have done without my mother, and now I have to work out life."
The loss of a loved one can be an isolating experience, which is why the 44-year-old sought out others who could relate. "It's like a little club that you go into if you've lost a parent. Particularly if you've lost a mother."
"It's a hugely defining experience," agreed Le Marquand, whose own mother passed away when she was 17. "The club becomes a little bit bigger as you get older. I think at your age, it is still something that your peers and your friends haven't been through."
Armytage's mother passed away in November of last year, just months after her father suffered a stroke. Now in her mid forties, the journalist explained that these life-altering events are taking place more and more often.
"We all go through this. We're all going to have older parents, we're all going to have parents that have a stroke or a heart attack - there will be these situations.
"It's a whole unknown world that you find yourself in. Navigating the aged care system or having to get a seat in the shower for your father - your big, strong, 6ft 2" father who was a farmer, who can now barely walk. It's an extraordinary thing that you go through."
Armytage credits her new husband Richard Lavender as the key reason she was able to keep her head up through the last 12 months. She wed the retired farmer in an impromptu ceremony on the last day of 2020, rounding out what she describes as a "shocker" of a year.
Newly married life is one of the many topics she plans to delve further into in the upcoming episodes of her new weekly podcast for Stellar.
The first episode premieres this Sunday, where Armytage sits down with Australian actor and entertainer Hugh Sheridan to discuss new projects, work controversies, and navigating private relationships in the public eye.
Something To Talk About with Samantha Armytage launches on Sunday with new episodes released weekly. In episode one Sam catches up with Hugh Sheridan for a raw, open and very funny sit down.
Originally published as Sam Armytage: 'Losing your mother changes you'