Death in Paradise’s Ralf Little on trauma of sisters tragic death

Death in Paradise is my ‘home’ says Ralf Little

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Death in Paradise star Ralf Little has opened up on how he coped with the trauma of his sister Ceri’s death in 1989 during a camping holiday. The actor, who plays DI Neville Parker, spoke candidly about her death affected him and why he credits therapy with helping him cope.

Speaking to Kate Thornton on her podcast White Wine Question Time, Ralf explained his parents kept him busy after Ceri’s death.

Ralf explained: “One regret that I have looking back is for them because they can’t ski, they didn’t join us on the ski club.

“They were so busy putting their time and energy into us that they sort of lost themselves and it slightly breaks my heart looking back.”

Kate asked: “Do you think as well though, I know you lost your sister as well when you were young.

“Your sister passed away in a terrible accident when she was 14, you were nine, do you think that had an impact on the way your parents kept so busy and kept you all so busy?”

The Death in Paradise star admitted: “I think it is a fair question.

“I mean that was already the way that things were, that plan had already been in place since day one.

“I don’t think it is a coincidence that it stepped up a level. Every win, every badminton tournament won, dance recital won, everything almost took on more significance than well done.

“Because it was probably very affirming for them to see us succeed in stuff in helping to pass that grief, so yes.”

As a mother of one, Kate expressed: “Also I think as well, you can’t even begin to comprehend that grief, I can’t as a parent, I wouldn’t want to be here without my son.

“And yet your parents didn’t have that option because they had three other children, so I guess you don’t sit with your sadness you just stay busy.”

Ralf agreed: “Yes, I think that is exactly true and I also think that attitudes are much more progressive now even more than they were two years ago, certainly than they were five years ago.

“But my attitude to things like counselling and therapy and all that kind of thing is so much more progressive to the point where we are now a bit like, ‘Maybe we should just go to therapy.’

“Not just to get over some trauma but maybe you should just go, even if you are not dealing with a specific issue, it can be like the brain equivalent of going to the gym.

“My parents never went to grief counselling or therapy and I can’t imagine how they processed that and what that must have been like for them.

“To this day never have and never will because it is just not what their generation does, it certainly wasn’t a done thing.”

Ralf has previously opened up on the way he handled the death of his sister.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4, he recalled: “It could have gone either way.

“I could have gone to school and just had this massive meltdown, rebelling, and being angry. I know now I was absolutely filled with rage.”

Death in Paradise airs Friday from 9pm on BBC One.

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