Shobna Gulati says late mother’s dementia battle would ‘unlock files of her past’


Coronation Street star Shobna Gulati has revealed how her mother’s dementia battle would ‘unlock files of her past’ and helped her see her mum ‘as a woman’. 

Actress Shobna, 53, from Oldham, appeared on Lorraine today, where she opened up about her mother Asha, who passed away in November 2019 after being diagnosed with the degenerative disease in 2017. 

She has since penned book Remember Me? which will detail her mother’s battle with the illness, and told how while caring for her mother towards the end of her life, she would discover ‘different things’ she never knew about her mother. 

Coronation Street star Shobna Gulati says her late mother’s dementia battle would ‘unlock files of her past’ and helped her see her mum ‘as a woman’. Pictured, Shobna with her mother Asha 

Former soap star Shobna, 53, from Oldham, appeared on Lorraine today, where she opened up about her mother Asha, who passed away in November 2019

Former soap star Shobna, 53, from Oldham, appeared on Lorraine today, where she opened up about her mother Asha, who passed away in November 2019

‘It’s really interesting,’ she said. ‘Once you’re sitting in a room with someone with dementia they remember different things that perhaps you didn’t know as people. 

‘Instead of seeing your mum, you see a woman and I was fascinated. It was as if she was unlocking file of her past. They don’t tell you everything, they just give you random moments.’ 

The actress played Sunita Alahan in Coronation Street between 2001 and 2006, returning to the popular role between 2009 and 2013. 

Shobna had named her on-screen daughter, played by Tanisha Gorey, after her mother, and told that it was a ‘happy coincidence’ that would eventually spark a memory to her mother. 

She has since penned book Remember Me? which will detail her mother's battle with the illness. Pictured, Shobna as a child with her mother Asha

She has since penned book Remember Me? which will detail her mother’s battle with the illness. Pictured, Shobna as a child with her mother Asha 

Shobna had named her on-screen daughter, played by Tanisha Gorey (pictured) , after her mother, and told that it was a 'happy coincidence' that would eventually bring back a memory to her mother

Shobna had named her on-screen daughter, played by Tanisha Gorey (pictured) , after her mother, and told that it was a ‘happy coincidence’ that would eventually bring back a memory to her mother

‘We would watch television when I was caring for her’, she told, ‘And she would recognise Asha and I would talk [to her] about naming my TV daughter after her and it helped. 

‘Mum was diagnosed in 2017 and it was sort of a happy coincidence that helped my mum remember, I was gifted that memory.’ 

Shobna insisted she feels ‘really lucky’ to have discovered so much about her mother, and found comfort in ‘re-imagining her’ following her death. 

‘I was really lucky to sort of discover her’, said Shobna, ‘And she died in November in the loss and the grief of losing her, I found a lot of comfort in re-imagining her and filing in all the gaps, because you don’t really see your parents as people.’ 

Shobna told host Lorraine Kelly (pictured) she feels 'really lucky' to have discovered so much about her mother, and found comfort in 're-imagining her' following her death

Shobna told host Lorraine Kelly (pictured) she feels ‘really lucky’ to have discovered so much about her mother, and found comfort in ‘re-imagining her’ following her death

She added that her mother would collect ‘everything’ printed in the press about her daughter’ 

‘She collected all my press cuttings and she would always collect everything for her three children,’ she explained. ‘But she collected everything – even thumbnails in cross words if I happened to be a clue.’ 

Last year the actress revealed her mum had lost her fight with the degenerative disease and had died ‘peacefully in her sleep’. 

She said via Instagram she was ‘completely heartbroken’ and ‘still processing’ the devastating news, and she struggles to live without her ‘amazing’ mother. 

'Our beautiful mum': Sharing a throwback snap of her mother to Instagram on , the former Coronation Street star paid tribute to the 'lynchpin' of her family

‘Our beautiful mum’: Sharing a throwback snap of her mother to Instagram on , the former Coronation Street star paid tribute to the ‘lynchpin’ of her family

'Life is different': Admitting that her life is 'now changed', the actress went on to reveal that she was 'completely heartbroken' and 'still processing' the devastating news

‘Life is different’: Admitting that her life is ‘now changed’, the actress went on to reveal that she was ‘completely heartbroken’ and ‘still processing’ the devastating news

In her heartbreaking caption, Shobna wrote: ‘Our beautiful mum passed away, a few weeks ago, peacefully in her sleep. Still processing, these days are hard. She was our lynchpin connecting us as a family. 

‘Our lives are changed and life is very different now. She did her very best and in the last 25 years I grew to know her as a person and the amazing woman that was our mum, and for that circumstance and time I am truly grateful. 

 ‘She taught me such a lot … but not how to live without her. Completely heartbroken.’

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