Californication star Natascha McElhone published a book titled, After You: Letters of Love, and Loss, to a Husband and Father in 2010.

The book consisted of a series of letters the actress wrote to her late husband, Martin Kelly, who passed away unexpectedly. 

It was her way of dealing with grief and keeping the memories of her spouse alive. 

She detailed the different stages of grief where she was confused, furious, bitter, and depressed. 

The actress wrote the letters as if her spouse had never left and were in a long-distance relationship. 

She shared the smallest details of her day, their kid's triumphs, and how much she missed him.

In the book, McElhone noted that one of the most difficult things to cope with was the fading image of her husband. 

The realization that her memories of him were fading as time went by was something she was not prepared for. 

She compared the experience to "blowing air into a balloon that deflated faster and faster each time," which became soul-crushing. 

Natascha McElhone on Receiving News of Her Husband's Death

In May 2008, McElhone was on set in Los Angeles filming the hit TV series Californication alongside David Duchovny when she received the devastating news. 

Her husband's best friend, Neil Randhawa, had called her and told her that Kelly had collapsed at the couple's London home entrance. 

Kelly was rushed to the hospital where he had worked as a plastic surgeon, but unfortunately, he could not be revived. 

He passed away from dilated cardiomyopathy a day after their 10th wedding anniversary.

"I dropped the phone and my knees buckled under me," she recalled. 

Natasha McElhone and her Californication co-star David Duchovny.

Natascha McElhone and her Californication co-star, David Duchovny. (Source: David Duchovny/Instagram)

The actress had met her spouse at the age of 16 and gotten together in their mid-20s. 

She had been single for a couple of years while her husband had been in his party animal phase.

So when she found out that Kelly had traded that lifestyle to become a doctor, she was surprised. 

They eventually started dating, and two weeks after, McElhone knew Kelly was the one. 

Natascha McElhone's Life without Her Husband

Upon receiving the news of her spouse's death, the first thing that came to the actress' mind was breaking the tragic news to their kids, then eight-year-old Theo and five-year-old Otis. 

A part of McElhone did not want to tell them, but she knew it was better if they heard it from her than anyone else. 

Her older son started wailing while her younger one observed his older brother to decide how to react. 

Immediately after, the actress began writing letters to Kelly to deal with the loss. Then, six months after his death, she gave birth to their third son, Rex. 

Her friends offered to be with her for the baby's birth, but McElhone wanted to do it alone if her partner could not be there. 

And it was Rex that helped her bereaved family pull through the tragedy. 

The new baby occupied the family and took some focus away from their pain.

Almost two years later, McElhone wrote in her book that she felt happiness in her life which she didn't think was possible.