Helen McCrory left her children with some very moving words of comfort shortly before she sadly lost her battle with cancer.

Away from her critically acclaimed work on stage and screen, Helen has been described as a 'fearless wife' and 'incredible mother' by her grieving husband Damian Lewis, with whom the Peaky Blinders actress shared daughter Manon and son Gully.

Opening up the first time about his wife's secret cancer battle, Damian said nurses at the Royal Marsden hospital where she was treated told him they always looked forward to Helen coming in because she made their day better.

"Helen would say, 'Well their job is much more difficult than mine'. And she was dying," wrote Damian.

Damian Lewis has penned a heartfelt tribute to his life Helen McCrory, who died this week at the age of 52

Damian praised his beloved wife for having no 'real interest in self-reflection' and remaining 'utterly heroic' until the very end.

"She’s left our beautiful children, Manon and Gully, too early, but they have been prepared for life," he explained.

"They have in them the fearlessness, wit, curiosity, talent and beauty of their mother. She has exhorted us to be courageous and not afraid."

Sharing the advice Helen gave them, he continued: "As she said repeatedly to the children, “Don’t be sad, because even though I’m about to snuff it, I’ve lived the life I wanted to.'"

Helen McCrory leaves behind two children; Manon and Gully with husband Damian Lewis
Helen told her kids not to be sad about her death because she'd lived a very full life

Elsewhere in his Sunday Times tribute, Damian revealed that Helen gave her blessing for him to find love again after she'd gone.

The actor said Helen told him to have 'lots of girlfriends', adding that love was not possessive.

Her only stipulation was that she didn't want him to 'snog someone at the funeral.'

Helen also said she wants her husband to find love again after she's gone

Helen's death at the age of 52 caused huge shock in the entertainment industry on Friday when Damian posted a statement revealing that she had lost her battle with cancer.

The Harry Potter actress had made the decision to keep her health battle private to allow her to continue her work and charity campaigning as normally as possible.

Damian said she died peacefully at home 'surrounded by a wave of love from family and friends.'