Rothe — the singer’s long-term partner — died in March this year at the age of 67 after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
Returning to the ITV show for the first time in two years, McDonald said he was a “golden” man.
She went on: “One thing I’m grateful for… because it was in lockdown, nobody was allowed to take care of him, so I had to have a crash course in nursing. A nurse came and showed me how to do everything. Because it was lung cancer, they were scared of him getting Covid... I took over everything.
"That was a privilege.
“At first I thought, ‘How am I going to do this?’ But then you get a strength when you’re nursing your loved one. I learnt how to do it. I changed all the dressings and I cared for him and I nursed him and I’m glad I did.”
The emotional star said it had been a “tough” time but that there was so many people going through the same thing and that she was thinking of them too.
McDonald and Rothe, who was in 60s band The Searchers, first got together when they were younger then reunited almost 30 years later after a chance meeting. They got engaged in 2008.
“Thirteen years of absolute bliss and that’s how I’m getting through it,” said McDonald.
“I’m not thinking about the last six months because it was horrendous. I’m thinking how grateful I’ve been.”
The TV star said she was not very good at being sad.
She said: “So every day when I wake up and get that thud that someone’s just hit me, I think, ‘Are you going to go down the dark place where you’ve even for the last year, or are you going to be grateful for everything you’ve got in your life and grateful for the time you had with him, and remember him how I want to remember him?’”