Life as a Widower

A young widowed father opening up about living with loss

big boys

A simple idea popped into my head whilst I was walking down the street with a friend earlier this week.

Big boys do cry.

We cry over sport whether we’re winning or losing. We let the tears run down our faces whilst they are displayed on TV screens around the world. We celebrate the emotion shown by athletes and we rally behind them when they break down so publicly. But we tell each other to ‘man up’ or ‘be strong’ when we are hit by loss and grief.

Here’s what I have to say about it in The Sun today. It’s available online (click here to view) and in print (you’ll need to go to the shop and buy it).

16 comments on “big boys

  1. Jackie D
    January 24, 2013

    My shrink says the best thing we can do for our kids is let them see us suffer, let them see us cry – and (crucially) let them see us recover. It’s essential to communicate by example the message that crying is a part of life, but that it’s just a moment, not forever – and that feelings pass.

    • EA
      January 24, 2013

      i dont think suffer is the right word

      I personally dont want my kids to see me suffer……cry yes
      share emotions and grief yes
      but NEVER suffer

      • Jackie D
        January 24, 2013

        Why not? Suffering is a part of life. Do you want your kids to think they’re odd for suffering when they never saw their parents do it?

        Suffering is a mandatory part of life; misery is optional. It is a parent’s duty to prepare their child for life without them, and showing them how to manage suffering and how to suffer well is part of that.

  2. Luci Morgan
    January 24, 2013

    Hi Ben

    I have immense respect for your article. Take care of yourself and beautiful son xxxx

  3. Kirsty
    January 24, 2013

    Hi read your story in the sun today. Your story is going to help many people. Could not read this story and move onto another without writing something on your blog. We are in a society where everything youve said is spot on. Just like women cry men should be able to cry and grieve to and it is ok to let it all out. It is better out than in.God bless you and your son in your time of grief and sorrow.

  4. Damien rock
    January 24, 2013

    I just read your interview in the sun newspaper and it moved me to tears I can’t imagine how you must be feeling but Wat your doing is just amazing my heart goes out to you and your son my thoughts and prayers are will you both.

  5. Sam
    January 24, 2013

    We should give our children more credit! They are more in tune with our feelings at times than we are. You are a brave man and your son will love you more for letting him in xxxx

  6. June Pender
    January 24, 2013

    Hi, just read about you in the Sun, I lost my mum when I was 14, and it was the first time I had seen my dad cry, I will never forget that moment (I am 57 now), I did not see it as weakness, just out of love for her, and the hurt that we both felt, it made us very close and we continued our journey as Dad & Daughter for many years until I lost him at age 90. Your son, will love and respect you for sharing your feelings with him, and it will help him deal with his loss too. xx

    • Mary McCaskey
      January 24, 2013

      Hi Ben, I’m so sorry for your loss. I was touched by your article, it drove me to tears, but also from a different perspective it made me realise how my father must have felt, he became a widower when I was 9 and my brother was 15. As a child I would see the pain in his eyes, and 19 years later I can still remember those eyes. I would do the same little things your son does, It was tough for us all but we became so close and now as a mother I respect my dad even more for how he raised us, Well done to you and to all the other widowed fathers out there, your son must be so proud of you , wishing you both all the best. Mary xxx

  7. Elaine Robson
    January 24, 2013

    There is nothing wrong with showing our feelings and emotions. Its not healthy to keep “a stiff upper lip”. We are all guilty of not telling children,partners,friends or parents how much we love them. Just a hug can mean so much. Tears are a release of emotion nothing wrong with that.

  8. Becky Watton
    January 24, 2013

    Hi Ben, i was so moved by reading your article in The Sun, i think what you are doing is amazing, and will give you strength and make you even stronger, you are helping others by sharing your grief with others. Your doing an amzing job and your beautiful son with love your more and more each day and will bring you closer, (if thats possible), stay strong and keep doing what you are doing. xxx

  9. dot pedley
    January 24, 2013

    i dont see any diference between a mom losin her husband or a dad losing his wife we all grieve the same and must be allowed to wotever . and u should never feel ashamed . your son will under stand this one day take heart

  10. Tony
    January 24, 2013

    Read your article in the sun today. It moved me to tears. I cant imagine what i would do if it was me. You have my respect and support for what your doing. Us men should show our emotions. Hugs and tears would go along way to helping us deal with things if only us men would do it. It would make us all better people. Stay strong my friend

  11. Brian A.
    January 24, 2013

    Ben. By accident I read the Sun today and came across your article. You are right that big boys do cry and I’m lucky enough to belong to a group of friends who accept this. My wife, soulmate and best friend died on October 9th 2010 and I’m still crying. We’d been together for 52 years. She’d recovered from breast cancer then was diagnosed with a very rare Leukaemia. From diagnosis to death was only 26 days which was terrifying. Suicide was very appealing initially. Now I count my blessings for having had her in my life. The pain is still huge. Thank you for sharing your truth and pain. Brian A.

  12. Jessica rose bell
    January 24, 2013

    Hi Ben,
    i read your story this afternoon and instantly shard it with all my friends on Facebook. Going back to work this evening your story was all i could think about and I’ve mention you and your beautiful yet heartbreaking story to every customer i have served. Your story made such an impact on my view of hu
    manity its unbelvable u are such a remarkable man and i wish you and your son all the best you really do deserve it. My prayers are with you guys.

  13. Jessica rose bell
    January 24, 2013

    Hi Ben,
    i read your story this afternoon and instantly shard it with all my friends on Facebook. Going back to work this evening your story was all i could think about and I’ve mention you and your beautiful yet heartbreaking story to every customer i have served. Your story made such an impact on my view of humanity its unbelvable u are such a remarkable man and i wish you and your son all the best you really do deserve it. My prayers are with you guys.

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