Life as a Widower

A young widowed father opening up about living with loss

babes’ mouths

Well yesterday took me by surprise. I’ve been telling people how I’m dreading Jackson’s friends getting to that age where they start to compare themselves to others around them. That age when they start to care less about Peppa Pig as a programme and more about why not all families are made up of two little piggies, a rather perfect mummy pig, a somewhat bumbling daddy pig, and two grandpigs that are still alive and well enough to jump in muddy puddles.

That day seemed ages off though. Until it wasn’t. And that was yesterday.

One of Jackson’s best friends, who has seen him a hundred times since Desreen was killed, suddenly asked the question yesterday.

“Where’s Jackson’s mummy?”

Two adults froze and gawped at one another.

Jackson, a child 31 years our junior, casually looked up and replied, “She’s gone away, in the sky far away. She can’t come back.”

He then continued to play with his trains before moving on to a spot of colouring with crayons and inks.

Although I felt sad that he was having to explain why his mum was no longer here, I was also so proud of everyone who has had a role in delivering a consistent message to him. Sure, heaven has come into the equation for some people, ‘the sky’ has slipped in when it wasn’t quite the message I’d originally communicated, but the important thing is that my son can answer for himself. That he doesn’t follow a question with a question.

Although my heart breaks for him, I just can’t imagine how much worse it’d be for him if he was still asking all the questions himself.

I know every parent does but I just can’t tell you how much I love that boy.

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8 comments on “babes’ mouths

  1. Deborah
    April 30, 2013

    For me, as a Buddhist, sky is just perfect. What a darling boy.

  2. alysonsblog
    April 30, 2013

    you are so right, that consistent message is so important, and he is clearly in a place where he feels comfortable and not awkward to talk about it and for that you should be proud of yourself

  3. Donna
    April 30, 2013

    Beautiful Ben , and as my girls say ‘ my daddy walks beside me everyday , he holds my hand’ . Because as I tell them, he always will. Hope the new house has become your home xx

  4. SHARRON
    April 30, 2013

    Aaaaaahhhh……….Represent my son…..Represent….. Gwarn JACKSON XXXX

  5. lesley
    April 30, 2013

    My 3 year old niece tells people how her daddy has died and is in the sky and how happy he is because he knows we love him so much. It breaks my heart whenever she says it ( which is often and usually in a loud voice when we are out). however that is better than her questioning where her daddy is. Its so hard being a grown up. I wish I could think of my brother being happy like lily does

  6. Pingback: six months | life as a widower

  7. Lunar Hine
    May 1, 2013

    My girl, just turned three, says,
    Dada died because his heart stopped working. So we snuggled him up [he has a felt cocoon instead of a coffin] in the hill and now he’s growing into trees. When I’m a grown-up I’m going to build a tree house in them and live there with Dada and we can talk to each other.
    The tree house was all her own idea and I love it. It may even be possible one day.
    She’s just started nursery and I’m dreading Fathers’ Day (which I feel a bit guilty about), but hopefully she can say all this or whatever feels right if she has to.
    Thanks for this blog. It reminds me that progress, of a sort, is happening.

  8. Lesley
    May 1, 2013

    Honey – you are incredible and have been meaning to write to you for months. I live on West End Lane and heard the commotion that awful evening. You are so strong. I cannot imagine your pain… It’s terrible. Pls can we spk on lesleygivens@aol.com

    Big love x

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