Life as a Widower

A young widowed father opening up about living with loss

birthday boy

Jackson, my boy, as you’re three today,

There are two or three things that I’d like say.

There are one or two things you might never have known,

And there are some things I’ll remind you of when you are grown.

One lovely thing that I’d first like to say,

Is that we found out you were coming on Valentine’s Day.

We waited a long time for you to come,

Then finally you were there in your Mummy’s tum.

And you slept best in there during the day,

When you’d never wriggle nor ever play.

At night, however, your limbs grew twitchy,

You’d stop Mummy sleeping and that made her witchy.

So she ate strange things to ease her troubles,

Like fistfuls of soap and Fairy liquid bubbles.

Did you know you like fish fingers because of your Mummy?

She ate millions of them when you were in her tummy.

Did you also know she nearly called you Sonny?

Or that we named you Jackson after my mummy’s mummy?

It was Great-Grandma’s last name when she was a baby,

Do you remember her, Jackson? She was a lovely lady.

And there’s still so much that I’d like to say,

About my boy born on a Sunday.

And that’s the day that Daddy came too,

But I don’t think I held out as long as you.

You took four days and Daddy grew drowsy,

I shouldn’t have told Mummy though, she thought that was lousy.

You were perfect that day, your skin soft as peaches,

You wouldn’t come naturally but that spared your features.

And the emergency delivery room was so chilly,

That Mummy didn’t even notice your willy.

You had big brown eyes and hair that looked styled,

And everyone said that you’d drive the girls wild.

You drove our hearts crazy, that’s for sure,

You changed our lives forever more.

And the next two years were our happiest ever,

And I won’t forget them, son, I promise I’ll never.

And I want you to know more about Mummy and you:

Little things like your trip to the zoo,

Small things like how you’d share a bath,

And all the things she did to make you laugh.

No one made you laugh more than she,

And everything she did was for you and for me.

And you made her the happiest that she’d ever been,

The most devoted mummy that I’d ever seen.

And it’s a small thing, I know, but your mummy cried,

At something you did the day that she died.

You sat on our bed and sang Happy Birthday at last,

You’d learnt the words after her birthday had passed.

And the pride in her eyes was something to treasure,

And the love in her heart for you beyond measure.

And her love and pride for you were her last words spoken,

And her love and pride for you can never be broken.

And I’d like to say thank you for helping me through,

And I want you to know how much I love you.

You and Mummy having fun at bath time this time last year

http://www.justgiving.com/lifeasawidower

38 comments on “birthday boy

  1. Georgiee
    October 17, 2013

    Beautiful – Happy Birthday Jackson xx

    • lAWRENCE
      January 18, 2014

      I lost my beautuful wife on Christmas Day 2013 after being together for seventy years,
      I wrote this poem.

      A PAIR, MINUS ONE
      .
      WE WERE SO IN LOVE,OUR SPIRITS ENTWINED
      WE FACED THE WORLD WITH A SMILE
      WE CHASED OUR DREAM,AND CAUGHT SOME TOO
      OUR FUTURE SO DEFINED
      THEN YOU DIED, LEAVING ME TO CRY
      A SHADOW PASSED OVER THE SUN
      BUT NOW YOUV’E GONE,WERE STILL A PAIR
      A PAIR ,BUT MINUS ONE.

      • MissFit
        April 12, 2014

        Lawrence, this is beautiful. I cannot imagine losing someone I knew for 70 years. I am currently grieving the loss of someone i knew for 2 yrs and it feels unbearable. i have so much respect for you

      • christina
        May 3, 2014

        beautiful poem. thank you for sharing it.

  2. Cath Barnes
    October 17, 2013

    So beautiful , happy birthday to your beautiful boy , they are always with us forever in our children’s hearts x

  3. J. Shah
    October 17, 2013

    Beautiful words.

    Happy birthday Jackson x

  4. Keely Mitchell
    October 17, 2013

    Beautiful words xx

  5. the mmmmm family
    October 17, 2013

    Beautifully written lovely words, happy birthday Jackson.

  6. Me
    October 17, 2013

    Dearest Ben, I have been following your blog for a while after seeing your heartfelt interview on BBC Breakfast. I have never commented before because, as beautifully as you write, your pain tugs at my own heart too much, which I feel selfishly terrible about, as I am not bereaved nor have I suffered such a tragedy. I think it’s maybe because were it not for your tragedy our lives would be a mirror image. I am black, my husband is white, we are from London and our little boy also shares his birthday with your son. He is one today. I look at your family photos and they could be easily mine. I cannot even begin to know how you feel and just the thought of my husband being in your position or vice versa fills me with such sadness, especially today on such a special occasion. I wish you well in the future and for you and your son’s journey through life to be as happy, full of love and fun that it can be. Sending you a big virtual hug. x

  7. Me
    October 17, 2013

    Dearest Ben, I have been following your blog for a while, since I saw your heartfelt interview on BBC Breakfast. I have never commented before, because although you write beautifully and share such interesting insights about grief and loss, your words tug on my heart too much, which I feel terrible about because I am not bereaved nor have I suffered such tragedy. If it were not for your tragedy, our lives would be exactly mirrored. I look at your photos and they could be mine. Our little boys even have the same birthday. Today, my son is one. I cannot even begin to imagine what you have been through and if I allow myself to think of my husband in your position, I simply can’t. I wish you and your little man the best of everything and I hope your journey through life together will be as happy, full of love and fun that it can be. Sending a virtual hug to you both on this special day. x

  8. lottiescl
    October 17, 2013

    Wonderfully written and yet again, you prove what an amazing inspiration you are for your son. Big hugs of strength for you today, if going by my own experience, it';s a tough one! And of course, Happy Birthday Jackson!!

  9. Davina
    October 17, 2013

    Just beautiful. Happy Birthday Jackson

  10. Gemma
    October 17, 2013

    Just beautiful. Happy birthday Jackson, I’m sure you’ll look back one day an see how wonderful your dad is and just how special you are to him. Xxxx

  11. Donna
    October 17, 2013

    Big happy birthday Jackson, am loving the shower cap !! Have written on here many times as I guide my girls through the loss of their daddy 18mths ago. Believe me you will treasure these memories and moments your daddy has written for you as you get older. As my girls say my daddy made simple beautiful…. Sending love and cuddles from us poms in Australia have the best birthday xxx

  12. Jenny Hunt
    October 17, 2013

    Happy Birthday beautiful boy, you have an amazing Daddy. X

  13. Trawlergirl
    October 17, 2013

    Lovely, just lovely. Happy Birthday to Jackson. x

  14. TheHandmadeMum (@DaniAskins)
    October 17, 2013

    Beautiful poem, Happy Birthday Jackson x

  15. Karen Croft
    October 17, 2013

    Just amazing and beautiful tribute to Jackson and Desreen – Happy Birthday Jackson have a wonderful day xxx

  16. Melanie
    October 17, 2013

    Beautiful. Happy birthday Jackson x

  17. Julie
    October 17, 2013

    Happy birthday Jackson!!!
    Beautiful poem to remember a beautiful day and a wonderful mummy. xx

  18. Caroline
    October 17, 2013

    Hope the sun is shining, and the day is good, filled with wonderful cake and food. Love and laughter, song and dance, remember to smile and enjoy every chance. Happy birthday Jackson xxxxxx

  19. karl
    October 17, 2013

    Many Happy returns of the day from the Fardoe family, regards to you both Karl

  20. koolkreationsblog
    October 17, 2013

    Many Happy returns of the day to Jackson from the Fardoe family, regards to both of you, Karl

  21. Izzy
    October 17, 2013

    You have such a way with words, tears are running down my face, many happy returns to your lovely little boy Jackson! what a special little boy you and Desreen created together. I am sure Desreen is looking down with a big beaming smile and she is in every part of your life even though she is not here in person to share this special time! Xx

  22. adayinthelifeofabusymum
    October 17, 2013

    What a beautiful poem! Made me chuckle and made me so sad. Happy Birthday Jackson! x

  23. sharrongordonsharron gordon
    October 17, 2013

    Happy Birthday Jackson … enjoy your day … x

  24. Christy
    October 17, 2013

    Through tears I concur, this is beautiful. God bless you both. HaPpY BiRtHdAy JACKSON!!!!

  25. Vee
    October 17, 2013

    Ben i believe you are one of those gifted people never lost for words or a poem. Just beautiful. This for me is as beautiful as the tribute you wrote for your wife. Happy Birthday Jackson..,,you have a special Dad.

  26. jeri
    October 18, 2013

    such a Lovely poem and so Beautiful ! happy birthday sweet Little Jackson and he knows what a special daddy he has.

  27. Viv
    October 18, 2013

    Just lovely. And a great photo. Hard day to get through on your own but youve done it, it will never be so hard the next time I hope

  28. Afterwards
    October 18, 2013

    This is an incredible message from a father to a son, many hugs to you and Jackson today as you celebrate what is likely a very bittersweet day. My heart breaks over your story, thank you for sharing it with this community.

  29. Greet Grief
    October 18, 2013

    What a wonderful birthday gift to a child who was conceived in love, carried by love and has love holding him through all this! That was lovely!

  30. Andy
    October 19, 2013

    Great strength as always, your doing your lad proud.

  31. Sarah
    January 17, 2014

    Absolutely beautiful x

  32. Pingback: February Chat with a Dad: Benjamin Brooks-Dutton of Life as a Widower | Little Steps

  33. Emma Day
    February 2, 2014

    Such a beautiful poem. I have tears in my eyes. Your words are so full of love.

  34. hilmarehotz
    May 19, 2014

    Reblogged this on hilmarehotz.

  35. Shamz
    June 5, 2014

    You make me cry but that’s so Gud. I miss my husband so much x we will c them again I know we will. Big hug to you and your son, your strength keeps me going and u put down on paper exactly how I feel x Jah bless u

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