A story of grief by a man and a boy

feeling proud

I am immensely proud of my wife, perhaps more so now than ever before.

When I wrote her eulogy, Being Desreen, I asked people to help me and Jackson in the future simply by being more like her. I suggested a number of ways they could do this as a kind of shopping list of her wonderful character traits, hobbies and habits.

I just can’t tell you how many people have been in touch to tell me that they are working their way through the list or adopting some of the ideas as New Year’s resolutions. An old friend of my brother’s (and I guy I rarely see) even asked my permission to print the list out and put it up on the wall in his home so he and his family could always remember Desreen after her death and remind themselves to appreciate everything they have in life.

I designed this blog primarily to help blokes who have lost their wives face their grief and understand what they can do to help their kids. I smiled when I literally ran into a friend on Oxford Street today (I’m training for a half marathon) who told me that she was effectively becoming Desreen, because I knew that one day I’d be able to tell my son exactly what she was like. Even if anything happens to me or I lose my marbles, he’ll still have the words. So my advice is write it all down now for your kids while you still can. It might be difficult and you don’t need to do it in one go, but they will ask questions one day and I’m sure they will cherish the answers.

2 comments on “feeling proud

  1. bobjbrown
    January 19, 2013

    Thank you Ben for your story in the Guardian that I have just read. I just wanted to say ‘well done’ for the wonderful way in which you have managed your own and Jackson’s loss of your dear Desreen. You have demonstrated again my belief that honesty is the best policy with children in these situations. I don’t sense you feel the need for reading material around grief for children, however I have one book that I hold in high regard on this subject. Easily available on Amazon, it’s called ‘Duck, Death and the Tulip’. Best wishes for a happy future together. You are an inspiration. Bob

  2. I am sorry for your loss. It is wonderful to see you helping other people with your experience.

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