Life as a Widower

A young widowed father opening up about living with loss

a dedication

I am extremely honoured to announce that Hodder & Stoughton will publish my first book next year. The memoir will be dedicated to my beautiful wife and son and I’ll write it on behalf of anyone who has been touched by the pain of loss and grief. 

This is a press release that the Hodder issued this afternoon.

Hodder & Stoughton has acquired a memoir by Benjamin Brooks-Dutton, the writer behind the blog lifeasawidower.com.

Hodder non-fiction publisher Hannah Black bought world rights in It’s Not Raining, Daddy, It’s Happy by the recently widowed father. Ajda Vucicevic at Luigi Bonomi Associates concluded the deal. The book will be published in hardback in spring 2014.

Following a fruitless search for men in a similar position to himself, widowed young and caring for a grieving toddler, Ben published his first blog post in January 2013, just two months after the tragic death of his 33-year-old wife, Desreen Brooks. His blog quickly generated widespread media coverage and amassed a devoted UK and international audience. Four months on, the blog has now received in excess of half a million views.

Ben’s original intention was to try to encourage other men to open up, to challenge perceptions of male grief and to attempt to force a reappraisal of the stiff upper lip being a badge of honour when it comes to loss. His writing, however, soon attracted people from different walks of life united in their own immediate loss, or their care and concern for grieving loved ones.

Ben comments, “Within just a couple of days of launching the blog I could see that it was touching many different types of people, not just widowers. All sorts of people started to get in touch. Women and not just men. Old not just young. People who had lost their husbands or wives within a week of me and my son losing Desreen. Parents who had lost children. Partners who had not yet started grieving because their terminally ill husbands or wives were still finding the strength to hang on. Teachers who had found some solace in how to deal with children who had lost or were facing loss. People wanting to understand how to help their own loved ones who are suffering loss. And the list continues to grow.”

Through the book, Ben aims to give people a real insight into raw grief, documenting it as it happens, as well as helping people who are either suffering the pain of loss or attempting to help friends and family through it.

Hannah Black says, ‘Ben is a most gifted writer. Through the fog of his and his young son’s grief, there is emerging an almost unbearably truthful and articulate account of what it means to lose someone you love and how you can possibly learn to live with such a loss. All of us at Hodder feel privileged to have been entrusted with such an extraordinary record. ‘

The book’s title takes its name from a quote from Ben’s two-year-old son, Jackson, whose positive outlook on life is helping their family work through the pain of their grief.

The book will be dedicated to my beautiful wife and son, pictured here together in Spain in 2011

The book will be dedicated to my beautiful wife and son, pictured here together Spain in August 2011

17 comments on “a dedication

  1. rose
    May 7, 2013

    god bless your a wonderful man xxxx

  2. Judy
    May 7, 2013

    Well-done, Ben. I know this has come at a huge price through losing your dear wife, but you will help so many more in the world by sharing your astounding writing in this upcoming book.

  3. Frankie
    May 7, 2013

    I agree with Judy. The hugest cost one can imagine, and I know you’d give everything not to be writing THIS book, but congratulations, and yes, you will help so many people by opening your raw heart and sharing your wisdom and grief with us all.

  4. Michelle Edwards
    May 7, 2013

    Well done Ben, your loss will not ever go away, you will just learn to deal with it in a different way as time goes on…..my partner lost his wife a few years ago and you’ve helped me understand how to help him with his grief as not only did he lose his wife but his mother and sister a few month’s back and its brought back all that raw emotion he had with his wife’s passing……every day is a battle as I’m sure you know but opening up your heart will not only help you heal but will help you deal with the turmoils and emotions you will come across every day….your wisdom has inspired a lot of people and long may that continue….I wish you and your son all the best.

  5. Cath
    May 7, 2013

    I feel we have all been very privileged to have witnessed your words and feelings since starting your blog. In the face of such sadness and despair you have opened up your heart to complete strangers. Thank you Ben and well done on the book deal.x:)

  6. Alison
    May 7, 2013

    What a beautiful picture of your wife and son it brought tears to my eyes.
    I know the pain you go through every second of the day. You have managed to convey into words the pain of grief … something i have struggled to explain to those close to me. X ali

  7. marg merone
    May 7, 2013

    so very sad you have learnt so much through suffering, grief is so painful and unbearable at times, there is not a quick fix it’s a long road to travel. but well done with your blog and new book.,

  8. Cath Barnes
    May 7, 2013

    Well done Ben I share your blog as often as I can because on a selfish note you write as I never could, but say everything I am feeling. Your book will speak for many but those of us widowed in our thirties with very young kids especially. God bless you and your beautiful son always xxxx

  9. Lucille
    May 9, 2013

    Well done Ben, you deserve every success. Hopefully, this is just the start of an amazing writing career.

  10. Sharron
    May 10, 2013

    Your Amazing…x

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