Life as a Widower

A young widowed father opening up about living with loss

mother’s day

Dear Mummy,

Happy Mother’s Day. This will be my second one without you and I’m not even four yet. All the other children at nursery made cards for their mummies this week, but I made one for Nanny instead – a great big yellow one with colourful feathers all over it. She looked so happy when I gave it to her, but I know she’s be sad that you’re not here with her today.

I’m spending the day with her, Daddy, Granddad and Uncle Anthony. They’re all so proud of me: Nanny because I’m always a really good boy when she looks after me (well I am sometimes), Daddy because we’re best friends, Granddad because I make him laugh and I remind him so much of you, and Uncle Anthony because we have fun and I keep everyone in check. Well I suppose someone has to run this ship now that you’ve gone.

Daddy just took me out on my scooter. He said he had something he wanted me see. We went over this really big bridge and there were cars underneath it going really fast. When we got to the other side I saw the biggest ramp I’ve ever seen – it was so cool. Weeeeeeeeeeee! I told Daddy that I loved it. It was so much fun. When we got to the bottom I found a stream and threw in some stones. Then I raced Daddy down a long road and into a churchyard where a found a wiggly worm. I wanted to look after him because he was all on his own, so I found a nice leaf and put it over him so that he had somewhere to live. I like worms. I don’t like spiders, though, Mummy. I found one in the kitchen the other day and Daddy said that I acted just like you. It was so scary but Daddy just picked it up and put it in the garden. I told him to squash it but he wouldn’t. Silly Daddy!

After we said goodbye to Mr Wiggly Worm, Daddy took me to see your special stone. ‘These are beautiful flowers,’ I told Daddy and he gave them to me to leave for you. I noticed the squiggles that Daddy has drawn on his chest on your stone, too. ‘It’s Mummy, Daddy and Jackson,’ I told him. He says it’s a family monogram. I can say monogram really well, you know.

I noticed all sorts of things in the field where we went to see your stone: lots of flowers, a pottery pussy cat, some teddy bears and even a toy that looked like Father Christmas. Daddy said I couldn’t touch them. You know me, though, Mummy – he had to reason with me. I got five sweeties and five mini rice cakes out of that!

Before we left, Daddy picked me up and explained why we were there. ‘This is where we come to remember Mummy,’ he said. Then we both said we loved you and that we would come back soon. I’m not sure why but I felt like I wanted to give Daddy a big cuddle, so I squeezed him tightly and kissed him on the lips. I told him that I loved him, too

IMG_7137We drew this picture for you yesterday, as well. We didn’t bring it with us because paper gets all soggy when it rains, so I’m going to keep it at home in my memory box. That way I’ll be able to remember what we did on Mother’s Day when I was three.

I love you, Mummy. I talk about you every day and I really, really miss you.

I’ll bring you flowers again soon.


Jack-Jack xxx



13 comments on “mother’s day

  1. glitterrach
    March 30, 2014

    Beautiful and yet at the same time, so sad. Brought a tear to my eye. I hope Jackson has a wonderful day and you continue to create many happy memories together

  2. Zeta
    March 30, 2014

    Uncle Anthony will always keep you in check xx

  3. Lorraine
    March 30, 2014

    Beautiful words and beautiful flowers.

  4. Julia Arnott
    March 30, 2014

    I am thinking of you both today. Keep going you are both doing so well.

  5. Gerald Drabble
    March 30, 2014

    ben that is truly wonderful mate. very moving. Hes a bright young man thats for sure. Bought a lump to my throat,
    But have to say happy Mothers day to you mate…

  6. handikwani02
    March 30, 2014

    Love Jackson’s smile enjoying his dad’s company Ben you are everything that this little man would ever wish for!

  7. Elina
    March 31, 2014

    This brought a tear to my eye. Your flowers are beautiful.

  8. thepumpingmama
    March 31, 2014

    Thinking of you.

  9. simone
    April 9, 2014

    you are a strong man and your wife and son will always appreciate that.

  10. Thank you to you both for inspiring me after reading about your lovely day! It’s good to remember that we have to appreciate each day that we have and always make happy memories, just like you two have done on this special day.

  11. Mo
    April 26, 2014

    Came across your article in the DM, which shared a link to your blog. Reading this, with a lump in my throat, I think your son is blessed to have such an amazing dad. The love for your wife still shines through….

  12. Alex
    May 7, 2014

    Read this today after seeing a link on fb following your appearance on bbc. As soon as I came on your blog I had to read this post. I lost my mum when I was four and the hardest thing for me still is mother’s day. Even as a mum myself now, it is a bittersweet day I just don’t enjoy. I wish schools & preschools would consider how hard it is for the child when a whole class makes something for their mum and you have to make it for someone else so you can join in the lesson.
    I really hope you had a special day together remembering.

  13. petrovna4
    May 26, 2014

    This is beautiful, you know. So sad but also so full of hope. I am crying for you, for your son for all of us.

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