Life as a Widower

A young widowed father opening up about living with loss

lost words

November 19, 2019 · 7 Comments

invisible children

My little boy turned seven a few weeks ago. His birthday is always incredibly bittersweet for me. With every year that goes by, I’m reminded of how much further he … Continue reading

November 16, 2017 · 9 Comments

about time

Exactly 1,641 days ago I wrote several hundred words that would ultimately shape my life for the next four and half years. I sat staring at my laptop’s screen, desperate … Continue reading

July 5, 2017 · 41 Comments

darth vader

After the immediate shock of my wife’s death had abated a little, I started making calls to childhood bereavement charities to find out how to handle my son and his … Continue reading

May 7, 2017 · 1 Comment

in conversation

My son just threw me a question after I’d said goodnight that I decided I shouldn’t just leave hanging. It was late, he knew he should already have been asleep, … Continue reading

April 19, 2017 · 16 Comments

apply pressure

When my wife, our son and I left our little London flat on 10th November 2012 it seemed like a normal day much like any other. We had plans to see friends, … Continue reading

April 6, 2017 · 23 Comments

talking heads

Early last summer I received an invitation from Prince Harry to attend a barbecue in the grounds of Kensington Palace. The event would bring together a number of people who … Continue reading

April 1, 2017 · 4 Comments

rio ferdinand

A few months ago I had memorable lunch with a great group of guys whom part of me wishes I had never had to meet. Some of us knew each other … Continue reading

March 22, 2017 · 7 Comments

driving change

In November 2015, I launched an online petition through Change.org calling for the introduction of compulsory age-appropriate retesting every three years once a driver turns 70. Over the course of … Continue reading

March 21, 2017 · 10 Comments

single boredomhood

It occurred to me the other day that I don’t really see myself as a ‘widower’ anymore. Nothing about losing my wife feels any different, but it’s only really when I have … Continue reading

January 28, 2017 · 37 Comments

looking forward

I’m never quite sure why I choose not to write so much anymore. Part of it is inevitable: I no longer find myself wading through the thick, viscous grief that … Continue reading

December 31, 2016 · 6 Comments

young minds

It’s funny how children tend to want to grow up quickly and be older than they actually are. Sometimes I think it’s as though their self worth is defined by the number of … Continue reading

November 17, 2016 · 15 Comments

four years

Four years apart but always together through memories and love.    

November 10, 2016 · 6 Comments

simplifying things

There’s a brilliant film on BBC iPlayer by Adam Curtis called Bitter Lake. Aside from being about decades of war in Afghanistan it has nothing to do with grief. An … Continue reading

November 5, 2016 · 11 Comments

anniversary gift

Earlier this week I overhead my colleagues talking about the London riots. ‘Can you believe it’s been five years this week?’ one asked. No, I thought, I really can’t. My … Continue reading

August 5, 2016 · 14 Comments

dream girl 

She walked ahead along an unfamiliar bridge over the Thames. A building at its mouth bellowed thick black and grey smoke as a fire blazed inside. The sun shone in … Continue reading

July 31, 2016 · Leave a comment

only human

Jackson’s first school year flew by despite it being so hard at the start. Waving him off on his first day felt like another small bereavement – or at the … Continue reading

July 28, 2016 · 3 Comments

1315 days

I did a radio interview about the murder of Jo Cox MP last night. I was invited on air to talk about how to break the news of the death … Continue reading

June 18, 2016 · 19 Comments

old time

My son woke me up with a kiss this morning and then immediately told me to mind my own business. I hadn’t even said I word. He’s so like his … Continue reading

June 12, 2016 · 7 Comments

flight mode

I’m pretty sure that the one thing most single parents would like more than anything else is a little more time to themselves. I don’t mean at the cost of … Continue reading

June 7, 2016 · Leave a comment

love insurance

‘I can’t afford this life insurance, Benji,’ my wife, Desreen, said just eight months before she was killed. ‘Why don’t you get the cover now and I’ll do it later … Continue reading

June 2, 2016 · 2 Comments

love legacy

Warning! Psychologists say that you’re very likely to want to ignore the subject matter of this blog post. Take it from me, though: it may well have the power to … Continue reading

June 1, 2016 · 6 Comments

rising again

I’ve been going to counselling on and off for about two and a half years now. It’s not for everyone but I really value it. My experience of it now … Continue reading

April 30, 2016 · 25 Comments

mourning papers

‘You turn on the TV and every other story is tellin’ you somebody died.’ – Prince, Sign O’ The Times It’s been difficult to avoid the subject of death this … Continue reading

April 22, 2016 · 6 Comments

children’s grief

As human beings, we’re not really programmed to think clearly about death – especially not our own. Our brains can’t really deal with it. At almost the same moment our … Continue reading

November 19, 2015 · 3 Comments

three years 

It’s three years today since Desreen was killed. In the beginning people always used to tell me that they couldn’t imagine what I was going through, so I decided to … Continue reading

November 10, 2015 · 24 Comments

compulsory retesting

On 10 November 2012, just after 8pm, I left my friends’ house in northwest London, a happily married 33-year-old father. It was then that I heard my wife, Desreen, speak … Continue reading

November 8, 2015 · 31 Comments

revealing yourself

A good friend of mine is in a lot of pain at the moment after suffering a similar loss to my own. Thinking about how he must feel right now … Continue reading

November 5, 2015 · 9 Comments

five tomorrow

Our beautiful boy turns five tomorrow and I just wanted to wish him a very happy birthday. What a pleasure it is to be his father. Happy birthday, Jackson. I love … Continue reading

October 16, 2015 · 6 Comments

shaded eyes

Imagine for a moment you’ve been told that when you feel down, walking, let’s say, could take all your troubles away. One day you find yourself sitting fairly comfortably in … Continue reading

October 13, 2015 · 15 Comments

crowd force

A girl I know lost a close friend very suddenly over the summer. Her and I bumped into each other over the weekend and I asked her how she was … Continue reading

September 30, 2015 · 3 Comments

learning happiness

The Dalai Lama was in London this week addressing an audience on the subject of happiness. While watching a video about his appearance, it struck me that I was smiling … Continue reading

September 24, 2015 · 6 Comments

miseducated me

My son started primary school last week. It’s all going to be fine, I told myself. He’s ready and I’m prepared, I’d decided breezily, not yet knowing that there was actually … Continue reading

September 15, 2015 · 16 Comments

drowned world

Having spent the last three years writing about grief since the death of my wife in 2012, I tend not to write about things that don’t immediately touch my personal … Continue reading

September 3, 2015 · 7 Comments

timing time

About fours weeks ago I decided to wrap up my blog and write my final post. I told myself to wait, though; I needed to figure out whether my decision to … Continue reading

September 2, 2015 · 50 Comments

crashing waves

A friend emailed me this morning after reading something he thought I might like to see. ‘Now in my defence,’ he began, ‘I never send you stuff like this, but I stumbled … Continue reading

August 11, 2015 · 18 Comments

lost friend

It has been a while but I woke up this morning with words in my head that I wanted to pass onto friends who have lost someone they love. Lost … Continue reading

July 17, 2015 · 26 Comments

board games

I used to play snakes and ladders with my family when I was a child. Being the youngest of three boys, it was one of the few games that levelled … Continue reading

March 6, 2015 · 11 Comments

tell them

The eighty-five-year-old driver who killed my wife, Desreen, was jailed today for eighteen months for causing her death by dangerous driving. He was also banned from driving for life. I … Continue reading

December 22, 2014 · 429 Comments

dangerous driving

My wife was killed twenty-five months ago today, and since that day, despite the fact that I have unashamedly spoken out about my grief, I have remained respectfully tight-lipped about what I believed to … Continue reading

December 10, 2014 · 37 Comments

two years

Today is the second anniversary of Desreen’s death. Seven hundred and thirty days have already passed since she was killed and so I ask myself, What makes this one so … Continue reading

November 10, 2014 · 42 Comments

los muertos

“Life can be really tough for the living.” – Mary Beth, The Book of Life  It was Halloween yesterday and as I tucked Jackson up in bed late last night I … Continue reading

November 1, 2014 · 10 Comments

fortune tellers

I’ve heard it said that you should never read your own reviews. Having never written anything that was subject to public critique before I wrote my first book, however, I … Continue reading

October 28, 2014 · 10 Comments

parallel starts

One thing I’ve often thought about over the past couple of years is the allure of the so-called ‘fresh start’. This tempting notion offers those whose lives have been so … Continue reading

October 21, 2014 · 12 Comments

happy birthday

How do hold onto something that’s gone? How do make something that’s finished go on? How do you get through the day pretending you’re fine? How can you light candles … Continue reading

October 4, 2014 · 21 Comments

summer sabbatical

In July last year I decided to leave my job to be with my son. Actually, I’ll correct myself, I think it would be fair to say that life made … Continue reading

June 20, 2014 · 60 Comments

extra mile

This is a guest post and appeal by BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin, who, incidentally, happens to be my father-in-law’s favourite person on the tele. He honestly never stops talking … Continue reading

June 19, 2014 · 1 Comment