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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

something yellow

I keep being asked how I feel about Father’s Day and what I have planned. The honest truth is that, because I’m lucky enough to already spend so much time … Continue reading

June 14, 2014 · 4 Comments

summertime sadness

When I was a child I used to suffer from nosebleeds every time the shifting seasons caused an acute change in the temperature. Until the weekend just gone, however, I hadn’t … Continue reading

May 19, 2014 · 20 Comments

speaking out

This is a video of my recent interview with BBC Breakfast, in which I speak out about being widowed, facing grief, how to helped the bereaved, explaining death to children, starting … Continue reading

May 8, 2014 · 8 Comments

beautiful ladybirds

Earlier this week I met with a child psychologist to discuss my son; naturally I’m concerned about how he has and will respond to losing his mother at such a … Continue reading

April 20, 2014 · 15 Comments

painful motivation

I ran the London Marathon yesterday. Years ago, a friend asked if I’d ever fancied doing it before and I said no. That was partly because I thought I’d end up losing too … Continue reading

April 14, 2014 · 11 Comments

beyond pain

I don’t think I had ever cried over the death of a person I didn’t know until last night. As I was leaving work I heard the news that Peaches Geldof … Continue reading

April 8, 2014 · 42 Comments

expiry dates

Something hasn’t been right with me this week. I’ve felt a heavy sense of foreboding envelop me out of nowhere, and it has taken me ages to figure out why. After … Continue reading

April 6, 2014 · 98 Comments

male pride

A few weeks ago when I was staying away from home with friends, I asked them if they ever get any genuine sense of satisfaction from their own personal achievements … Continue reading

March 23, 2014 · 6 Comments

smiley faces

I’ve felt a great degree of tension about how to best raise my son since my wife was killed. Immediately after her death I did my very best to act … Continue reading

March 16, 2014 · 5 Comments

the couch

I’ve started seeing a counsellor again. I first tried psychotherapy a couple of months after my wife was killed but it just didn’t work out. I suppose I had it … Continue reading

March 13, 2014 · 22 Comments

two’s company

I’ve been feeling very lonely recently and my loneliness isn’t really allayed by the company of others. I’m led to believe this sensation is common amongst the widowed. I think … Continue reading

March 11, 2014 · 36 Comments

london marathon

Six weeks tomorrow a friend and I will run the London Marathon to raise funds for a child bereavement charity called Grief Encounter. I could write all day about how … Continue reading

March 1, 2014 · 4 Comments

lonely business

I’m growing accustomed to – if entirely frustrated with – the crashing lows I suffer as a result of experiencing more upbeat times. Sometimes I’m actually tempted not to bother … Continue reading

February 27, 2014 · 9 Comments

nervous breakdown

Around this time last year I went on holiday with my best friends and Jackson. It didn’t go too well. I’m not sure why I thought that a week in the … Continue reading

February 22, 2014 · 6 Comments

just everything

Some days are really hard: some because something specific happens and others because nothing specific happens at all. These days I find the latter the most challenging; the days when … Continue reading

February 12, 2014 · 8 Comments

fading butterflies

Some months after my wife died I realised that my son needed the sort of attention and affection that I wasn’t going to be able to provide whilst working full-time, … Continue reading

February 9, 2014 · 8 Comments

judgement day

A few days ago a fellow widower asked me what my views were on whether he should still wear his wedding ring. I thought about his question for a long … Continue reading

February 2, 2014 · 12 Comments

don’t ask

I find that some days my grief just grows heavy and intense without any real warning or explanation. These days, however, I try to avoid letting on when l feel … Continue reading

January 26, 2014 · 11 Comments

special friendship

I took my little boy out for a walk this afternoon and ended up in the local library in an attempt to warm up after discovering that it was freezing … Continue reading

January 25, 2014 · 5 Comments

being vulnerable

It has occurred to me on several occasions that sometimes I might actually alienate the people I hoped to reach when I first launched this blog: other widows and widowers … Continue reading

January 19, 2014 · 12 Comments

subtle moments

I went out for dinner with an old friend last night. Jackson wasn’t too pleased about me leaving the house, allegedly because he was concerned that it was my bedtime … Continue reading

January 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

cover story

Last week I felt the sudden pang of an emotion that I haven’t experienced in a very long time: excitement. It took me entirely by surprise not least because it … Continue reading

January 15, 2014 · 10 Comments