Life as a Widower

A young widowed father opening up about living with loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

changing direction

Life rarely goes exactly to plan. When I was young there was a time when I really thought that I wanted to be a bin man because I loved the … Continue reading

May 8, 2014 · 14 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

my mummy

If you would like to sponsor any other amount please just change the £2 to whatever you like or visit http://www.justgiving.com/lifeasawidower to do it online. Thanks so much.

April 10, 2014 · 4 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

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 … Continue reading

March 30, 2014 · 13 Comments

dreading things

Hangovers are a funny old business. In that moment when I’m about to down something that looks radioactive and tastes like it might kill me, I rarely think ahead to how … Continue reading

March 29, 2014 · 3 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

desreen dress

This is a guest post by James New and Jessica Richard, and the second in this blog’s Inspiring Friends series.  My wife loved fashion. It was not only what she spent most of her … Continue reading

March 5, 2014 · 3 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

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

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

distant friends

I got a call from a friend on Friday who was phoning to let me know that an ex-colleague of ours had died. The last time I ever heard from … Continue reading

January 13, 2014 · 8 Comments

one million

Today marks the first anniversary of my blog, Life as a Widower. It has been a year since I published the inaugural post and as coincidence would have it I can … Continue reading

January 6, 2014 · 7 Comments

twelve days

A few weeks ago I launched a rather scathing attack on Christmas in a post I published on this blog. I was feeling exceptionally low at the time, and perhaps … Continue reading

January 2, 2014 · 7 Comments

first thoughts

As much as I try to understand what is going on inside my son’s little head, I’ve come to realise that it’s impossible to really know what a toddler is … Continue reading

January 1, 2014 · 3 Comments

conflicted year

This time last year my wife had been dead for just seven weeks. Although a number of friends had invited me to spend New Year’s Eve with them, I decided … Continue reading

December 31, 2013 · 5 Comments

wonderful life

Last night I watched the old black and white film It’s a Wonderful Life for the first time. Released in 1946, thirty-three years before I was born, it’s about an angel-in-training who … Continue reading

December 30, 2013 · 6 Comments

mirror image

I took the picture of my wife on the left at Christmas in 2010 and the one on the right of our son today. It’s beautiful to still be able … Continue reading

December 26, 2013 · 3 Comments

love letters

In June 1997 a journalist called Mary Schmich published a column in the Chicago Tribune entitled ‘Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young‘. I was at university when the column … Continue reading

December 22, 2013 · 3 Comments

nativity play

One of the things I really struggle with as a widowed dad raising a toddler alone is that I find myself constantly questioning what my son’s behaviour would be like … Continue reading

December 19, 2013 · 7 Comments

mindful happiness

Since starting this blog almost a year ago, I’ve been pretty outspoken about my distaste for many of the clichés and platitudes so often offered as comfort to the bereaved. And … Continue reading

December 16, 2013 · 11 Comments

happy christmas

Having lost my wife late last year it probably goes without saying that 2013 has been an unhappy year for me, save the joy our little boy has continuously brought. But … Continue reading

December 12, 2013 · 7 Comments

best friends

This is a guest post by Anya Hayes Anya first got in touch with me after seeing my son in the park with his grandmother. She recognised him from his … Continue reading

December 8, 2013 · 7 Comments