Life as a Widower

A young widowed father opening up about living with loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

wishing peace

People often write to me to explaining that they have also lost a loved one; I mostly hear from other widows and widowers who are reaching out to say that … Continue reading

December 24, 2013 · 10 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

changed personality

Over the past few days two different interactions with two different people on two completely different topics have led me to the same conclusion – grief has the potential to … Continue reading

November 22, 2013 · 22 Comments

selfie indulgence

I’ve very much enjoyed following today’s news that ‘selfie’ has been named Oxford Dictionaries’ 2013 word of the year. What I’ve enjoyed even more, however, is digesting all of the … Continue reading

November 19, 2013 · 6 Comments

first anniversary

This is a guest post by Sarah Pointer Tomorrow is the first anniversary of my wife’s death but this time last year life was still perfect. Desreen and I rushed … Continue reading

November 8, 2013 · 17 Comments

helping parents

An article appeared in today’s Daily Telegraph about an issue that has been making headlines for several weeks – government plans to reform Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA). Currently the allowance is made … Continue reading

October 28, 2013 · 20 Comments

new shoes

About a year ago my wife, Desreen, came into our living room with a naughty look on her face and new shoes on her feet. ‘Why are you wearing my … Continue reading

October 23, 2013 · 6 Comments

in training

When my wife first died late last year, one thing that really struck me was just how many presents our son received. Everyone was so generous but I couldn’t help … Continue reading

September 27, 2013 · 10 Comments

the boss

My last post received lots of really helpful comments about dealing with my son’s grief-related anger. So useful have they been, in fact, that he’s actually been much better today. And perhaps … Continue reading

September 26, 2013 · 15 Comments

fictitious widows

My wife didn’t really care too much for film or TV. The only shows she ever really got into were The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Coronation Street and Desperate Housewives. And the … Continue reading

September 23, 2013 · 8 Comments

smiling eyes

My publisher got in touch last week to ask me who they should credit for a head shot I provided some time ago when I was first invited to write … Continue reading

September 11, 2013 · 6 Comments

getting easier

I gave chocolate and sweets up for Lent once. The first few days were the hardest because that was the time when I thought and talked about the sacrifice the … Continue reading

August 26, 2013 · 21 Comments

love reigns

Lost that bitter winter’s night, Searching balmy summer days for you, Beams of light from a sunset sky Illuminate you in his radiant face. Hope whispers tender words of warmth, … Continue reading

July 27, 2013 · 4 Comments