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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

christmas angel

This week I decided to give Christmas a go. This time last year my wife had only been buried a week, and yet somehow I felt more determined to try … Continue reading

December 8, 2013 · 18 Comments