In our latest article, we look at the impact of bereavement, the melting pot of emotions as time goes by, and how life goes on because it has to...
Football star Rio Ferdinand’s television documentary ‘Being Mum and Dad’ in which the former England captain opened his heart about the loss of his wife Rebecca to cancer at 34 touched the hearts of millions. In it he reveals his anger and how he keeps busy to stop unwanted thoughts running round his head.
Rio met with a men’s support group and a therapy service which made him realise he hadn’t moved on.
“I put it in a box and left it over there. I was sceptical about therapy, but I’ve met some great people and I feel better equipped.”
Rio reveals how he now understands people feeling suicidal after losing someone. “I used to think ‘you selfish so-and-so,’ but there’s times at the beginning when you kind of know how they feel. I’d never do it because of my kids, but I do understand it."
He tells how he worries about the effect on his children and when to talk about their mother. “All I think about is when is the right time to talk, but I’m lucky I have a tight network around me.”
Rio met families that have been through the same experience, including a teenager who suggested a memory bottle. One of the most poignant moments of the programme shows the family sharing their memories of Rebecca and posting them in the bottle.
Rio appreciated the value of meeting someone who’s been in the same situation. “I needed to see someone who’s been through it, I was ignorant to the idea of seeking help, but having been on this journey we need to reach out.”
How you deal with grief will be different from other people. Talking and sharing your feelings with someone can help.
For some people, relying on family and friends is the best way to cope. If you don't feel you can talk to them much - perhaps you aren't close, or they're grieveing, too - you can contact local bereavement services through your GP or call the national Cruse helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Trained Cruse bereavement volunteers offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement. Monday to Friday 9:30-5:30pm (Excluding bank holidays), and until 8pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Visit cruse.org.uk.