Tuesday 28 March 2017

Rio Ferdinand :Being Mum and Dad

Rio Ferdinand in this moving clip, comes to terms with the loss of his wife Rebecca to Cancer, and bringing up his children after their loss.

For those of you in the UK on BBC 1 tonight bereaved young people supported by Child Bereavement UK give Rio some tips on how to talk to his children about the death of their mum.

This is something that comes up a lot with bereaved parents who come for counselling, How to talk to children, in the most appropriate way, about loss and death.

Update 30/317

The documentary was moving, and is available on BBC Iplayer for the next 28 days.

Rio met some other widowers, and some were talking about the belief that it is no okay for men to cry. This can be difficult needing to appear strong at all times, although some men do not subscibe to this view, and cry when they feel and want to.

One of Rio's ongoing questions was finding the right time to talk to his kids about their mother Rebecca, and sought advice from the men he met, at the Gentlemens room support group.

Rio's way of coping was to go straight back into work, he said he felt better when he was working.  This is clearly his way of coping with his grief, and what works for him. One of the men in the group  expressed how sometimes diving into work is a way of running away and not confronting things. That is one way of looking at it, however, we all deal with grief in different ways. Rio made it clear that he didn't want anything to destabilise his life right now, but acknowledged that he has not grieved yet. I believe he will start to grieve, when he is ready.

Rio did not feel he wanted bereavement counselling when it was offered to him. He felt he got  a lot more out of meeting people in similar situations.Support groups are beneficial, as you are dealing with people who have a similar experience, and can feel less isolated. He also felt that he was not in a position to take stock of things as a parent. We need to find what works best for us.

Men in the UK are half as likely to seek counselling as women.

It was great hearing from children who had lost their parents telling Rio how they worked through their grief, and how he should raise the issues with his children.

1 child in every 20 has lost a parent in the UK.

It is great that Rio was able to share his experience of the loss of his wife Rebecca.  I am sure it will be of value to lots of widowers out there.