You can’t tell someone how to grieve or at what pace to do it. It’ll come back at different times.
Ben Brooks-Dutton is a diversity and inclusion consultant and bestselling author. Currently based in southeast London with his son, Jackson, he has contributed to The Guardian, is the author of It's Not Raining, Daddy, It's Happy and runs the award-winning blog, Life as a Widower. Ben was also programme consultant for the BAFTA-winning BBC One documentary Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad.
In November 2012, his wife, Desreen, died after she was hit by a car in front of Ben and his son, Jackson, who was only two years old. In the direct aftermath, Ben’s focus was on helping his son to understand what had happened to his mother and speaking openly about his experiences as a widower, to challenge outdated perceptions of male grief. Since then, he has worked more broadly to open up the conversation around mourning and grief for everyone.
Humour really got me through. That’s survival, having people around me that could really make me smile and make me laugh.