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Saturday, 26 April 2014


Fifteen months ago  I wrote here about widower Ben Brooks-Dutton  whose wife Desreen had been knocked down and killed by a car when their son was just two years old. His plight touched so many people around the world and now his emotive book 'IT'S NOT RAINING, DADDY, IT'S HAPPY, available on May 8, is being serialised in the Daily Mail. Ben's blog ' Life as a Widower' has helped thousands of bereaved parents to face up to their own grieF. So,  I've decided to repeat my original blog post today, in memory of Desreen.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

From triumphant to tragic - why do we blog?


'We lose ourselves in talking about happiness but we don't allow ourselves to talk about loss...'

So says  Ben-Brooks Dutton whose wife Desreen was knocked down and killed two months ago. Ben's new blog 'Life as a Widower' is  featured in Today's 'Times 2' supplement giving an insight to the lives of young people who have turned to blogging   to deal with their grief.

A lot has been written about blogging in the last few months : Why do we do it? Why has it become so popular? Is it a form of journalism or just a waste of time? The answer to me is simple - if it's right for you, do it.

When I was in my twenties, I saw an old friend   standing on his own on the far side of the town square.  I deliberately crossed over to speak to him, for he and his wife had just suffered a terrible loss: their full-term baby had been born dead.  After I had offered my condolences he said: 'You're the first person who has had the courage to speak to me today - everyone else has looked the other way.'

I have never forgotten that conversation.  The truth is that in Britain we've never learnt how to openly discuss our grief. The Times  quotes  yet another heartbreaking story:  Alice Olins  started a blog after her son, Bear Hamilton Pullen, died in her womb. 'My body did the cruellest thing possible - it pulled the plug on my baby's life...' she says.

When the young Princes William and Harry were taken to matins on the morning after their mother died, the pain on their faces was palpable.  They should have been allowed to stay at home and sob, but the 'stiff upper lip' attitude of our royal family denied their expression of their grief.

My own blog, named after the island where I was born ( but sadly no longer live) reflects my  crazy sense of humour, but I've charted some personal tragedies, too.

 So my message today is - keep on blogging - you never know who you might  reach.

Ben's book is published by Hodder and Stoughton at £16.99



Barbara Fisher said...

Hello Marilyn, I remember reading your Jan 13 post. The part about Princes William and Harry stayed with me, and in fact, I think we ‘talked’ about it via comments at the time? It’s true we don’t know how to talk to the bereaved, probably because we are afraid of saying something inappropriate but surely its better to do that than say nothing at all.
A short while after my husband’s grandfather died, I was talking to his widow, when she said the family had forgotten all about him. I tried to reassure her that was not the case. We were all keeping quiet in an effort not to upset her. As it turned out, she just wanted to talk about him and hear his name mentioned. It was much easier after that, but the poor lady had been suffering in silence for weeks.

Guernsey Girl said...

I thought of your comments this morning, Barbara, when I saw the photo of the Duchess of Cornwall grieving openly at her brother's funeral. Why didn't the press just leave her alone? I still regularly talk to my friend about her late husband, even though he died several years ago. I'm sure your husband's grandmother was relieved to be able to talk to you, too.