When Rebecca died, the idea that one day I might begin to feel better would have struck me as laughable ... I know how persuasive this kind of permanence thinking can be.
I know too that anyone locked in its grip will laugh if I promise them that their pain will one day ease. It will. Of course it will. But I know better than to expect anyone to believe me.'
In 2015, former England football star Rio Ferdinand suddenly and tragically lost his wife and soulmate Rebecca, aged 34, to cancer. It was a profound shock and Rio found himself struggling to cope not just with the pain of his grief, but also with his new role as both mum and dad to their three young children.
Rio's BBC1 documentary, Being Mum and Dad, touched everyone who watched it and won huge praise for the honesty and bravery he showed in talking about his emotions and experiences. His book now shares the story of meeting, marrying and losing Rebecca, his own and the family's grief - as well as the advice and support that get him through each day as they strive to piece themselves back together. Thinking Out Loud is written in the hope that he can inspire others struggling with loss and grief to find the help they need through this most difficult of times.
The first thing I have to say about this book is, What an emotional read!
Tears were dropping down my cheeks at an alarming rate reading this book, I was a snotty sniveling mess. What a beautifully written, honest and emotional read that was.
Rio Ferdinand thought he was in control of his life, until the day his beautiful wife died, and his life changed forever, not only his life but the life of his 3 children. This book not only highlights how coping with grief is so difficult, but how one parent has to suddenly take on the roll of being both parents.
When you're the parent that wasn't in charge of the household, the daily running of things, you hadn't even realised the task of the school run is a military operation that you didn't realise just how much needed to be done, then life changes and changes in a big way.
Facing all these changes as well as suffering the loss of a loved one must be so so difficult, and in this book Rio tells us just how he found it, how he coped and didn't cope. How the children managed each day or didn't manage. This is a raw and honestly written book. It's an absolutely heart wrenching read, and anyone that has suffered the loss of someone they loved will understand a lot of what is said in this book. I also hope that this book will help anyone currently going through grief, to realise that grief is normal, anyone/everyone can suffer with grief at some stage, some cope better than others, there is no right or wrong way.
We also learn in this book of Rio's upbringing, his journey into football and him meeting his wife Rebecca. As I said earlier this book is emotional, it is very well put together, raw, honest, moving, i'm stuck for words on giving this book the justice it deserves. But if one person going through grief can find any form of comfort or help from this book then it's all been worth it for Rio, jumping out of his comfort zone and admitting that he's not a super human robot. And it shows that just because you are up there in the lime light, doesn't mean you are not affected like any other human being. Well done for writing this book Rio, I hope it also helped you.
Thinking Out Loud is written in the hope that Rio can inspire others struggling with loss and grief to find the help they need through this most difficult of times.
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