Ex England player, Rio Ferdinand has said it has been difficult getting his children to talk about their mother’s death. The former captain who lost his 34 year-old wife, Rebecca to cancer in May 2015 told BBC that he gets shut down by the three children, aged 10, 8 and 5 each time he asks about their feeling.
He told BBC Radio 5 live, ahead of a BBC One documentary, “I didn’t know any techniques to speak to the children. I didn’t know what buttons to push. I’d been starting conversations with them to try and get how they were feeling out, and they would just shut me down, walk away, close the conversation down completely.”
He continued, “It kind of opened everything up and it was a beautiful moment just seeing them talk happily and being joyful about their mum rather than it being sad and negative moments. It switched it from dark to bright.
— BBC One (@BBCOne) March 27, 2017
“When you come into this situation you understand suicide, you understand people who do that and have those thoughts. I didn’t think about it myself but I understand now how people get to that situation. I can’t judge people like that now, whereas before I’d be sitting there, probably with Rebecca, saying that guy is so ignorant and selfish how has he just done that – left three beautiful kids.Now I could say I understand how he got to that point. I wouldn’t do it, but I understand how he’s there. You do get to those levels – and so it’s a work-in-progress.
“At the beginning I’d sit and think how am I ever going to be happy? I can’t see a point where I’m ever going to be able to smile, because I can get happy over here, but then I look at my children – and that brings you right back into sadness again because they haven’t got a mum.”