Rio Ferdinand Opens Up About How He Dealt With His Wife's Death
Rio Ferdinand was on the This Morning couch earlier today, speaking about his regrets after his wife's death and the emotional moment he told his children they would 'never see their mum again'.
The former footballer gave an emotional first television interview about losing Rebecca to breast cancer back in May 2015, ahead of a BBC documentary which airs tonight about how he adapted to being a single parent in the aftermath of the death.
Wearing his wedding ring, the 38-year-old spoke to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield about learning to communicate with his kids and getting them to express their grief.
Rio said: "That's probably the hardest point before she passed away that you have to tell your children you're going home from the hospital today and never seeing your mum again.
Credit: ITV / This Morning
"I wouldn't wish that on anybody. You're just thrown into a situation where you've got to deal with the school run for instance.
"Your appreciation for mothers and how they cope and how they deal with the school run.
"I thought I was playing a big part of the school run but I soon realised there's so many things that we as men don't even consider."
Rebecca was first diagnosed in 2013 and went into remission, but the cancer returned.
"I wish I could have said more, I wish I could have done more, you hurt yourself. I would just shut her down and close the conversation, I didn't want to get emotional," he said.
"Without talking, you miss that opportunity to have that idea about what your partner would have wanted, and that's a tormenting thing."
Rio also said that his upbringing meant he did not open up to his Manchester United and QPR teammates.
"I didn't want to put that burden on other people and my teammates. Going to work was a bit of respite for me," he said.
"What I've learnt along the journey is talking is so important. My children need to see me talk and show emotion. Talking doesn't make the pain go away but it does help."
The retired footballer now uses a memory jar to help his kids remember their mum and open up about their sadness at her passing.
Watch the video here...
Credit: ITV / This Morning
Rio said: "I couldn't get any feedback really for my kids. The two boys especially, any time it was mentioned would walk off and shut the situation down.
"The scary thing for the parent is that you don't know how your kids are doing."
He added: "[I'm] undoubtedly a better dad because my kids are benefitting. I'm seeing it day in and day out with my children.
"If you put them in a room with 20 children you wouldn't know they had lost their mum and that's testament to them."
Featured Image Credit: ITV / This Morning