Rio Ferdinand took alcohol to suppress his guilt over wife’s death. In a documentary film by BBC, he revealed that he had never felt such helplessness and pain in dealing with the loss of a loved one. Rio Ferdinand took alcohol to suppress his guilt over wife’s death, aged 34. The unbearable sadness made him want to take his own life but seeing his children he shared with her made him think otherwise.
Being a dad and a mom! Rio Ferdinand bares it all in this tearful interview
The former England and Manchester United star can’t help breaking down in tears during the filming of his documentary film for BBC. Rio Ferdinand took alcohol to get through the grief of losing a loved one. His significant half lost her battle with breast cancer in March 2015 at London’s Royal Marsden hospital. Along with the documentary, Rio Ferdinand also shared how he felt about single parenting to their three children: Lorenz, 10, Tate, 8, and Tia, 5.
Admitting that the struggle was real (no pun intended), Rio Ferdinand that he had to self-medicate himself with drinking after the sudden realization that his partner is never coming back. Rio Ferdinand took alcohol as his way of coping up with her death and dealing with the guilt that it should be him who died and not her.
“At the beginning I was drinking a lot at night time. We have a lady lucky enough who lives with us, she would go to bed and I’d come back down in the middle of the night and probably drink a lot for the first three or four months. But I would get up and do the school run and stuff,” the sports star told Radio Times.
Aside from the drinking, he tensely explained that his wife’s death had made him into a person who can understand someone suffering from depression and calling that kind of thinking as “dark places.” The sports star added that he was grateful for the persons who were there for him following his wife’s death. And that the companionship and support he received contributed to his drive to do his best in taking care of the kids.
Furthermore, the 38-year-old football player said in the upcoming documentary that having kids inspired him to “get up and do things and try to make things work.”
Moving on and looking forward
Speaking to Radio Times, Rio Ferdinand said that the painful aftermath he suffered changed him into a better dad to his children. He gets to know them more as he spends time with them. Although the loss of his better half was devastating to the rest of the family, Ferdinand revealed that he grieves together with his children and plans activities that would help them remember her in a good way.
One of their favorite pastimes is filling the memory jar—in which a large bottle is gradually filled with memories of their mother using tiny bits of paper. The young Tia expressed her likeness for the activity and plans to write about her mom every day. At first, though, Rio tells a therapist that he is worried about his two boys who had been silent over their mom’s death. But eventually, the footballer admitted that the memory jar had served its purpose and “has changed everything.”
Golfer Darren Clarke, who also lost his wife to cancer, gave meaningful advice to fellow single dad Rio.
“The best thing you can do for your kids is to let them see you smile now and again. That will transfer to them like you won’t believe.”
His words created a turning point for Rio, who has spent months mourning and wondering what to do with his children. Aside from the memory jar, he also bought his wife’s favorite perfume for the kids. He said that the children sprayed it on their pillows and “something they sleep with” to remember her.
According to Rio Ferdinand, the film was a great therapy to look back at what they had done as a family. He is proud to say that if his wife was to look down and see how they’ve moved on, she would probably say “well done.”
Rio Ferdinand’s documentary will be shown on Tuesday, March 28 at 9 p.m., BBC1.
[Featured Image by Christopher Lee/Getty Images]