Rio Ferdinand has spoken out about how he dealt with the loss of his wife and it’s completely heartbreaking.
The former England player tragically lost his wife Rebecca to breast cancer in March 2015, leaving him in a pit of grief, with three young children to care for.
A new BBC documentary heart-wrenchingly revealed how the 38-year-old and his wife were planning life after his football career when she sadly died, the Mirror reports.
In the same month Rio retired – may 2015 – Rebecca succumbed to breast cancer, just 10 weeks after being diagnosed with the devastating disease.
He told The Times magazine:
You realise playing football was a f***ing walk in the park compared to telling your kids their mum isn’t coming back. I’ve never had to do something so hard, so emotionally draining and testing.
The footballer’s three children, Lorenz, 10, Tate, 8 Tia, 5 have all had to deal with the harrowing loss of their much loved mum.
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Despite the grief taking its toll on the three children, Rio explained he believes his daughter is dealing it with the best as she was so young when it happened.
I realised I wasn’t connecting with my kids about their mum. Especially the boys. My little girl sleeps with me every night. She will say things.
She finds it easy to say, ‘I’m missing Mum.’ She’s young, she hasn’t got that mentality of dissecting stuff. The boys will think, ‘This might make my dad sad.’ I couldn’t get anything out of ’em.
The dad of three also revealed how he’d gone though a really dark period in the aftermath of his wife’s death and turned to alcohol to help relieve some of the pain.
He explained to Times magazine:
At the time you think,‘I’m coping.’ You’re sitting there, the kids are in bed, you can’t sleep, but you don’t want to think about anything. That’s when the problems start. I never understood suicide.
Then you sit there and you can understand how people get that low. It’s a lonely dark place. I can easily see why you just slip over that edge.
The couple met when Rio was 21, with his football career ahead of him and had their first born in 2006, before marrying in 2009.
After her sad passing, a statement from the footballer was released on the QPR website.
My soul mate slipped away last night. Rebecca, my wonderful wife, passed away peacefully after a short battle with cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.
She was a fantastic loving mother to our three beautiful children. She will be missed as a wife, sister, aunt, daughter and granddaughter. She will live on in our memory, as a guide and inspiration.
Myself, my parents Janice and Julian, along with Rebecca’s parents Lesley and Stephen, would like to thank our families, friends and my club colleagues who have rallied around in these desperate days, weeks and months.
Such a tragic story and heartbreaking loss of a mum and wife who had so much life left to live.
RIP Rebecca and thoughts go out to Rio’s family, friends and children.