Fans took to Twitter in their droves on Wednesday after footballer Rio Ferdinand appeared on Good Morning Britain to talk about the loss of his wife, Rebecca Ellison after she passed away breast cancer aged 34 in May 2015.
After his heartbreaking documentary, Being Mum And Dad aired on the BBC on Tuesday night, Rio discussed the battle he faced in dealing with his children’s grief.
He told hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: ‘For any parent to tell your children, you’re going to leave the hospital and not see your mum ever again, it’s a hard thing to do.
‘To put it into words and my kids at the time were nine, seven and four, and to break it down into little people’s thinking and words in a way they can understand it, without being scarred, by that one little message that I give them, I hope I can give them a message that they can look back on and say, you know what he did that in the best way possible at that time.’
He also recalled another painful moment, when his son saw cards on the wall of the hospital thanking members of staff for their hard work, that highlighted to him how difficult it can be to translate things to children.
‘I said that they [the cards] were thank you messages for staff up on the wall and he said “Well they didn’t help my mum.” The way that kids just see things in black and white and that’s it, his day went on, it hits home that I’ve got a lot of work to do,’ Rio explained.
Viewers took to social media following the show to commend Rio on his care for his children and to reassure him that he was doing a good job.
One viewer wrote: ‘What a moving documentary #BeingMumAndDad was. I have the upmost respect for @rioferdy5 you’re doing an amazing job with your beautiful kids.’
Another added: ‘@rioferdy5 @meldeane you’re kids will be fine mate, you’re a good man and a fantastic father.’
A third penned: ‘@rioferdy5 massive respect to you your children will be so proud #