A Response to Mumsnet, On Grief

I read a lot of rubbish on the internet. That’s part of my job. I’ve also developed something of a thick skin, I can even read YouTube comments without eating my own knees off.

But sometimes you come across something so idiotic, so fueled by stupidity and hate you have to comment. And in this case it was a Mumsnet thread about someone moving on and finding love again after being bereaved. I don’t know if my response in the thread will remain, so I post it below.

I’ve read some nasty, vindictive, unloving rubbish in my time, but some of the stuff in this thread is unbelievable.

“Men often do this, they are selfish and weak” and the like. How men don’t grieve for long How they can’t possibly look after children for themselves and need someone else to help them. How they need to get someone on the rebound.

Perhaps I am lucky. Lucky that my late wife didn’t have a single friend like some of you. Lucky that her friends were so full of love for her and her children (the twins who were born the day before she died) that they were delighted when I met someone else. Delighted that we are about to celebrate five years of happy marriage with our own gorgeous three year old along with our older twins. Lucky that my late wife’s family also gave their blessing.

Lucky that people understood these things happen. That you can love again. Truly love. Not just get someone on the rebound. Not just cynically find someone to look after your children because men are pathetic weak creatures, so pathetic and weak we need a whole website section about what useless wretches we are.

Perhaps in some of the deepest dungeons of this world there is physical and emotional pain deeper, more savage and destructive than having your beloved torn from you the day after they make your dreams come true. I doubt it. I doubt there is any pain in this universe that I could feel that would ever be worse. I doubt I will ever be free of the echoes of that pain. It will be with me forever.

But for heaven’s sake some of you. You selfish posters who would rather talk about how weak men are than appreciate the love within them.

Pardon me if I met someone when I wasn’t even looking. Pardon me if we genuinely fell in love for the two people were were and not the storm of pain going on around me. Perhaps I should have ran away from that love when it came because the happiness of shallow, selfish, idiotic, no nothing, fake friends who think they are more important that the matters of one’s own heart.

Pardon me if I fulfilled the promise my late wife made me swore, that if anything happened to her I shouldn’t avoid falling in love again. That I should embrace love again if it found me.

Much of this thread is an insult. An insult to my late wife, to me, my wife and to the many of us who have suffered so greatly but found happiness again. I’m sorry we can’t fulfil your wish to be miserable in our pain forever. How very thoughtless of us.

And thank you to many of you kind people in this thread, those who see that people can love again. They can form meaningful and happy relationships even under the strangest and hardest of circumstances. You give me hope for the human race.

I think perhaps my days as a Mumsnet blogger may be numbered.