Monday 6 November 2017

Review ~ Thinking Out Loud: Love, Grief and Being Mum and Dad by Rio Ferdinand

Hodder & Stoughton
October 2017

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book

I'm not a football fan and couldn't name one footballer currently playing top level football. However, I have heard of Rio Ferdinand and was rather disappointed in myself that I had failed to watch his BBC documentary, Being Mum and Dad, when it aired in March of this year, in which he talked about the loss of his wife, Rebecca, who died in 2015, from cancer, aged just thirty-four. This autobiography is inspired by that documentary and explores, in candid detail, the profound sense of loss and sadness which threatened to overwhelm Rio's life, and that of his children, following Rebecca's passing.

Rarely have I read a celebrity autobiography is one sitting but there's something so profoundly moving about Thinking Out Loud that I really couldn't put it down and read several chapters with tears streaming down my face. The heartbreak and loneliness, and the sheer bewilderment of such a tragic loss comes through with every sentiment expressed and every emotion observed.

Rio acknowledges how difficult is was for him to express his grief, and his interaction with other men who had also experienced loss gives valuable insight, not just into the way that men cope with grief, but also in recognition of how dealing with loss in a positive way can aid the grieving process. His insightful inclusion of some of the letters he has received since the documentary aired on television, are some of the saddest, and perhaps the most inspiring things I have read in a very long time.

Not just dealing with his own grief, Rio also had to try to make sense of the senseless for his children. I think it is in these chapters where my heart broke again into a million pieces for this little family who struggled to understand just how different their lives were without their adored mum. I think amongst the most poignant of memories shared was the idea of starting Rebecca's Memory Jar and of  just how important these memories were to her children and also to everyone who knew Rebecca.

They say, what breaks us, makes us stronger and most certainly for the Ferdinand family, who have endured more than their fair share of loss in recent times, I would hope that they now have a period of calm, of course, never forgetting the pain of their loss, but hopefully they can now carry the love they shared into the future.

Rio Ferdinand is one of the most celebrated footballers of all time. He played eighty-one times for England and in three World Cups and helped Manchester United win six Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League.

Follow on Twitter @rioferdy5 #ThinkingOutLoud



  1. Oh, I watched this documentary and found it heartbreaking and I still well up when I see him when he's a panellist on football shows ( im a big football fan!) my heart goes out to him and his children

    1. I was disappointed that I missed watching the documentary. I found the book very moving ..


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