Ben Fogle reflects on death of his baby: ‘There is no privilege in losing a chil
Ben Fogle has shared his view of pain in a heartbreaking open letter as he opens up on the grief his family endured after losing his beloved son.
His comments come days after The Guardian was forced to apologise for its editorial on David Cameron and his alleged ‘privileged pain’ at losing his six-year-old son Ivan.
The Animal Park star and his wife Marina were left heartbroken following the loss of their son, who was stillborn in 2014, and now the BBC star has expressed his disgust at the newspaper as he shared the brutality of the death of a child in a heart-wrenching post.
The open letter, which was addressed to The Guardian Newspaper, was entitled ‘Pain’.
‘I wanted to share with you my experience of pain. The pain of Child bereavement in particular. You see, despite the geo-political and economic divisions that have polarised the world, pain is universal. Black, white, rich, poor, Muslim, Christian, gay, heterosexual, it doesn’t matter who you are, the pain of losing a child is like ripping out your heart,’ Ben wrote.
‘A part of you, blood and flesh is gone. It is unspeakable, intolerable and unfortgettable. It may suit your left wing politics to believe we shed red, blue, black or green blood, but we don’t. We all bleed red (which I think you’ll agree is an ironically appropriate colour). There is no politics, economics, social inequality, race, class nor gender in the pain of child bereavement. To politicise it is deeply offensive to everyone who has experienced it.’
Ben went on to explain that while he doesn’t vote Conservative and he won’t back David Cameron on his politics, he was disgusted the recent description that the loss of Ivan had been ‘privileged pain’.
He continued: ‘There is no privilege in losing a child. There is no privilege in being called in the middle of the night, on the other side of the world to tell you your son had died and your wife may die too.
‘There is no privilege in being turned away from a Ryanair flight because I didn’t have time to print out a boarding pass and lost my wallet in haste to get to the hospital. There is no privilege in holding your dead son in your arms and having a photo with him.’
The grieving father describes how there is also no privilege in organising a funeral and all that it entails to ensure that you give your loved one a proper goodbye.
‘There is no privileged in holding my tearful wife once a year as she sobs uncontrollably on his birthday,’ he wrote.
Supported by wellwishers across his social channels, author Elle Wright – who sadly lost a child, wrote: ‘Well said Ben. There is no such thing as privilege in the pain of laying your own child to rest.’
Marina spoke to Mail On Sunday about losing her child at 32 weeks last year, where she revealed how difficult it had been to explain to her other children.
‘Honesty took on a different meaning in 2014 when my son was stillborn,’ she shared.
‘There were a lot of questions from Ludo, then aged four, and his sister Iona. I’d spent a week in intensive care, and when I feebly staggered back to the house – my skin still bearing the marks of numerous cannulas and my eyes red and puffy from tears – I felt too fragile to do anything but hug them.’
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