Katy Loves...

It’s Not Raining Daddy…!

Ben & Desreen - Wedding Day 3

If you buy one book this year, let it be

THIS one.

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In the nicest possible way, I wish with all of my being that  I’d never heard of Benjamin Brooks-Dutton.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’s a great bloke and since he works in PR, I guess there’s a chance our paths might have crossed somehow, somewhere, sometime anyway.

But not like this.

I wish I’d never heard of the guy.

I wish I’d never learnt how his world turned upside down one November day in 2012.

And I wish I didn’t want to meet his wife Desreen just from reading this book.

Because I think she’s amazing – as a woman, wife and mother.

Because I think we’d get on really well.

Because, the reality is, our paths are sadly never going to cross.

After the most perfect family day in November 2012,  as the couple walked along a pavement with their 2 year old son Jackson in his pushchair, Desreen was knocked down and killed by an out-of-control-car.  And in that moment Ben became a widower and sole parent at the age of 33, only one year after the couple had married.  Who could foresee that the same vicar who had happily married Ben and “Dessie” would be presiding over the funeral of a beautiful woman, gone too soon just one year later?

In an attempt to cope with his grief, Ben set up his lifeasawidower blog which has, to date, received over a million hits.

Jackson & Ben - Havant

He’s now written It’s Not Raining, Daddy, It’s Happy – which tells how he and Jackson have coped over the last year.

I started reading the book to support Ben and what he’s trying to achieve.  The irony?  It’s ended up supporting ME.

For a book that’s largely about grief, it’s a powerful and compelling read, but perhaps what’s surprised me most is how life affirming it is.  It’s an amazing story of love – between Ben, Desreen and Jackson and would be hugely helpful to anyone experiencing grief of their own.

But on top of that, it’s celebration of LIFE.

Ben’s eulogy at Desreen’s funeral is included in it’s entirety and serves to show what an amazing woman she was, and how we can all learn from her.  She totally embraced life with open arms. If anyone lived life to the max, she did.

Desreen - California

The reality is, NONE of us know how long we’ll be here and this book is a brilliantly written reminder that life is such a fragile gift and we need to LIVE IT.

If there’s one book you NEED to read this year, it’s this one.

For Ben. For Desreen. For Jackson. For YOU.

K x

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16 Comments

  • Reply What Katy Did! - Katy Hills BlogKaty Hills Blog June 24, 2014 at 9:54 am

    […] with some amazing and powerful bloggers and inspirational speakers in the shape of Emma Freud and Benjamin Brooks-Dutton. I feel humbled, inspired and proud in equal […]

  • Reply Franglaise Mummy May 24, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    I discovered Ben and his blog last year at the BiBs awards at Britmums, as I bounced my 7 month old baby on my lap he talked about how his life fell apart 2 days before my baby was born. All I could think was “that feels like just yesterday!”, and I couldn’t begin to comprehend what he had gone through while I’d been immersed in my newborn baby. I keep thinking about getting the book, but until now I worried about it being too hard a read, your review has convinced me to get it and read it though.

    • Reply Katy May 24, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      You MUST. It’s honestly life affirming. And I kind of feel like we owe it to that sweet girls memory. Xx

      • Reply Franglaise Mummy May 25, 2014 at 7:43 am

        On the back of this it’s now on my Kindle and waiting to be read – I’ll let you know how I get on x

  • Reply older mum in a muddle May 11, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Fabulous, heartfelt review… I know I’m going to end up reading this!

  • Reply becky May 11, 2014 at 7:41 am

    So so sad. You are right we must embrace our life today!

  • Reply Anonymous May 11, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Jusrt heartbreakingly sad for a child to lose his mum and a man his wife like this (or at all) You are so right Katy we must MUST embrace the life we have today

  • Reply Mari May 10, 2014 at 8:49 am

    I have met Benajmin last year at the BiBs and it was one of those moments I won’t forget. I didn’t know he’d written a book, thanks for letting me know I’ll search it out, I just hope it’s not too sad.

  • Reply Donna@MummyCentral May 9, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    I’m off to check out this book. But not before I buy some waterproof mascara!

  • Reply Kirsty May 9, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I must have been living under a rock as I haven’t heard about their story. I am compelled to read about this family now, after such a powerful recommendation. I am crying just reading your post though, so I might struggle emotionally to even turn to the first page x

  • Reply Otilia May 9, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    What a heartbreaking story. I subscribed to his blog and I will be buying his book for sure too. Thank you for sharing x

  • Reply Steph - I'm Counting UFOs May 9, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Oh I remember reading about this so well, it made me so sad. I am sure this book will be such a comfort to people experiencing the kind of grief no one should ever have to feel.

  • Reply Actually Mummy... May 9, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Crikey I don’t know if I can. Just reading your post and being reminded of his story has brought me out in tears.
    I discovered Ben when I was a judge in the Fresh Voice category of the BiBs last year, and as you say, I wish I hadn’t had to, despite that fact that his blog is one of the most beautifully-written I’d ever seen.
    But I spent so much of that time in tears for what should never have happened to that family. I think though, that it will be a fantastic resource (as is the blog) for others trying to come to terms with a tragic loss.

  • Reply Mummy Barrow May 9, 2014 at 11:35 am

    This Katy. Just this. I first heard about Ben at Britmums last year, and see is a finalist in the BiBs again this year.

    He is a remarkable man and I have this book at the top of my “to read” list. It should come with free tissues though.

  • Reply Donna @ Little Lilypad Co May 9, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Oh my goodness Katy, just reading this has given me goosebumps, I suspect the book may make me cry. You are telling me to read it, I want to read it, but I think I may need to lock myself away when I do!!

    • Reply Katy May 10, 2014 at 7:26 am

      You won’t regret it xx

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