Rio Ferdinand: Memory jar helped my kids remember their mum

Last updated at 10:38
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How Rio Ferdinand s helping his children cope with grief

Former England football captain Rio Ferdinand has said starting a memory jar allowed his children to talk about the happy moments when their mum was alive.

Ferdinand's wife, Rebecca, was 34 when she died of breast cancer in May 2015. Together they had three children, now aged 10, eight and five.

He said: "It kind of opened everything up and it was a beautiful moment just seeing them talk happily and being joyful about their mum rather than it being sad and negative moments.

"It switched it from dark to bright."

Click here for where to go for advice on bereavement.

Rio Ferdinand with Rebecca Ellison in 2013PA
Rio Ferdinand and Rebecca Ellison got married in 2009

The ex-Manchester United defender was speaking ahead of a BBC One documentary about grief on Tuesday 28 March.

He said: "I didn't know any techniques to speak to the children. I didn't know what buttons to push.

"I'd been starting conversations with them to try and get how they were feeling out, and they would just shut me down, walk away, close the conversation down completely."

Click here for some answers to questions you might have about grief and death.