The widow of
Steve Bland, 38, from Cheshire has spoken about how he is coping this Mother’s Day, which is the first time the family have celebrated Mother’s Day without mum, Rachael.
In an article for
Rachael Bland died last December aged 40 – two years after being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer.
The family together:the late Rachael Bland with husband Steve and son Freddie. The father son duo are spending their first Mother’s Day without Rachael
The BBC radio presenter dedicated the last month’s of her life to writing a book, called For Freddie, a blueprint for her son to navigate the world without him.
She also spent time presenting podcast You, Me and The Big C with Deborah James and Lauren Mahon, which Steve took over after she passed away.
Husband Steve revealed today he misses the little every day things with his wife – snuggling up in bed, pottering around the kitchen or watching her paint with their son.
‘She was magic as a mum,’ he said, as well as talking about her endless patience, admitting he feels he can’t begin to match that.
Steve has revealed he misses the little things about Rachael, like snuggling up in bed or watching her with their son
Steve calls Freddie his rock and best friend, but also says the little boy doesn’t understand that his mother isn’t coming back
He went on: ‘Nearly seven months have passed and still, almost every day, he asks me where mummy is and if she’s coming back.’
Though Steve admits he tries to give his son simple, honest answers – he feels Freddie is too young to understand what death is.
While the three-year-old knew she was ill, he didn’t grasp the full extent of her sickness – and Steve says the couple didn’t push it, because they didn’t know what was happening themselves.
The little boy also still talks about his mother in the present tense and talks about ‘died’ as if it’s a physical place, that one day she may come back.
Steve also revealed that Rachael was a ‘natural’ at being a mother, and was ‘magic’, but now feels he must play the part of mother and father
He told how he feels the need to make Freddie understand that’s not the case, and explained it was very difficult.
He also has to reassure the little boy that his mother’s absence is not a punishment, and not because he has been naughty – but it is simply because she wasn’t very well and doctors couldn’t make her better.
Heartbreakingly, Steve knows Rachael is always on his mind, as he often draws pictures of his mother and brings them home.
The little boy – who Steve calls his best friend – can also tell when his father is feeling down, or when things are getting too much, and tries to reassure him by saying ‘it’ll be alright’.
The BBC presenter died in September after a two year battle with breast cancer. She was just 40
But the family have positive plans for Mother’s Day, by focusing on the other wonderful mothers in their life – Steve’s mum Judy, Rachael’s mum Gayna and Steve’s sister, Claire, who has three brilliant children.
The family plan to spend the day together, before going out for a meal and toasting to Rachael.
He also plans to help his son feel close to his wife by using a telescope to find the brightest stars in the sky, and telling the little boy it it is mummy shining down on him.
While he admits that Rachael was a complete natural at being a mum, he says: ‘I’ll do my best I can to be a good dad – and a good mum – to our little boy.’
He also admitted the family had not scattered Rachael’s ashes yet, but felt close to her in many places local to their home in Cheshire.
This Mother’s Day is Freddie’s first without his mum – he still asks after every day. He often paints pictures of his mother, and asks when she will return