By Amy Packham
The husband of late BBC presenter Rachael Bland has revealed the moving words of their son Freddie in the days after her death.
“Daddy, don’t worry, it’s just us two now. It’ll be okay,” their three-year-old son told him, Steve said, in an interview on ‘You, Me, and The Big C’, the podcast created and presented by Rachael.
There have been occasions where he’s lost his temper with his son, knowing he wouldn’t in normal circumstances. “I shouted at him because he was being a right pain, [I was] trying to get him dressed,” Steve said.
“I started crying because it really upset me that I’d shouted at him. And he just turned to me and he said, ‘Daddy, are you crying because of Mummy?’ and I said ‘Yes’.”
That’s when the three-year-old told his dad not to worry, and that it’d be okay.
The interview is the first Steve has done since his wife’s death, and in the first posthumous edition of the podcast she created.
Rachael, 40, died in September from breast cancer. She worked for BBC Radio 5 Live as a newsreader and presenter. ‘You, Me, and The Big C’, the podcast she presented with Lauren Mahon and Deborah James, won praise for tackling the subject of cancer in an original and unsentimental way.
In the interview, Steve described the days leading up to and following Rachael’s death as “nothing like you imagine.” He also discussed the impact of the final days of his wife’s life.
“The bit that I didn’t really know how it would go was the actual physical process,” he said. “Because we didn’t talk about it, I had absolutely no idea what actually physically was going to happen to Rachael over those four or five days where she was getting more and more sick. I didn’t feel like anyone really actually explained how hard and how demanding that last four or five days were going to be.”
Freddie is brilliant – he’s a bit young really to understand even on a very base level what’s happened.”
Asked how he is coping since Rachael died, Steve said he has good days and bad days. “Plenty of challenges,” he said. “You don’t really know how you’re going to be when something like this happens.
“I guess, because we had a big lead up to it, two years of her being ill, you do kind of think, what’s it going to be like? But then it’s really nothing like that at all, nothing like you imagine.”
Steve said Freddie is a bit young to understand, even on a very base level, what has happened. “He’s brilliant,” he said. “He’s just full of energy, full of joy, full of life, keeping us busy – he’s fantastic.
“You can’t look at him without seeing Rachael either so it’s a little bit of her all the time just next to me.”
Subscribe and listen to the full episode of ‘You, Me, and The Big C’: About The Loss on www.bbc.co.uk/youmebigc and on BBC Sounds, the BBC’s new audio listening app.