BBC's Ben Fogle opens up about the loss of his son, 7 years on
His son was sadly stillborn in 2014.
Content warning: This article contains mentions of child and neonatal loss.
Ben Fogle has shared an emotional tribute to his baby son Willem on the seventh anniversary of his stillbirth.
The baby boy was tragically stillborn at 33 weeks on August 24, 2014, leaving Ben his wife Marina and their other two kids heartbroken.
Yesterday, for Willem’s anniversary, the TV star posted a picture of Marina playing with one of their dogs with a touching caption, admitting that he dreads the date each year.
"The date looms like a mighty wave that threatens to hold me under with a suffocating pain," he wrote. "It is the date we lost our son, Willem.
"It changed us forever. But then the day arrives and it isn’t so bad. We remember. We mourn. We reflect And I am reminded to be grateful for what we HAVE, not just mourn what we have lost.
"I have a beautiful, kind, loving wife and two amazing children. The anniversary always signifies sadness but it reminds me that I must be grateful and happy for what I have, not just a sadness for what I have lost.
"It nearly broke us but we are stronger. Perspective is important in life. It teaches us the values of love and family and friendship.
"Don’t waste a single day. Don’t forget to tell those close to you how much you love them. Don’t waste a single hug or kiss. Love, peace and puppy licks," he finished.
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Ben and Marina are parents to son Ludo, 11, and daughter Iona, 10.
This isn't the first time the Animal Park star opened up about the heartbreak of losing a child.
In 2019, he wrote a letter sharing how the grief and pain of child loss is a unifying experience for any parent who goes through it.
"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," he wrote at the time.
Wife Marina also spoke about her grief in 2018, and about the difficulty in explaining the stillbirth to the couple's son Ludo, 11, and daughter Iona, 10.
"Honesty took on a different meaning in 2014 when my son was stillborn," she told the Mail On Sunday.
"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."
For more information and support for stillbirth and neonatal grief, see Féileacáin.ie.