In an excellent interview in the News of the World on Sunday, Gavin Henson states that he split with Charlotte Church because of the damage their relationship was having on their children.
Having witnessed Henson’s demolition of Matthew Tait (and others) on the rugby pitch, I would not have credited this statement had I not spent Saturday afternoon in conversation with the man himself. What I found was a considered, intelligent and sorrowful man who struggles to come to terms with the loss of his marriage and the dislocation of his children.
Fatherhood is a little spoken about subject, I find it hard to discuss the emotions I have about losing daily contact with my child (something that happened ten years ago). Nevertheless, the loss of my son is something I feel every day, even though he lives three miles from me.
I can scarcely imagine the pain of losing a child completely. The sections of Ulysses when Bloom muses on what his dead daughter could have been are some of the most poignant I know and have taken me closest to understanding the bereavement of an only child.
Henson’s loss is notable because it seems to overshadow in his mind his splendid achievements in his own life. He has a reputation for being vain and consequently superficial. He may be vain but he is not superficial.
Though I have nothing in common with Gavin Henson’s talents, I deeply sympathise with his predicament and wish him well.