Shock at Gary Barlow ‘stillbirth’ trolls
The negative reaction to Gary Barlow’s performance at the Olympics closing ceremony while still coping with the loss of his daughter is quite shocking.
I, like most parents, dread the thought of having to cope with the tragedy of a stillbirth. I can’t even begin to imagine how awful it must feel. But I reckon being criticised for my decisions immediately after the event – very publicly, in the case of Gary Barlow – would be even more soul destroying.
An equivalent in the non-celebrity world would be a group of people at work saying similar things loudly around the water cooler within earshot of the person they were discussing. In that context, the idea is quite ridiculous, as much as it is appalling. It just wouldn’t happen, and I can completely understand Jason Manford’s reaction.
While in no way defending people that think this way, you can at least give some credit to those who keep their attitudes to Gary’s performance to themselves. At least they’re not making a public statement on as public a forum as Twitter.
There must be a whole range of feelings you have as a parent who has just found out their unborn child has died. Having to cope with a close, critical evaluation of your own behaviour as well is a hideous idea.
Thankfully, there were a host of celebrities who came out in support of Barlow, who has since taken the decision to cancel plans to travel abroad with his X Factor acts. I don’t know if any other parents have, like Gary, had to cope with a stillbirth and felt under scrutiny because of how soon they’ve returned to work, but I genuinely hope they’re in the minority.
The reassuring aspect of this is that Twitter was responsible for delivering so many words of support to the former Take That man. I imagine that both Gary and his wife have very much appreciated the acknowledgements of their loss.