Gary Barlowhas revealed how his life changed and gave him a new perspective after the tragic loss of his daughter Poppy Barlow.
TheTake Thatsinger, 51, spoke about the tragedy during his new one-man show A Different Stage which is taking place in London’s West End.
The show tells the story of Gary’s life from how he grew up in a Cheshire town and joined Britain’s biggest boyband, as well as his battles with bulimia, booze and cannabis alongside a performance of his greatest hits.
The honest insight into Gary’s life meant that he told viewers about the tragedy he and his wife Dawn faced in 2012 when his daughter Poppy was stillborn.
The heartbreaking moment happened days before Gary was to play at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics and he recounted it: "It's August 2012, Dawn has gone for a last minute check-up.
“Only four days to go, we're all so excited. Name is on the nursery, Moses basket, cot, clothes all over the floor waiting for the main player to arrive.
"Dawn calls and something's wrong. Now this is one of those phone calls where you live a lifetime in a second.
"We all have coping mechanisms, back there was the bulimia and the hallelujahs in the toilet. I'm not saying just having a run is going to cure it, but those were my coping mechanisms. I dealt with this by turning into bloody Inspector Gadget.”
He added that “Inspector Gadget doesn’t have a gizmo for this,” and the experience was like “someone sitting in our house and saying, 'The journey you are about to take is going to end in a car crash'. Then sadly handing you the keys."
Dawn had to be induced and Gary said he was dreading seeing the baby and explained: "The moment that Poppy Barlow was born the light that filled the room was just magical.
"Over that next hour we took turns nursing her, cuddling her, having pictures taken with her, hands, footprints, just anything to try and extend those short 60 minutes.
"But the nurse came and told us our time was up. We kissed her good-bye and off she went."
Gary recalled struggling to cope at first but praised his wife Dawn's reaction to the ordeal.
He said: "From that point on, she did all her talking with actions. As soon as she was allowed back on her feet – pick-ups, drop-offs, parents evenings, playdates, the whole time coping with loss so deep.”
Gary added: “There are just no words for that kind of strength.
"I found myself back in that familiar place, not knowing any of the words or where to stand, nor what to say. I needed to accept this wasn’t a scar that was going to heal with time, this was a scar I was going to die with."
Gary said the tragedy eventually gave him the ability to properly reflect on his life for the first time and gave him a new sense of perspective.
He told how his song Let Me Go celebrated Poppy's life, explaining: "This guy has got the gift of Poppy Barlow, the gift of perspective. I’d never had that before. A real lesson into what’s important."
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