Gary Barlow opens up about his daughter's death: ‘It is something I don’t think we will ever recover from’

The Take That singer lost his daughter Poppy in 2012

Olivia Petter
Tuesday 09 October 2018 09:24
Gary Barlow teaser for appearance on Lorraine 'When you've been big, the only thing you can be is to lose everything'

Gary Barlow has spoken out about the pain of losing his daughter, Poppy, who was stillborn in 2012.

Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Sunday, the Take That singer revealed how he and his wife, Dawn, remain deeply affected by the loss to this day, recalling how they spent an hour with her prior to organising the funeral.

Barlow has written extensively about his grief in his new autobiography, A Better Me, dedicating an entire chapter to the bereavement, which he explains was incredibly difficult to write.

“The first time was very inaccurate in the way I remembered it, so I sat and wrote the last version with Dawn,” the musician said.

“The thing that made us decide was how it will actually help other people. There is one thing about this, is that is has not really been talked about much.

“People say things like, ‘You’ve got three other kids’ and people don’t really understand your pain, it makes it more painful.

“For us it was the chance to help all the other people who are not understood either. It just felt like the right thing to do and the right thing to be in this book.”

Speaking with journalist Emma Freud, Barlow recalled the moment his wife told him Poppy had died two days ahead of the due date.

“I got a phone call and Dawn said, ‘I can’t think of any other way of saying this but the baby has died’,” he said.

“The doctor had given her a scan and said he had the most terrible news. I just went into this flight-or-fight mode.

“We went in the following night and it was a very strange day and the doctor had told me that you get to hold the baby.”

The former X Factor judge went on to explain how he and his wife spent a “gorgeous hour” with Poppy in the hospital, taking photographs and footprints.

“It was a very strange time,” he added, “it was very heartbreaking watching the person that you love walking around the room with their dead baby.”

Barlow and Dawn have three other children together: Daniel, 18, Emily, 16, and Daisy, nine.

Speaking about his ongoing grief over Poppy’s death, Barlow explained he and Dawn are still managing it to this day.

Barlow and Dawn pictured at a celebratory reception for BBC Children In Need in January 2012

“It is something I don’t think we will ever recover from, especially her.”

Nine babies are stillborn every day in the UK, according to Tommy's, the charity dedicated to funding research into stillbirth and miscarriage.

While reasons for stillbirths vary, the majority are linked to placental complications.

Other causes include an infection in the mother, a genetic physical defect in the baby or a problem with the umbilical cord.

For more information on stillbirths, visit

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