I try to keep my blog fairly lighthearted and positive these days, but advance warning, today’s post not a cheerful one.
Last week, the wife of an old college friend of Ashley’s – somebody we’ve known for years, though not somebody we see regularly – had breakfast with her family, dropped her elder son off at primary school, her younger son at the childminder, and then went to her local train station, threw herself in front of an express train and killed herself. She was 39.
I’ve met her a on several occasions over the years, and although we were vaguely aware that she’d had some sort of emotional issues/depression many years ago, as far as we knew that was all sorted, and the last time we saw her a couple of years back, she was on good form and seemed fine.
The time I’d seen her previous to that was about 10 years ago at a wedding. William was with us and she was very taken with him and spent a long time chatting to him, and later confided in me that she was very keen to have children, but her husband (who’s about 15 years older than her) was really against it. Whether or not this had anything to do with her emotional issues, who knew, but the thought did cross my mind, although she told me that he felt he was too old.
Obviously, in time, she talked him round, because as I mentioned, they had two sons subsequently, and when we last met she talked about them at length and was obviously a very proud mum, showing photos of the kids on her phone to everybody.
As I said, we didn’t see them often, and I wouldn’t really call her a friend, more of an acquaintance, but I’ve found the whole thing popping into my head so much over the last week, and I just cannot make sense of it.
I mean, obviously she must have been absolutely tormented to have even contemplated doing what she did, much less actually do it. And yet there were apparently no signs.
But how on earth can you leave your husband a widower, and your two little boys motherless, and thus condemn them to a lifetime of wondering if it was their fault, if something they did caused it. Not to mention the fact that the husband had never wanted any children in the first place, and now he was left to bring up two little boys on his own.
And that poor train driver – God, what a burden to carry.
It just seems, to an outsider, such a selfish, dreadful act. And yet – she must have felt there was no other way out. It’s just a tragedy from any and all angles, and like I said, I just can’t make sense of it.
I can only hope that she has found some peace now, and that her poor family are able to come to terms with this horrific thing. I can’t imagine how they’ll even begin to do so, but my thoughts are with them.