Not A Very Cheerful Post


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.

Shocking, huh?

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.




12 thoughts on “Not A Very Cheerful Post

  1. God that is awful. I am not surprised you are dwelling on it – I would be too. Those stories are bad enough to read when you don’t know the person but as you did it is making it harder to understand. The mental illness part means, probably that whilst you and I see it was having dreadful knock on affects for her family, she wasn’t wired to see it like that – maybe she saw it as a release or that they would be better off. Either way it is so terrible she didn’t get the help she obviously needed. Very very sad for those left behind. But like you also say, hopefully she has peace.

  2. How absolutely dreadful. I am not surprised that it has affected you and I hope that by writing about it, it may in a small way help you not to dwell on it.

    A friend of mine from many years ago found her father who had hung himself. She admitted that she had never got over it. It is a selfish act but I feel borne of desperation so I would never condemn anyone who was so in pain that they couldn’t see a way out. Depression is a terrible thing something that can not be seen on the outside but is every bit as real and painful as a broken leg.

    One will never know what caused this particular case but she may have been suffering since the birth of her children. Sometimes when one wants something so very much it can cause depression afterwards because little children are hard work and not always the blessing that you imagine.

    I hope that her family in time will be able to come to terms with this tragedy. We must also remember as you say the train driver and her other family too, possibly parents and siblings.


  3. Gosh how horrible. It does make you wonder how people get so desperate doesn’t it? I guess you never know until you find yourself in a similar situation x

  4. So awful to hear that and I’m of similar thought to you the family they leave behind, the children and the train driver that has to live with what happened.

    Dreadful state of affairs it really is, how totured one must be.


  5. What a sad story. It is so hard to understand why peope commit suicide – especially when they leave young children behind. It must be so hard for her husband, who will be tortured by “if only” ….. if only he had done this or if only he had said that.

  6. Such a sad story, and one that you or the family will never really understand. Mental illness / Depression never really goes away, it lays dormant and can flare at the times when least expected. The logic that we are trying to apply to understand the whys of this action will be so different to what she would have been feeling. Often people’s logic is that’s its the better option and that everyone will be better off without them and this is the only choice open to them. Its a very dark,place to be. Thinking of you & hope that you find some comfort soon. Xxxx

      • Indeed. When a former neighbour of ours killed himself, he left a note saying his family would be better off without him. His poor wife said,’How can we be better off when I’ve got to tell the boys this?’ I don’t think she ever forgave him and reverted to her maiden name. Suicide has always seemed a selfish option to me but as others have said, people who do it have a different logic *at the time*. I feel so much for the children and hope there will be a lot of support around them.

  7. A really sad story Caroline but I remember a few years back an old school friend of mine who had cancer at 45, lost one of her friends who had hung herself. A single mum to three girls the youngest who was deaf. She had suffered with depression and had cried for help on several occasions, even ringing Samaritans before the dreadful act but by the time she was found it was too late, she died two days later in hospital. My friend asked me how could she do something so selfish when she was fighting for her life from cancer. I told her that although she had had lots of health issues and heartache all her life she had never suffered from depression, an imbalance in the brain, an illness out of anyone’s control and something ordinary people with apparently no problems can just get for no reason. My friend died the following year, I hope they are having fun up there together and I guess the lady you talk of had depression for no apparent reason, it really can’t be helped but it needs to be recognised by those around the sufferer so that help can be sought to stop things like this happening to good people. May she rest in peace x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s