I can’t believe it’s now nearly seven years since that awful day when I came home from work to find my husband hanging. Many reading this will have been in a similar situation. Your mind goes into freefall and it’s as though the whole base of your life has been knocked from under you. I was fortunate, I ran to a neighbour for help, she called the police, etc. The police did what they had to do, and at my request, contacted my brother, who dropped everything and came round with his wife. They made all the phone calls which I felt incapable of making. Also, when my son got home from work he became the rock which kept me going.
I have been a lot luckier than many I have talked to since. I received unwavering support from family – mine and my husband’s – and from friends and work colleagues. My other son returned from Australia knowing only (his choice) that his father had died suddenly, and I had to tell him what had happened. There were days when I could feel myself going downhill with no brakes, and all I could do was shut myself in my bedroom and howl. Even if I had been able to suppress it I knew that I should not as it was part of the healing process. I realised later that in this situation you have two choices – you break down and become an invalid or you go on with your life. Fortunately it never occurred to me to do the former. Somehow I got through the funeral and the inquest, and life moved slowly on.
Eventually I was able to go back to work, and I took on all the household responsibilities which had previously been his. I discovered the sad truth that the world is made for couples, and I tended to avoid situations where I was single among a lot of couples. Now I can see the advantages – I can do what I want, when I want, and am answerable to no-one.
It was more than two years after the event that I discovered SOBS and helped to set up a support group. It was such a relief to be able to talk to people who had been in the same situation. Though our group did not survive I am still involved with SOBS in other ways, and I know what a help and support it can be for people in a difficult time. It’s true that life will never be the same, but it is still possible to make it worthwhile and fulfilling in ways that you never thought of before.
And when you feel stronger, maybe you can help others.