It was around noon on Tuesday 4th October 2016 when my phone rang. I was off work sick and it was my younger sister calling. I answered, didn’t even think why she would be calling me as I would have been at work. She says she has some bad news about Richard our eldest brother. She told me he had died on holiday, I scream “WHAT, HOW, WHAT???” for her to reply that he had committed suicide. I screamed, my body fell to the floor. Not my Richard Stephen. There must be a mistake. My husband was in London but a dear friend was close by. She came to my aid immediately. I called my family back, I called Menorca. It was true. He had taken his life in a woods on holiday. It took a couple of days to get my head around it and to travel to family 150 miles away. When I visited, we all found out that there would be a delay in getting Richard home to the uk. We managed to sort it but it took 3 weeks. We had a the choice of seeing Richard on his return and I personally had to, had to see it was him. We chose to go as a family, my brother first then us sisters with our mother. That is an image that I will take to my grave. One I can not shake away, one I can not replace with other images of him. It taunts me especially at night. Then the funeral was arranged and my son and I decided to read our poems. We collected his ashes for Christmas so he could be back with his family where he belonged, soon to join our father, but not until after the inquest. It has taken 18 months to get any information from the Spanish authorities and we finally have a date set for the end of April this year.
Richard was the life and soul of any party, he was the ‘fun Uncle’ that all the children loved. He was fantastic at football and I have a passion for it because of him. I have some happy memories but every memory is just over shadowed now by ‘SUICIDE’. Why??? Richard did have issues with alcohol in his years but this wasn’t him. He expressed some personal issues to our mother a short time before he went on holiday which he went to the GP about. He didn’t have to do this? I am cross with him, my own little family fell apart because my 16 year old son could not cope with it. I was cross with Richard for leaving him.
I am sad that he didn’t have the courage or strength to talk to one of us. I feel guilt that we didn’t speak for a period of time before he left us. I felt hatred towards others. The worst feeling of all is hopelessness. I couldn’t help him. I couldn’t save him. I have learnt to exist since 4th October 2016 and some days are easier then others but the pain in my heart will remain with me for the rest of my living days. Unless you have sadly been affected by Suicide, you won’t know that pain.