Monday, 28 May 2012

Cloud over Cruise


I'll talk about our cruise in another post but today I just want to share the tragic news that reached us on the second day of our holiday.  We were just unpacking, having arrived in Amsterdam, when we received a phone call from my daughter: my youngest brother-in-law had shot himself earlier that day. To say that we were devastated is an understatement: we had left our hotel details with small son just in case we had bad news about my father.  The worst thing was that we were helpless, half-way around the world and it was impossible for us to return.  The best we could do was keep in touch on the ship's internet, and compose some kind of a message for the memorial service which took place on the last day of our holiday - when we were somewhere on the North Sea.  Ironically, one other sister-in-law was away in Australia on a long-awaited trip to visit her children and grandchildren. So many questions, so much guilt, shame and pride.  We knew they were having a hard time but no-one could have guessed it was this bad. Heartbreakingly, not an unusual story: I have told three people (apart from writing this post) and I was astonished to learn that each had a family member or friend who had taken the same decision to end their lives - though for different reasons. This post is not the place to discuss the theories that rack the family.  Suffice it to say, we are such a big, loving family, surely we could have helped? He was only 51.

4 comments:

  1. What a terrible loss. I am very sorry this happened to your family. These events are terrible no matter how they occur, but to be helplessly stuck away must have been very frustrating. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

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    1. Thank you, Sextant. I appreciate that very much.

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  2. What sad and terrible news! Losing a loved one is always painful, but the aftermath of a suicide is particularly devastating because, of course, you wonder how things might have been different, how you might have helped. But so often those determined to end their lives, for whatever reason, keep their plans to themselves and really don't give signs of their intentions. They also can't possibly anticipate the pain they leave behind. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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    1. THank you so much, Kathy. I know it's not easy to comment on topics like this - but it helps so much.

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