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.