In 1998 Bob’s son, Darren, died while on holiday in France. He died by hanging and the French police were sure it was suicide. Bob and his wife were shocked. They have found support via Compassionate Friends, SOBS and the internet group Parents of Suicide.
Bob’s son, Darren, died in 1998 when he was 19 years old. As a teenager Darren had sometimes seemed a little down or depressed but he had never expressed these emotions openly. Usually he seemed happy. He had recently enjoyed bungee jumping and was planning to take a group of friends with him to do it again.
In August 1998 he went off to France with two friends for a holiday. One day, after an argument, he went upstairs. His friends found him hanging. The French police issued a death certificate saying that he had died by suicide due to a broken neck. However, later in England, after an inquest, the coroner delivered an open verdict because he said that he could not be sure that Darren had meant to kill himself. He said he could not be sure of intent because Darren had not left a note and because an autopsy could not be done to rule out that Darren had not been under the influence of alcohol at the time of his death.
Bob and his wife Lynda were deeply shocked by the unexpected news of their son’s death. They found it hard to believe what had happened. The local funeral director arranged for Darren’s body to be brought home. Bob and his daughter went to see Darren’s body at the funeral parlour. He had been embalmed when he was still in France.
Darren’s funeral was a sad and moving occasion, attended by many of his friends and colleagues. Music from REM, including Everybody hurts was played at the service. Darren was buried in the local graveyard. Bob and his wife frequently visit the grave.
Bob was interviewed in September 2007.