Jenny’s husband had had episodes of depression. In 2007 he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Five days later he took his own life. Jenny has had support from family, friends, the WAY foundation and Cruse. Her baby is also a great comfort to her.
Jenny’s husband, David, had had at least four major episodes of depression during his life. He had tried many types of medication. During 2006 and early 2007 he had been very depressed, and had even written a suicide note, which Jenny and David destroyed together. Five days before he died, in March 2007, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and decided to seek specialist help in hospital. However, he soon discharged himself and left without any medication. The next day he told Jenny that he was going to see his GP to get his medication but on the way to see the GP he took his own life by jumping from a tower. Jenny thinks that perhaps he lost hope that he would ever get better and that he was exhausted through lack of sleep.
Jenny was away staying with her parents at the time of David’s death. When she heard the news she was stunned’, and went a bit ballistic’. Paramedics were concerned because she was pregnant at the time. They took her to hospital so that doctors could make sure that the baby was alright. Since then Jenny has found out that this sort of stressful event is unlikely to affect a pregnancy.
Jenny says she has experienced many emotions since David died. At times she has felt numb. She has cried a lot from time to time. She says she allows herself small periods of time just to cry and grieve.
Jenny went to the hospital to see David’s body, which she says for her was the right thing to do’. Jenny found great comfort by listening to the music that David loved and used to play. She also found it comforting to spend time and effort organizing a perfect’ funeral. She wanted to plan the reading, music, poems and the venue. Over 400 people came to the funeral, which was perfect’ in every way. David was cremated.
Jenny has been supported by family and friends. She says that it is important to reach out to people because they will reach back and help. She has also jointed the WAY foundation, a self-help social and support network for men and women widowed up to the age of 50. She has also been in touch with Cruse (Cruse Bereavement Care) and will soon see a counsellor.
Jenny has also found comfort in setting up a bursary in David’s memory. David was a teacher. The bursary will be to help less privileged children attend the school where David taught for many years.
Jenny thinks it is important to raise awareness about bipolar disorder. She talked on local radio about the illness and helped to write something for a local newspaper.
When she was interviewed three months after her husband’s death Jenny was still waiting for the inquest.
Jenny was interviewed in July 2007.