The things that still burn 4 years after my husband’s suicide

  • Every time I walk past Pronovias (a Spanish wedding dress designer) because I got married in a Pronovias wedding dress.  I think it burns because it reminds me of how perfect my wedding day was, yet my marriage only lasted for 2.5 years.  The more time that passes, the more surreal it feels to think that I was married and was once a wife and loved it. 
  • Remembering how much he wanted children.  I’ll never ever understand why he killed himself when he had so much more life to live and so many more dreams to make a reality.  We had even picked a name for our first child.  Arabella Norrington will never ever exist.
  • His birthday which is exactly six months after mine but he will forever be 31.  He will never get a grey hair; he will never lose his hair or get wrinkles whereas I am getting older every single day and leaving him behind.  We were supposed to do that together.
  • Being the sole keeper of our memories.  That nobody else remembers the funny things that happened to us, 11.5 years of laughter, just me.
  • Oxford the setting of my love story and where I got married.  I only have happy memories of Oxford but they burn nevertheless.  
  • Medical TV dramas.  I can’t watch them; they remind me too much of him and what my life as a Dr’s WAG used to be like.
  • Looking at my face in photographs of us.  I can’t bear to look at that girl.  A girl who was so innocent and naively believed that she had life all figured out and sorted because she had him. A girl who had no idea of what was about to hit her.   They say ignorance is bliss and it is true.
  • The thought that I wasn’t enough for him to stay still haunts me. A uber perfectionist is not best suited to be a suicide widow. Logically I know that he was very unwell and his suicide wasn’t about me.  But it still burns.
  • The sense of failure that in some way I failed as a wife because I didn’t keep him alive.  I will always wish that I could have saved him despite logically being aware that it was entirely out of my hands.
  • Fictional deaths every single time someone loses a partner in a book or a film or a TV series I cry my eyes out.  Because I know exactly what that feels like. I know exactly what it feels like to wail and scream at paramedics to save my husband.  I know what it is to lie on top of a cold, dead body and beg it to come back to me.  That isn’t something you will ever forget.
  • Weddings, baby showers and father’s days.   For the reasons above.
  • His TV shows:  Breaking Bad, The Wire, Better call Saul, Black Mirror, The Sopranos.   He had good taste; all of those shows are critically acclaimed but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch any of them.

4 thoughts on “The things that still burn 4 years after my husband’s suicide

  1. I hear you. Your heartache seeps from your words and touches the similarities in mine and yet…….somehow….. we survive….and go on to thrive. Sharing the post trauma growth, providing hope to others in similar
    circumstances and an insight for those fortunate enough not to have experienced this trauma.


  2. I studied at medical school with Karl and we were placed in a few rotations together including at a gp surgery and at Ealing hospital. He was genuinely one of the nicest and funniest people I had studied with and made rotations more enjoyable. I’m so sorry to hear this happened and I’m glad you have managed to work through it.


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