It was late, a knock at the door, a police officer’s voice. She was there to inform my mum that my father had taken his own life. Had they not divorced it would have been their 13th wedding anniversary. He had called her earlier that afternoon, barely lucid. She had known something was horribly wrong. Even given his history of violence, instability and alcohol abuse, my mother could never have imagined what he had just done, or what he was about to do. She pleaded with him to come to the house. Whatever was wrong, she could help work it out. Fortunately for my mother, sister and I, he didn’t take her up on the offer and moments later took his own life in the bathroom. A day later his partner died from the injuries he had inflicted. I did not hear the full story until 2017, almost 30 years after his death. Not just the inquest version of the murder-suicide, but the full, uncensored story of my mum’s six-year marriage.
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