Three weeks prior to Barry’s suicide, he suddenly distanced himself from me. In hindsight, it was obvious, but unfortunately we don’t have the benefit of hindsight at the time these events are taking place.
Barry started to stay over his best mate’s place, a lot – three nights away, one night at home. This did concern me. I approached Barry about it, and told him of the dangers of out staying his welcome. However, Barry insisted that his mate’s family were “cool” about it.
During this time I learned from my older son, Daniel, that Barry and his girlfriend were “taking a break”. This worried me. At first, Barry denied it, but soon admitted that the two of them had agreed to a few weeks break because they were arguing a lot. To be honest, Barry seemed fine with this arrangement. Whenever I asked him how he was feeling, he always said that he was fine. He always looked happy and he was always smiling. Obviously, he wasn’t, yet he must have felt that he couldn’t talk to me about it. Maybe he thought that I wouldn’t understand.
Then I heard from Daniel that Barry was spending time with his best mate because he didn’t like being alone. This upset me, because Barry didn’t want my company, my support. He wanted the support of his friends. If I’d understood the importance of what was happening, I could have approached Barry and talked to him about things. But I didn’t understand what was happening. To me, he was a teenager with girl trouble, wanting comfort from other teenagers. This is a natural occurrence.
Now, I look back and wonder if he deliberately took himself away from me to make it easier on himself…or easier on me. Now, I’m told that he spent time at home when I wasn’t there. That he’d leave only minutes before I was due to arrive home from work. Now, I remember our telephone conversations and realise that in those three weeks, he always tried to cut the calls short, whereas he never did that before. I now believe that he needed distance to make it easier to carry out what he planned to do.
Click here to go to Part 3: Planning a Holiday