At 17:00 GMT today my friend Archie* telephoned to say that his long-term girlfriend Fiona* had recently committed suicide and that he is devastated. What can you say in these situation? Well I guess that I can show more empathy than the average Joe because I have experience of the two main factors which led to her suicide: i.e. my brother killed himself in the mid 1990s and I was friends with Archie then, so he remembers my regular heavy drinking and morose nature. The second factor was having to deal, on a regular basis, with a relative with Alzheimer's, which as you can tell from the other entries in this blog, becomes very stressful indeed.
Alzheimer's appears, in the case of my Mother-in-Law, to turn your basic personality into an exaggerated version of itself - i.e. not to mince words, my MIL has the educational intelligence of an eight to nine year old (inclusive of the nasty, sneaky nature...) and is allowed to grind everybody's lives around her. Great. I think the situation is made much worse because of the huge shortage of care home places now which has a huge impact on the relatives' lives. Oh for goodness sake; life's for living, not for simply scraping by.
*Not real name.