Wednesday 18 September 2019

'Our world has been shattered into a million pieces' - woman whose husband took own life urges people to seek help

Mary Hobbs and herlate husband, Sheldon.
Mary Hobbs and herlate husband, Sheldon.

Ralph Riegel

A woman whose husband took his own life just three months after his baby daughter was born has appealed to anyone with thoughts of self harm to seek help to avoid inflicting a nightmare on their loved ones.

Mary Hobbs revealed her husband, Sheldon, was suffering from a rare form of Multiple Sclerosis - and took his own life last month just 10 weeks after the birth of his young daughter, Rose.

His suicide left Mary raising four children aged from 13 years to three months.

The brave woman contacted Cork's RedFM to highlight her family's plight in a bid to persuade others with thoughts of self harm to confide in someone and seek help.

READ MORE: One in four men didn't reach out when they had suicidal thoughts as they thought they'd no one to trust - new report

"Not everybody cries out for help and I just want people to know that if they are feeling that way, please take that extra time, because you are destroying so many lives," she said.

"You are not only hurting yourself and taking your own life but you are literally passing on the pain. It is absolutely horrific. It is my worst nightmare and I never thought I would go through something like this in my whole life.

"Our whole life has been absolutely blown apart and there are seven children, four of mine and three of his in England, who are going to grow up without a father that absolutely adored them. He loved them so much."

Mary is now raising Rose, Sheldon (2), Cian (4) and Scott (13).

Sheldon was originally from Peckham in London and was diagnosed with MS in 2015.

"We met when he moved to Mallow to live with his uncle. He loved Peckham and London and he was actually a real Del Boy himself. He was so funny, he was hilarious."

"A lot of people with MS can carry on working and they don't suffer as much. Every single case is different. But Sheldon had a very aggressive strain right from the very beginning. A lot of damage was done in a short length of time and he never recovered."

"He was in pain 24 hours a day every day. It was like nerve pain, so no pain killers will take it away. It's a pain from head to toe. He lost use of his legs for a while, lost vision in one of his eyes."

"He went from working, he did furniture removals all over the world, to not being able to walk."

"We are in emergency accommodation, a house, as we were made homeless in June last year, just three months after we got married."

They lost their rented home as the landlord required it for members of their own family.

Sheldon and Mary couldn't find alternative rental accommodation in north Cork.

In their emergency accommodation, Sheldon slept downstairs on the couch as he couldn't make it up the stairs to go to bed.

"Our four-year-old son was really close to him, so he would sleep on the couch with him some nights. He was like Sheldon's shadow."

Mary said her husband did not show any signs of being suicidal.

"Because he was so ill he would often cry behind closed doors. That Sunday morning, the day it happened, the day he passed away he was crying at the breakfast and kept saying he knew he was getting worse. He often said that, that he hated his body and felt trapped in it."

"I can't believe he has done it. Our world has just been shattered into a million pieces."

"Rose was just 10 weeks when he took his life. Scott who is 13 and my child from a previous relationship called Sheldon dad, he was the only dad he ever knew."

Mary said she has received amazing support from Pieta House.

"If there is anyone out that has any dark thoughts or thinking of harming yourself, make that call, send that text. Just get help. There are always options. Life can change in an hour, or five minutes. Life can turn around and things can get better and they will get better."

'There is no need for this, it's absolutely devastating. The wave of destruction that comes after it and goes through family and friends is absolutely horrendous. It's your worse nightmare."

"I never wished in my life to turn back time. You wake up everyday and think you're dreaming. Your think you are having a nightmare and then realise its actually real. and everything hits you again. It's so painful that you actually feel physical pain."

Mary said she had hoped a planned move into a new rented bungalow might cheer up her partner.

But she said that, instead of choosing furniture for her new home, she ended up selecting a coffin.

"We were so happy. We were about a month from moving in. Instead of picking furniture I had to go down and pick out his coffin with my two year old son holding my hand."

"So I was thinking what coffin am I going to get him, instead of what couch are we getting?"

Mary's friend Gillian has now set up a GoFundMe page with the money raised going to help her children.

"We just have to go forward and live our lives for Sheldon and in memory of him. We just want him to know how much we love him and how much he was appreciated."

"He really was an amazing man and everyone he met loved him. He was such a lovely person."

The young mother warned that suicide was not the answer.

The gofundme page can be found here.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article please contact Samaritans helpline 116 123 or Aware helpline 1800 80 48 48 or Pieta House on 1800 247 247.

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