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Annie’s Mailbox: Former husband chose to end life

Kathy Mitchell

Dear Annie: Last May, my children’s father committed suicide. He and I had split up two years before because of his violent ways. Despite my marrying another man, I still cared for my ex and worried about his welfare. I would even sneak him food and pay his electric bill behind my husband’s back. My husband occasionally would forbid my kids and me from having contact with my ex. He had a point.

My ex and I had attempted to reconcile in April, but I couldn’t do it. During the drive back to my husband, my ex phoned and begged me to return. I told him I was afraid of him. He yelled, “Nobody will ever have to worry about me anymore.” Twenty minutes later, I received a call from his brother, who found him dead.

I blame myself. His family does, too. I didn’t even go to his funeral, because some of his family members had threatened to kill me if I showed up. I feel terrible for my kids and don’t know how to cope. What should I do? Will my kids be OK? – Distraught Ex

Dear Distraught: We are so sorry that you are experiencing this tragedy, but please know that you are not responsible for your ex’s decision to end his life. He sounds like a troubled soul who didn’t believe he had any other way out.

Please contact Survivors of Suicide (survivorsofsuicide.com) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (afsp.org) to find a support group for you and your children. They will be OK, but they could use some help, and they will need you to guide them.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcomcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.
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