Rehab. was a different kettle of fish from anything we had known before. We were invited to visit the rehab. centre and view Bob’s new room.
A standard room, we expected. But this was something else! The smell was horrible. We tried to have the room changed but it didn’t happen. The problem was in the carpet. I have never smelled anything so bad before and can’t imagine what had caused the odour.
We brought in deodorants, air sprays, but nothing worked. There appeared to be no choice but to take this room. We were not trouble causers. I wish we had been. So it was settled. I don’t know how my son put up with the smell. Perhaps the fact that he was still smoking caused the odour to be less troublesome to him.
When we visited, therefore, we spent most of the time in the common room, where we could watch the residents playing pool together and chat with them. There was also a “quiet” room where they could go to be still whenever necessary, and a conservatory at the back, where people could smoke and look out at the car parking area.
Visiting times were quite flexible at the rehab. centre and my husband and I visited in the evenings.
I was working at this time and one evening I could not start my car to drive home, so my husband came into town to fetch me. The weather was bitterly cold, and he became ill the next day. His health had not been very good for some years, and he stayed off work for the next few months. We were constantly visiting the doctor and Accident and Emergency due to his panic attacks and depression.
One day he said he was going to kill himself because he felt that everything was too much for him to bear. I didn’t take it seriously at first. I suppose I was too shocked. But afterwards I phoned my manager and said I would have to take time off to be with him. We went to see the doctor again for sleeping pills but he would not prescribe any. Then we went to the hospital and saw two consultants on separate occasions who both contacted the doctor to request that he prescribe the pills, but he would not.
Shortly after these visits we applied for my husband to be committed into the psychiatric ward of the hospital, but there were no rooms available. The nearest alternative was miles away and it would have been difficult to make visits to both my son and my husband every evening. So my husband stayed at home, barely eating and becoming even more depressed.
Shortly after this time, he killed himself. He had waited until I went shopping with my aunt and uncle, and even sent me on an errand to the chemist for a prescription. It was quite obvious to me later, that he had planned everything thoroughly.
I had then to break the news to both my sons. The older son had been visiting that same day and had left something behind, so he returned to collect the item and found the ambulance and a police car outside. Later, we both had to visit Bob and break the news to him. He was very quiet. We were assured that a member of staff would look out for him when we had gone home.
To this day, Bob can sometimes dream about his father, and during the dream I can hear him crying. He has seldom cried when awake.