It was a Monday morning in May when Nicole Astill last saw her partner, Patrick Foresi. He had a long history with depression and anxiety, and “woke up in a mood.” The last thing he said to Nicole, who was eight months pregnant, was that they would be better off without him.
It was one month later, on the same day Nicole gave birth to baby Henry, that she learnt her husband had taken his own life. Here, she writes for Mamamia about her harrowing experience.
Trigger warning: this post contains material which may be distressing for some readers.
At 29 years old, I never in my life would have thought that I would be a mum to a newborn baby boy the same day that I became a widow. To tell you my story, I need to take you back in time.
I met Pat whilst working in Roma in Queensland. I used to tell people that Pat chased me and tried to gain my affection, but in reality it was the other way around.
Not long after making it all official, we decided to jump straight into family life and Pat moved in with me and my son. The first few months were everything I had dreamed of. But it wasn’t too long though before I started noticing that Pat was becoming distant, withdrawn and struggled to get out of bed each day.
I had never dealt with anyone or knew anyone that suffered from depression before so everything was all new to me. I always did my best to try and lift his spirits, but if I knew then what I know now, I probably would have tried to help him a lot more effectively from the start.
Money was a big part of his stress, as was employment. He couldn't find secure work. Pat felt as though he was becoming too old to be employed. He tried different jobs when there was no work around in his trade, but he struggled to grasp another trade he knew nothing about.
His three kids from a previous relationship was his ultimate struggle. He had not seen his kids in over three years due to some complications with his previous relationship. Not having access to his kids affected all of us, but it weighed on him heavily.
In November 2015 we found out we were expecting. Pat was over the moon. He was so excited and happy, it took him a couple of months to actually believe it. We were due to have a baby boy on July 7th 2016. Little did I know at the time what July 7th would actually mean.
During my pregnancy Pat was very supportive, I was so excited I would talk about the baby every chance I got. Pat was to name the baby and he drove me crazy keeping it a secret, he told me that he would tell me the name he had chosen the day the baby was born.
Leading up to the end of my pregnancy I started noticing that Pat had started that all too familiar depressive state again, he became withdrawn, would sleep a lot and started gaining a lot of weight. He would lay on the lounge and grab his head and tell me that his ‘head felt like it was going to explode’.