It is and was sad and baffling to me.
The Churchwarden and his wife had a road one side of their house and neighbours the other side.
The neighbours were a married couple, and the mother of the wife of the couple lived with them.
It was a very sad situation, because the couple didn’t love each other, and the wife said that they stayed together because they each owned half of the house and neither wanted to sell.
To me, this was incomprehensible, they didn’t like each other, surely it would be better to sell or come to some agreement where they were not living together unhappy?
Anyway, the wife had major problems, she frequently attempted suicide, and for some incomprehensible reason, she usually ended up in Jersey’s general hospital rather than the psychiatric one.
But her husband was rude to her and about her even so.
I remember her coming round sometimes, she was always nice to me, she came round one day, a bit hyper, and said she had a proposition for me, I was puzzled, so I told her about Horace, my pet seagull who was in the garden, he was a juvenile seagull. The churchwarden used to throw water at the seagulls, which funnily enough made them fly away.
Anyway, this neighbour wanted me to sit with her mother some evenings while she was out at the eistedfodd, because she taught some of the entrants, and she would give me piano lessons in return, which was great for me as I was really keen to learn and so I agreed to sit with her mother.
Her mother was a lovely lady, she just watched television quietly, I was very shy, too shy really, but she got me to sit at the paino, because she thought I could play, but I was not very good, she got me to do a duet with her, and told me which keys I needed, but I felt a bit silly, but she told everyone I could play quite well.
Anyway, the neighbour lady continued to have problems, and came round seemingly drunk when we were having lunch one day, her son had had a skiiing accident, and she was on new meds and had possibly overdosed and seemed drunk and worried the family.
The churchwarden had a special arrangement with the neighbour lady, and it still worries me.
She liked him.
He would cuddle her, just as he cuddled me.Only he did not sit her on his lap or anything when she came round.
But she did come round and ask him to fix this and that in her house, so he would go round there.
It was when I asked him if he went round there to cuddle her and he grinned and didn’t say anything, that I wondered, eventually he said that she was lonely.
Which she was.
I cannot imagine what it is like to have to live with someone you don’t love or get on with and feel so bad as she did.
She had three children who were grown up and gone.
It was a while after I had left the churchwarden and his wife, and I was suffering terribly as a result of reporting him, that the neighbour lady was reported dead, she was found on the beach or in the sea, and the verdict was ‘drowning’ rather than ‘suicide’, which is why I wanted to die in the sea, to get a better verdict.
I am pretty sure it was suicide but of course I don’t know any details.
I thought it was so sad, she had a home, three children, and an occupation teaching music, and a churchwarden who loved to cuddle her, if she had all that then what hope was there for me with nothing?
No, it was sad and shocking, and of course, what could I do about her death? Nothing, because of course I was as estranged from her as I was from the churchwarden family.
It just seemed such a very sad situation, she had attempted suicide for so long and obviously not found any relief in remaining alive, no help through medicine or any ‘services’ offered in Jersey.