In an overwhelmingly honest and extremely powerful seven minutes, 97.3 breakfast host Robin Bailey has discussed her struggles and stresses as she describes the “life sentence” that her husband Tony Smart handed down to her and her children when he decided to take his own life one year ago.
Brisbane radio host Robin Bailey and husband Tony Smart had been married for 15 years with three sons, aged 10, 12 and 14, when he died on September 1, 2014 following a long battle with depression.
During the 97.3 Breakfast Show this morning, Bailey tearfully told listeners that she still cannot provide answers as to why her husband made a decision that has been nothing short of “catastrophic” for her family.
“This has changed all of us forever and damaged the three people Tony said he loved the most. His choices have handed his children a life sentence that they will feel the consequences of their whole lives. It is defining their adolescence and will shape their partner choice and how they parent their own children,” she said.
“As you can hear I am angry… angry at Tony for not realising the consequences of his actions because we will for a long time to come.”
Bailey told how she had made positive steps in sorting her husband’s affairs, turning around and selling his skincare business, as well as buying and selling a house and sorting through complex legal and financial paperwork despite her dyslexia.
For support through the struggle she thanked her family, friends, colleagues and loyal listeners and anonymous supporters.
“And to the countless strangers, the people listening… you… as you continue to care about me and offer your love and light through your kind words, ” she said.
In spite of previous apprehension towards being labelled as the “poster girl for depression and suicide”, Bailey told listeners that she now wants to use her experience and exposure to encourage conversation surrounding mental illness.
“The statistics for both depression and suicide are awful in Australia and something needs to be done so why not me and why not soon … something positive and long term needs to come out of this dreadful experience, ” she said.
Bailey concluded her emotional speech with the seven stages of grieving, saying that she hopes to one day soon reach the seventh and final stage – acceptance and hope.
“As a family we are not nearly there yet but I can see the light and know that my boys and I are walking towards it.”
For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au.