Tragic An­thony strove for an ‘unattain­able per­fec­tion’

Drogheda Independent - - NEWS -

DID you stop and wave as you said good­bye To the im­per­fect world that was in your eye

DID you feel relief as you bolted the door Your pain and suf­fer­ing would be no more

DID you stop in­side and look around At all the mem­o­ries that you found

DID you play the pool, to al­ways win To not be the best would be a sin

DID you find the world an up­hill race Each day a battle you could not face

DID you come to a cross­roads on your road And took a di­rec­tion that shed your load

DID you won­der at all how much we’d cry When you bolted the door with­out say­ing good­bye

A poem from a griev­ing fa­ther to the son he lost - so many ques­tions on why he took his own life, all of them unan­swered...

Tall and dark, with movie-star looks, An­thony Doo­nan just couldn’t see what other peo­ple saw. Dr Harry Barry told his fa­ther Oliver it was prob­a­bly body dys­mor­phia, a dis­or­der where you can’t stop think­ing about one or more per­ceived de­fects or flaws in your ap­pear­ance — a flaw that, to oth­ers, is ei­ther mi­nor or not even no­tice­able.

“If we had known at the time what he was go­ing through, per­haps we could have helped even more, but men just don’t like to talk about it,” ex­plains his fa­ther, glanc­ing oc­ca­sion­ally at his son’s smil­ing face from a framed photo. “Even from a very young age he put him­self un­der so much pres­sure to be per­fect; when him and his broth­ers Ro­nan (now 35) and Cor­mac (now 29), would be tidy­ing their rooms, he would spend ages metic­u­lously fold­ing his clothes, and as he got older, all of this was an unattain­able per­fec­tion he could never have lived up to.”

In the weeks be­fore he took his own life, Oliver and his wife Anne no­ticed a change in An­thony, be­com­ing more ag­i­tated and up­set at his own per­ceived lack of suc­cess in life.

“He was on med­i­ca­tion, but that is not enough – it needs to have the sup­port of coun­selling, and he just didn’t want to talk about it to any­one, and there were times even step­ping out­side the door was the hard­est thing for him to do.”

In his poem, Oliver asks so many ques­tions about the day An­thony chose to take his own life.

“He has planned it well, writ­ing three let­ters, lock­ing him­self in the ‘pool shed’, as we called it, a place he used to go to re­lax, so I will al­ways won­der why he took his life there, maybe he felt safe there, or com­fort­able. We will never know.” If you would like to talk to some­one, call SOSAD on 041 9848754.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.