Attorney General Steve Marshall addresses wife's suicide

AG Marshall’s personal message to other families dealing with mental illness
Published: Jun. 27, 2018 at 4:14 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 27, 2018 at 9:12 PM CDT
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ALBERTVILLE, AL (WAFF) - It was a very emotional scene in Albertville on Wednesday as Alabama's Attorney General Steve Marshall talked about his wife taking her life over the weekend.

Marshall was visibly upset over an article describing his wife's death. He said he had to watch his daughter in tears when they should have been preparing to celebrate Bridgette's life.

"The people that are here today know what a beautiful woman she was and it wasn't just outside because she was absolutely stunning but it was inside as well," said Marshall.

That what he said compelled him to come and forward and tell Bridgette's story.

He said there were stints in rehab that were not successful and that she was later diagnosed with mental illness. He had concerns for continuing his public life but she encouraged him on and that she was his biggest fan.

Marshall said he will now prepare to celebrate Bridgette's life.

"I've got to go back to Montgomery and I'm going to go, unfortunately alone, because my biggest supporter and my biggest fan, in what may be one of the most difficult periods in my life, personally and professionally, will not be there behind me." said Marshall.

Visitation for Bridgette Marshall will be held Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at McRae Funeral Home in Boaz. She will be laid to rest Friday morning.

Marshall said his wife was the third member of her family to die by suicide.

He described his last conversation on the phone with her before she died.

"'I've had pain for a long time and I don't want to endure it anymore and I'm just a burden.' And I told her why she wasn't and I told her how she was loved. As a guy who professionally is supposed to be able to convince people with words so do something I couldn't reach her. She said, 'I'm tired of being tired. Steve, I'm tired of being tired and I just want to go,'" said Marshall.

Marshall fought back tears as he talked about his final conversation with his wife.

"'I won't be alive when you get here.' And Bridgette's mom called me and told me and I said, 'Let me talk to her.' And I got on the phone with her and I just talked to a person who had no hope. She said, 'I don't have a purpose and I'm tired. My body's failing me and I don't know why,'" he said.

Myron Gargis, executive director of Mountain Lakes Behavioral Healthcare in Guntersville, said the biggest hurdle with suicidal thoughts is often asking for help, but another key factor is talking openly about the problem.

"Strength for those families that have endured what we have endured. And maybe for that person that felt like Bridgette did on Sunday morning, to know that there is hope and there are people that love them," added Marshall.

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