The suicide death last June of Bridgette Marshall, wife of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, created a ripple effect for her friends, family, and even strangers.
Steve Marshall addressed the death of his wife during a press conference just days after she passed. Surrounded by loved ones, Marshall fought back tears as he described why he stood in front of TV cameras and reporters while his grief was so raw.
"Together, as a family, maybe being transparent about how we got to the point we did last Sunday could be helpful to other," said Marshall.
While he certainly hasn't shied away from discussing Bridgette's death, he hasn't spoken about it in a public forum since he addressed the media eight months ago.
"That press conference wasn't about being AG. It was about being a husband and dad," Marshall said during a very candid interview.
He agreed to meet with WAAY-31 ahead of the Not Alone Conference (learn more here) taking place Friday and Saturday in both Albertville and Huntsville. The inaugural conference will focus on a laundry list of very personal issues, from mental health, to addiction, and suicide. Those are all issues which Steve and Bridgette Marshall battled privately for years.
Bridgette had moved out of the family home to an apartment in Tennessee in the months before her death. She called Marshall in the moments before she died.
"I was talking to Bridgette before she killed herself," Marshall said. "I vividly remember that conversation word for word. My wife, literally, one of the last things she told me was, 'I'm tired of being tired.'"
Marshall readily admits he felt alone at times as he tried to help his wife battle the trifecta of problems which plagued her in recent years.
"I'm a prosecutor and a lawyer. I'm not a mental health professional," said Marshall. "Yet I'm a husband who loved his wife and didn't always know what the right answers were."
He is now following through with the promise he made eight months ago when he stood in front of a podium and said, "It is our hope today to give strength to those family who have endured what we have endured."
Marshall said he and his family want to concentrate on Bridgette's life, not her death.
"She is somebody who loved people and gave of her heart in the extent of her desperation we've been able to create something positive, then I think that is something she'd feel good about."
"I never experienced as attorney general to be a face of the discussion of mental health, be potentially the point person talking about suicide, but that is where I find myself," said Marshall. "If that is the case, outside of my professional abilities, I need to be engaged in that discussion."
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