Lori lives in Australia where, at the age of 25, she met the man of her dreams, Tony. Their relationship moved rather quickly in that they finished school, married, and had two children.
Tony suffered from mental illness. In early January 2011, he took his own life. Tony experienced a psychotic episode and in front of Lori and their daughter, in their home, hanged himself.
Three days prior, Tony wasn't himself at all. He was acting out in a manner that wasn't him. Twice, he threatened to hang himself. Tony wasn't fond of therapy and medication to help with his symptoms.
One day prior was Tony's 34th birthday. Cake, ice cream, photos, presents....things, seemingly normal.
The day of, Tony arrived home from work and was acting completely out of character toward his wife. Amidst a fight, he went out to the shed to grab the noose he made (who knows when) and threatened to hang himself in front of Lori...in front of his daughter.
Tony strung the rope over a beam, stood upon a chair, jumped and landed on the ground. Lori was screaming at him by this time but he ignored her. He again stood upon the same chair but this time, he jumped with violence. He was going through with it.
Lori screamed for help and luckily, neighbors came to her aid, cutting Tony down. He was rushed to intensive care where he survived for 100 hours. Then, just like that, he was gone.
Lori documented just about every event leading up to, during, and after her husband's suicide on her blog. She has been put down because of it by many who simply can't understand why she would publicize it; and on the other hand, she reaps many rewards from those who reach back to her to say thank you. Some are in similar situations and let Lori know that she is definitely not alone. Everyone handles the loss of a loved one differently no matter how the death came to be.
Lori advocates for mental health, including her own. She openly talks about her PTSD.
Have you ever thought to yourself, "They're better off without me?". Lori nails the answer on the head with her post Better Off Without You:
"No one will be better off without you. You can even think to yourself "It will hurt now, but eventually, in a few months, they'll be better off". And I can tell you- you are wrong. No one will be better off without you, not now, not in the future, not ever."
If you've never read Lori's blog before, a good starting point is her page The Best Bits where she dives into the before and the after (this refers to before and after her husband's suicide).
Lori continues to banish stigma and advocate for mental health. She struggles daily with her loss but it hasn't stopped her from living and taking care of her two children with the help of others.