Published: 00:01, 10 November 2014
A heartbroken husband killed himself the day after the funeral of his wife and childhood sweetheart, an inquest heard.
Robert Alston, 53, was found dead in the bedroom of his Walderslade home after taking a lethal mixture of drugs.
He was surrounded by several large photographs of Tina, 52, his wife of 25 years.
Mrs Alston died in July this year while she and her husband were on holiday in Tunisia.
“They had a relationship that was unique. They were devoted to each other. They used to sit holding hands on the settee – after all those years of marriage” - Marie Alston
She was a diabetic and insulin-dependent.
Mr Alston had left a neat pile of handwritten letters on his bedside table addressed to members of his close-knit family indicating that he could not bear life without his wife and he was going to join her.
The tragic story of how their eight children lost both their parents – and his devastated mum Marie lost her beloved son – was unravelled at an inquest on Monday.
Fighting back tears, Mrs Alston said: “They had a relationship that was unique. They were devoted to each other.
“They used to sit holding hands on the settee – after all those years of marriage.”
Mrs Alston, who lives in Weedswood, Chatham, said when her son returned from Tunisia, still reeling from the shock of his wife’s death, she barely recognised him.
She said: “He could hardly speak. He was terribly, terribly upset. He was really unbalanced. Tina’s death unbalanced him.”
The inquest at Archbishop’s Palace heard how Mr Alston had been prescribed medication to ease back pain and sciatica.
He was also a Type 2 diabetic and had, in the past, suffered from depression.
DS Martin Carter said police were called after one of the couple’s children found his body at their home in King George Road on Friday, July 25.
The previous day he had led the mourners at his wife’s funeral service at St Philip and St James Church in Walderslade.
After his wife passed away on July 1, Mr Alston, who was unemployed, had said he could not live without her.
Relatives took some comfort on hearing from pathologist Dr David Rouse that his death would have been pain-free and that he died in his sleep. Assistant coroner Kate Thomas said the evidence was clear that Mr Alston had intended to take his own life and recorded a verdict of suicide.
She said: “Effectively this was a double death. It must be very difficult for you to deal with this as a family.”
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