Widower posts emotional Facebook message after losing wife to postnatal depression

Emmy Griffiths

A Canadian father has been overwhlemed by the strength of public reaction after he wrote a heartbreaking open letter about the death of his wife, who suffered postnatal depression. Kim Chen is hoping his heartfelt message will raise awareness about postnatal depression following the tragic death of his wife Florence Leung, who was reported missing in October 2016.

Opening up about his wife's death in an emotional Facebook post, Kim wrote: "[Two] months have passed since the Detectives and victim assistance staffs showed up at our home, with the grim look on their faces. I knew immediately what they were going to say before they entered the door… It felt like half a year had passed since that day, but in fact it had only been 2 months. I have been living in survival mode: living a day at a time, sometimes an hour at a time - exactly like many people taught me to do. Living at the moment is truly the only way to go through this at this stage. As the initial shock and emotional numbness slowly subsides, I'm experiencing more flashbacks of memories from our 6.5 years of happiness, and for now these memories tend to trigger pain and intense longing… Our baby boy is growing well and well taken care of, he is at 90th percentile for height and weight, and smiles and laughs a lot.

Florence went missing in October 2016

"For all the new moms experiencing low mood or anxiety, please seek help and talk about your feelings. You are Not alone. You are Not a bad mother. Do not EVER feel bad or guilty about not being able to 'exclusively breastfeed', even though you may feel the pressure to do so based on posters in maternity wards, brochures in prenatal classes, and teachings at breastfeeding classes." The dad's emotional post was met with huge support, with one well-wisher writing: "My heart breaks for you and your family. Thank you shedding light on this terrible illness. I will soon turn 60 but would still find it difficult to admit to some of the thoughts I had shortly after my children were born 30 years ago. You will be in my prayers." Another added: "I am so sorry for your loss and I admire you for writing your message to help bring awareness about this important topic." According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, postnatal depression affects ten to 15 in 100 women having a baby.

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