Bridgette’s Story: AG Steve Marshall shares details on the passing of his wife in emotional news conference

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. -- In an emotional appearance, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall talked with family, friends, and media outlets about the suicide of his wife after a long struggle with depression, anxiety and chronic pain.

For the first time Marshall spoke about the passing of his wife, Bridgette. She took her own life on Sunday after a long battle with mental illness.

Marshall said he wanted to share her story, and he didn't do it lightly.  "It is our hope today to share Bridgette's story, to give hope to families who have endured what we had to endure, and maybe for that person who feels like Bridgette felt on Sunday morning to know that there is hope, and there are people who love you," Marshall said.

The man who stood in front of a packed room, standing room only,  didn't talk to the crowd as the Attorney General or as the former Marshall County District Attorney. He talked to as a grieving husband as he shared very personal aspects of his family's life.

 

"Early on in life she suffered migraines," Marshall said. It was to the point where they disrupted day-to-day life. She sought a number of treatments, and went to facilities as far away as Chicago.

"The only regimen that she ultimately was given was opioids," Marshall said, "She became dependent on that medication. She went to inpatient treatment. It helped some, but she didn't completely embrace recovery."

Marshall said early in life his wife showed signs of mental illness. "She suffered from major depressive disorder and anxiety, and it was hard."

She went through treatment on more than one occasion. He said she also suffered a digestive disorder.

After election night her family celebrated Bridgette's birthday.  "We saw a happiness in her that we hadn't seen in a while, and it was good," Marshall said, "It was good. Then for whatever reason something changed and we don't know what."

When the Marshall family sold their Albertville home in February, Bridgette moved to Tennessee.

"She was scared that somebody was going to write the fact that she was committed, and that she had a problem, and that those facts were going to be revealed to the world."

She moved to Murfreesboro, a town more than 120 miles away from her home in Albertville.

"We didn't know the apartment. We knew the city she was going to. We didn't learn the apartment till the month of May. We didn't learn the apartment number until this weekend," he said.

This past weekend she was worried about blisters that appeared on her feet.
Her parents were coming to Murfreesboro to take her to the hospital.

"Called Sunday morning and she said I won't be alive when you get here."

Marshall recalled his last conversation with his wife.

"She said I'm tired of being tired. I'm tired of being tired and I just want to go."

As Marshall spoke, there were tears in the packed room of a Marshall County church where Bridgette's family has attended for generations.

"She didn't want the limelight, she didn't want to be in front. She always was behind," Marshall said. But it was what she did there that spoke volumes: a packed church on a Wednesday morning, with cars lining the street, is a testament to that. "If we polled this room, how many of you would raise your hands about how she affected you in a positive way, because that was her heart and that was her spirit," Marshall said.

"What we want to be able to focus on is the story of her life, and 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."

Marshall said that he felt compelled to come forward to stop rumors about the circumstances of her death Sunday.

He also hoped sharing her story would help other families and let a "person who felt like Bridgette did on Sunday morning to know that there is hope and there are people who love them."