A DEVASTATED family is grieving the loss of a beloved husband and father who threw himself from a cliff in a seaside town.
No one close to Paul Reah had any inkling of what he was planning to do, and they are still trying to piece together the reasons why the father-of-one chose to take his own life.
Wife Carol has this week paid tribute to her “loving, supportive husband”.
She said: “He was a very private and proud man. People’s opinions of him were so important. He thought the world of our son, and everyone in the village thought a lot of him.”
Carol, 38, was horrified to receive a text message from her husband at 4.55pm on February 9, a date she will never forget.
She said: “That morning had been a normal morning, and I’d spoken to him a couple of times that day.
“There was no indication anything was wrong until 4.55pm when I got a text message.”
Paul’s message told Carol he loved her and their seven-year-old son, and that there was a letter under his pillow at their home in St Nicholas Close, Barkston.
Realising something was wrong from the tone of the message, she rushed home and found the letter.
She said: “It didn’t say where he was, just that he loved us both.”
She has since learned that Paul, 41, took a train to Scarborough, a favourite family holiday destination, and sent her the message atop a cliff in Whitby just before jumping.
A farmer had spotted Paul on the edge of the cliff and called the Coast Guard. Paul was rushed to Scarborough Hospital but promounced dead on arrival.
Paul’s troubles are still largely unknown to the family, although clues are slowly coming to light.
Carol said: “Everybody wishes he had spoken to them and hadn’t have been so proud.
“We’re still working out the ins and outs of what’s happened.
“We do believe he made the sacrifice to protect us. He was obviously in a troubled place that nobody knew of. If people had known, he would still be here with us now.”
Sister-in law Julie Cooper describes Paul as a “great family man” who would do anything for friends and family.
She added: “He was a happy, smiling, family man. Everyone’s shocked it’s happened.
“He was a rock for me. Everyone in the village is remembering the helpful, friendly person that could light up a room.”
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