Rick Robson’s Story – Executive Director, London Police Association
Written Saturday, May 29, 2021
I love you.
Please be forewarned that this is a story about Omar Hassan. If you are not prepared to read this, or if it will trigger you, do not read on.
Ten days ago, Omar Hassan took his life. It’s Saturday night as I write this and it is finally hitting me hard. I’ve been drinking tonight. A lot. But I don’t think that the alcohol is causing my reaction because although I do question from time to time if I drink too much, tonight isn’t the first time since Omar’s death that I have had this much to drink.
As I cry, sometimes uncontrollably, in my basement, I hope my wife, who is sleeping, cannot hear. Why? Because I don’t want to worry or burden her. Is this normal? Is this the alcohol? Do I need help? Maybe. I don’t know for certain.
A lot of people have reached out to check in. I am forever grateful for that. I have a lot of support around me and think I am relatively healthy. There is no question though that this particular incident has left a mark and taken a toll. That’s natural and to be expected. I feel that I am more motivated and angrier at a senseless loss, but there may be more.
The last three words I heard from Omar Hassan, on Tuesday May 18, the day before he took his own life, were “I love you.” I wish I could have that moment in time back. I would give almost anything. Could my words have made a difference? The rational side of me says no. The human side of me is not so sure.
Why I am I telling you this? Grief is natural. So is guilt. When grief and guilt become something more than natural, then that is the moment in time when you need to reach out. It is ok to reach out especially in moments of grief or guilt; in fact, it is encouraged.
I have been telling many people lately that I am ok. And I was. I am. I think I am. Nothing is more important to me than my family. I want and deserve to spend a very happy and healthy retirement with them. In order to do that, I can’t ignore the signs that cause me concern leading up to my retirement.
It is Saturday May 29.
On Tuesday May 18, Omar Hassan called me. We had a good conversation. He told me he loved me.
On Wednesday May 19, Omar took his own life.
On Monday May 31, I plan to speak to a psychologist to seek professional help. Why? Because I deserve to be healthy. My family deserves to have me healthy. I am not suggesting that Omar’s death has caused me to seek mental health advice. I am suggesting that it was what led me to really examine my own health. There were small signs before. And if I am not 100% certain I am perfectly healthy, then I need to speak to someone about it.
Again, why am I telling you this? Because you deserve to be healthy. Your family deserves to have you healthy. If my story resonates with any one of you, I hope you also reach out.
Having a professional to guide you toward mental health is no different than going for a run or reading an article about your diet. Your mental health is equally, if not more, important than your physical health. Invest in them both.
If you need help, please reach out. If you know of someone that is off or in need of support, reach out to them. Just be there. Connect, listen, and be supportive.
Omar. I love you too.
Rick Robson, Executive Director
London Police Association