Nokyoung Xayasane
May 23, 2012

Mary Kennedy – Why She Took Her Own Life

The shocking news of Mary Kennedy‘s suicide rocked the two households of the Kennedy’s and the Richardson’s. What drove Mary Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.‘s estranged wife, to hang herself in the family’s barn?

The memorial service for Mary Kennedy occurred on May 18, two days after her suicide. RFK Jr told the funeral attendants that Mary suffered from “demons.” He added that “There’s nobody who bore what she bore. She was in agony for five years.”

Robert Kennedy’s sister Kerry Kennedy also spoke about Mary’s struggles and her lifelong battle with depression.

However, friends and family members of Mary Kennedy were visible offended by the statements made by the Kennedy clan. “Mary did not have a history of depression,” says a friend. “She became a troubled person because of the divorce.” The couple met in 1994 and had four children together–Conor, 17, Kyra, 16, Fin, 14, and Aidan, 10–but filed for divorce in 2010. Mary took her own life before the official divorce proceedings.

Friends say that the divorce “sent her down the hole,” and that the custody battle for their four children sent her spiraling into depression. Mary Kennedy was also arrested twice for drunk driving after the split.

Many friends and family members have openly talked about her suicide: “Alcohol, depression and hanging may be the mechanics of it, but her heart slowed beating and began to numb. In the end, I think she died of a broken heart.”

The memorial service was closed to the public, and held at the Standard Hotel in Manhattan. During the funeral preparations, it was reported that Mary’s bothers went to court to request her body, but a judge released her body to her husband. Mary Kennedy’s body will be buried near the Kennedy family compound.