It's unlikely that Owen Paterson will ever celebrate another birthday.
The former Northern Ireland Secretary of State turns 65 in two months but the actual date - June 24 - is something he would probably rather not be reminded of.
It was in the early hours of June 24 last year that his beloved wife Rose was found dead in the woods near the couple's Shropshire home.
It pains him to recall that, while still in deep shock after hearing the tragic news, his last desperate hope was that she had been murdered - because that would somehow have been easier to process than suicide.
He also remembers pleading for her body not to be taken down until he had the chance to see her one last time.
That, and the sudden realisation that their daughter Evie had been expecting her mum to join her on holiday in France the next day.
He still shudders at the memory of learning from West Mercia police that his wife of 40 years had been researching suicide websites shortly before the unimaginable tragedy.
For now though, his focus is on speaking publicly about Rose's death in the hope of helping others.
"I haven't been very good," he told me.
"Every day is bad, some days are terrible and others are really terrible.
"But you have to get on with it. You have no option.
"This has happened, I've got to live with it and so has my family - we'll have to live with this for the rest of our lives."
Along with his sons Felix (34), Ned (32) and daughter Evie (29), the former cabinet minister has just set up a charity to raise money for suicide prevention and projects promoting mental and physical health.
"If we can help stop just one family from going through the anguish we're going through, we might have done a little bit of good," he said. "There is no coming back from suicide; it's absolutely permanent."
He added: "We knew Rose was anxious about things, anxious about stuff in my political life. She hated some of the press coverage... there were lots of things to be anxious about, but to take this extraordinarily, violent, final step... if only we had an inkling, we could've talked."
Like so many other bereaved relatives, the Conservative MP for North Shropshire had no idea that Rose - beautiful, successful, breathtakingly intelligent Rose - had been feeling suicidal in the days leading up to his 64th birthday last year.
And even when she didn't answer his calls from Westminster, 200 miles away, the morning she went missing, there was no real concern from Owen as Northumberland native Rose, Steward of the Jockey Club, was often very busy.
But when his calls to the family home near Ellesmere were still being unanswered at 6pm, concern grew and, two hours later, he called the police and drove back to Shropshire with his London-based son Felix.
Throughout that fraught four-hour journey, all sorts of thoughts went through his mind; had the person he fell in love with at the University of Cambridge been taken ill, or had she had an accident somewhere and perhaps hit her head? Suicide was never considered.
When he finally arrived home, just after midnight, a police officer asked him if his wife suffered from depression - an idea that he dismissed robustly before stressing the urgency of finding Rose alive.
Four hours later, her lifeless body was found.
An inquest in September last year heard that Rose, daughter of the late 4th Viscount Ridley, had previously suffered mild bouts of depression and anxiety, but had not been on medication for years.
The tragedy did, however, occur at a time when the MP, who has represented his constituency for 23 years, had been in the news because of his external consultancy work, including Northern Ireland-based Randox Laboratories Ltd, who were paying him £100,000 a year.
The racing industry, in which Rose was heavily involved, was also under fierce criticism for allowing the March 2020 Cheltenham Festival to go ahead in the midst of the pandemic.
Not only that, but both Owen and Rose were diagnosed with Covid-19 at the start of the first lockdown, and he believes this may also have impacted on her mental wellbeing.
On the day she died, Owen's wife had planned to visit a London-based aunt who had just come out of lockdown, before organising a birthday dinner for Owen and then flying out to meet Evie in France.
The papers Rose picked up that day are still on her desk, as her husband can't bring himself to move them.
"Even now I go over every minute of every day and I ask myself how on earth did I not notice Rose was suffering," said the veteran politician, who was the former Northern Ireland Secretary of State under the then Prime Minister David Cameron between 2010 and 2012.
"And then I wonder why she didn't tell us how she was feeling. If there'd been the slightest hint, everything could have been changed."
Sadly, so much has changed over the last 10 months; Owen, a classical music aficionado, can no longer listen to the Mozart that was playing at the couple's wedding in 1980.
And every time he sees their only grandchild - Sylvie, who turned two at the weekend - he is reminded that her grandmother won't be around for birthdays and the other important landmark dates in a child's life.
The devastation suffered by the Patersons and other families by suicide is far too prevalent; here in Northern Ireland, for instance, 3,196 people have taken their own lives over the past 10 years.
That is a similar figure to the number who were killed by paramilitaries in the three violent decades of the Troubles.
Owen, who said he had no previous experience of suicide, cited newly-published research which suggests that every incidence of it affects around 135 people.
"There are 6,500 suicides a year across the UK - that's the equivalent of 15 jumbo jets," he said.
"That means nearly a million people are probably affected by this every year. It's a huge problem."
He added: "No suicide is inevitable, and absolutely no suicide is necessary.
"It just creates horror and misery for many people for many years. I'm never going to get over this. There's no point in pretending.
"People say, kindly, time will heal. Time's not healing anything. We're coming up to 10 months on Saturday and, if anything, it's probably getting worse."
The Rose Paterson Trust, which obtained charitable status towards the end of 2020, was officially launched on April 10, on the day of the Grand National, in honour of Rose, who was chairman of Aintree Racecourse.
Not surprisingly, the National was always a big day for equestrian fanatic Rose, and this year's festival also included the running of the inaugural Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunters' Chase.
It was "obviously a very difficult day" for the Paterson family, and Owen praised his sons and daughter for helping him set up the charity.
"We are a close family and I would never have got the trust up and running quite so fast without their help," he said.
"I'm proud of it - but I just wish we hadn't had to do it.
"As a family, however, we wanted to try and do something - and our message is very simple.
"If we can come together and work to stop just one person, help just one family from going through what we are going through then we will have done some good.
"If anybody reading this feels anxious, depressed or worried, please talk. Please talk to a friend or relation because the damage you do when you take your own life is absolutely terrible.
"Don't bottle it up, don't take this terrible step, because there's no coming back. Everything else is solvable."
Tragically, Rose wasn't there at the weekend to celebrate their granddaughter's second birthday, although Owen said he has a few precious photographs of Rose and Sylvie, Felix's daughter, together at her party last year.
"We've already had lots of last anniversaries - the last Easter, the last Easter Egg hunt, the last National," he said.
"I spend a lot of time looking at pictures, my desk is cluttered with them."
π To support the work of The Rose Paterson Trust, visit www.justgiving. com/rosepatersontrust π If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article, the Samaritans can be contacted for free on 116 123.