"This is tough," Attorney General of Alabama Steve Marshall said through tears on Wednesday as he stood at the lectern of his hometown Baptist church in rural Alabama, facing news cameras and dozens of people, three days after the sudden death of his wife, Bridgette Marshall, 45.
The cause, Marshall said, was suicide. But that was not his focus.
"What we want to be able to focus on is the story of her life," he said flanked by family members, who sometimes stood with their heads bowed, quietly crying.
In fact, he said he was "forced to be here today" after his family had come across news accounts describing his wife's death Sunday in Tennessee.
Marshall said those reports angered him. But then he and his family came to a realization.
"Maybe being transparent about how we got to the point where we did last Sunday could be helpful," he said. "Because we know that we are not the only family that has had to deal with a family member who's suffered from mental health issues. And we know that Bridgette is not the only person that ever considered suicide."