A breakfast radio veteran who lost her first husband to suicide and second to cancer has shared a heartfelt message to her 30-year-old self.
Robin Bailey’s second husband, Sean Pickwell, died of cancer last September – five years after the father of her children, Tony Smart, killed himself following a long battle with depression.
The now 50-year-old, from Brisbane, offered a words of hope and encouragement to her 30-year-old self, despite enduring ‘absolute devastation’ in recent years.
‘I’d tell Robin that she would have three incredible sons whose unique personalities would both challenge and excite her,’ Bailey told The Courier Mail.
‘I’d tell her that everything she hoped for them would be marred by tragedy in their short lives but that they will be more than OK… And finally I’d tell her that her life will be blessed and she will feel unbelievable love and absolute devastation.’
Bailey added she would ‘survive’ the devastation, which would make her more grateful for her closest friends and family in the years to come.
Bailey only returned to the airwaves in January, joining the Australian Radio Network’s (ARN) 97.3 FM’s breakfast show.
It is the first she has worked since resigning from Triple M Brisbane in September to spend more time with her dying spouse.
Bailey was was given free reign over music choices in an emotional final program.
She played hits including ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor, and choked back tears throughout the bulletin.
‘Leaving this show is the first time I have walked of my own accord,’ Bailey said during the broadcast.
‘I don’t think anyone thought it was going to work. It did … we found a way of respecting each other.’
Fast-forward to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bailey said she was taking time to reflect on the past 12 months and was grateful for her job as a broadcaster.
‘Every day I have moments of not wanting to face the world but so what, that’s called life. No one can make my life better except me so I am bloody grateful for this job, that it is with people I respect, doing something I love and hopefully making a difference to people who need it,’ she said.
Bailey shared the news of her second husband’s passing on her Facebook page on September 26.
‘What can I say … my big beautiful panda has gone. He died as he lived … his way … at home with us holding him … early this morning,’ she wrote.
‘In this moment there are no words or feelings that can truly express the love and gratitude I have for my husband Sean Pickwell.
‘He came into our lives and healed us. He loved me so hard and taught me so much and now whatever life throws at us we will be stronger, wiser and more fierce because of him.
‘He was my absolute soul mate, the true love of my life and whatever I do from now on he will be in my heart and in my corner cheering me on.’
Following the tragedy, Bailey sold her $500,000 home and embarked on a soul-searching trip to India with her three sons.
She regularly posted pictures of the family as she worked on reminding the boys ‘how lucky they are’.
‘I want us to taste, smell, touch and feel things that challenge us,’ she wrote on the day they set off to India.
The family visited temples and mosques to experience the different cultures in India.
On the second day, they visited a Sikh temple which helps feed 70,000 people, a market with cheap fake designer products, and then a lunchtime chat about the Indian caste system.
It was then she realised she was missing her husband, but was going to continue pushing through.
‘I’m missing Sean desperately,’ she captioned the photo.
‘We used to have our travelling routine down pat but I’m pushing the boys to take some control as God knows I don’t know how to do it all and we are working it out.’