Northern Ireland news

John McAreavey: I was a 'very sad person' for a long time after Michaela's death

Michaela McAreavey was on honeymoon with her husband John when she was killed

John McAreavey has spoken of his grief following the murder of his wife Michaela while on honeymoon in Mauritus in 2011. 

Speaking to Brian Dowling on his podcast Death Becomes Him, the Co Down man said the trauma from her death often leaves him fretting that his wife Tara will be “taken” from him.

The daughter of then Tyrone GAA boss, Mickey Harte, Michaela McAreavey had been on honeymoon with her husband when she was killed.

The 27-year-old teacher was strangled in the bath of her suite at the former Legends Hotel in Grand Gaube on January 10 2011.

Mr McAreavey has remarried and has a baby son with wife Tara, an accountant from Maynooth, Co Kildare.

“I haven't really spoken publicly about my grief in that many settings in the past 10 years," Mr McAreavey told Mr Dowling. 

"It was a worldwide story. I think the fact that it was so tragic, that's what caught people's attention. We were only married a number of days before.

"At a time when you should be in the most perfect bliss of your life, your honeymoon, for something so tragic to happen, it's almost incomprehensible to people. People just felt so sorry for me and for our families.”

He said he was a “very sad person” for a long time after Michaela’s death, but he is now in a place where there is “calmness, there is love, there is joy.”

"I had visions of what happened to Michaela come to me every day for a long, long time,” he said.

“They would come at the most random times, there didn’t have to be something that triggered them. I could just be in class and they would come to me.

“Rather than trying to block them out, after a while, I said, ‘I’m going to think about this for a while now that it’s come into my mind. I’m going to think about it. I’m going to give it two or three minutes and then I’m going to say I’m done thinking about that now and I’m going to move forward with my day’.”

John McAreavey and his wife Tara with their newborn son. Picture by John McAreavey/ Twitter

He added that he would never move on but had “move forward with this in my life”.

"This concept or notion of moving on in life, always really bugged the life out of me,” Mr McAreavey said.

"For me, it was always about moving forward with this being a part of my life. Trying to actually move forward in life, and have a place for this grief in my life, and it didn't give me the guilt that if I was trying to move forward in life, trying to have a life after the death of Michaela that I wasn't putting it into a box.”

 

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