#MaleSuicide Epidemic: Twickenham dad took his own life hours after telling girlfriend he was excited to come home

29 years old, training to be a plumber and worked as a warehouse operator before his took his own life on February 26th. He lost his mother 6 years ago, Zoe (Robert’s girlfriend) said that her death has a ‘massive impact’ on him.

Another loss, another suicide, another man gone.

Robert Cager RIP ±read the rest of the article below…

Robert Cager, 29, was training to be a plumber and working as a warehouse operative before he took his own life on February 26.

Robert’s girlfriend Zoe Payne, 29, lived with Robert and their daughter Luna, 2, as well as her daughter Ella, 11; Robert had two other children from a previous relationship, Ava, 9, and Cody, 4, who lived nearby with their mum, Sasha Staniforth.

Zoe, a trainee midwife and medical administrator from Twickenham, said for the month before Robert died, “everything was amazing,” describing how anyone who knew Robert would tell you “what a happy person he was”.

Robert was a devoted dad, she said, who would come home and spend time with Luna and Ella every night after work, as well as visiting Ava and Cody every weekend.

“Every day was incredible with Robert, he was so happy every day of his life,” said Zoe. “Until payday.”

Robert’s dad died when he was 13 – then 10 years later, when he was 23, he suddenly lost his mum – Zoe said her death had a massive impact on him.

“He never really processed his parents’ deaths at all,” said Zoe, describing how Robert turned to drugs to suppress his grief, using them roughly once every three months – always on a payday.

She said the drugs would change Robert; he would become introverted after taking them, walking the streets alone for hours.

Zoe doesn’t believe Robert had planned to take his own life before the day he did it; she received a voice note from him on the afternoon of the day he died, telling her he was looking forward to coming home and seeing her and the children.

It wasn’t until Robert never showed up that night or the following morning that Zoe got worried.

Zoe was later informed that Robert had fallen from a building that night, leaving some personal items on the fourth floor.

Dad ‘couldn’t get rid of his demons’

“He wouldn’t have planned it,” she said, putting Robert’s decision down to his mind state after he took the drugs.

“I know in that moment he wouldn’t have been in his right frame of mind, he wouldn’t have been my Robert,” she said, describing how he would become silent after taking the drugs, and would want to be alone.

Zoe added that Robert didn’t use the drugs recreationally: “He didn’t want to do these drugs – these demons were just there and he couldn’t get rid of them.”

She said he ‘just missed his parents so much’, and didn’t know how else to deal with the loss.

Robert was devoted to his music, Zoe said, using rap and grime as a release, pouring his emotions out in the lyrics – his first album was due for release the weekend after he died.

“He loved the music, he loved everything about it,” said Zoe, describing how happy Robert was every time he came home after writing songs.

However, she said he was overwhelmed by “the anxiety of releasing his music,” which was “very sensitive” in its discussion of his mental health.

“He was terrified to have his feelings out there and his name, and for everyone to know what he was going through at that moment,” she said.

Zoe said Robert was ‘never shy’ with his feelings with the family however, always opening up to them when he felt he needed help.

She said: “Rob absolutely idolised his children, more than anything else in the world, he loved them so much,” she said.

“By taking the drugs he knew he was letting us down,” said Zoe, adding: “But he just couldn’t fight his demons at the end.”

She said their two-year-old daughter Luna ‘worshipped the ground he walked on’, screaming with excitement every day when her dad got home from work.

Funny, silly family man

After he died, Zoe and Sasha, mum to Robert’s two other children, conducted a tribute to Robert to help the smaller children understand.

She said: “We went to a quiet place in Twickenham and we wrote messages on a lantern and set it off and we waved goodbye to daddy.

“Now every time Luna sees outside she will say ‘bye bye daddy, love you’,” said Zoe. “Every time she sees me crying she will say ‘bye bye daddy’… it’s heartbreaking.”

“He was just so funny,” said Zoe, describing how Robert would always make random funny videos of himself being silly, messing around and playing with his kids, just to make them laugh.

She said he would joke around at dinner times with Ella, telling her he was ‘really full’ then sneakily picking food off her plate, just to make her laugh.

“I miss everything about him,” said Zoe. “Everything.”

Ava and Cody’s mum, Sasha, described how much her children ‘adored’ their dad and how they will “treasure all the wonderful memories they have of their weekends with him.”

Sasha said despite the restrictions Covid placed on Robert’s weekends with Ava and Cody he and Zoe “always did their best to try and make sure they all had a special day together.”

She said: “I was always told of the fun they had with Robert when they came back home, and all of the silly things Robert would do to make the children laugh, because that was the kind of dad he was.

“It pains me to know that Luna and Cody won’t remember the amazing time they had with him and what lucky children they were to have him as their dad.

“To see the pain that Ava is going through is torture for any parent,” she added.

Sasha said she is doing everything she can to help her children through the loss of their dad, and to make sure they know “what a wonderful, hilarious and kind man he was.”