A glamorous 28-year-old businesswoman killed herself because she struggled to cope with living alone in Britain with her family dispersed across the world, an inquest heard yesterday.
Sales manager Sharon Bukokhe, of Levenshulme, Manchester, was a high achiever working for a family planning charity but felt lonely because relatives including her husband lived abroad.
Mrs Bukokhe, who was originally from Kenya, used her laptop to research ways to commit suicide, applied full make up and painted her nails then suffocated herself at her flat in April.
A diary found after her death said: ‘I think that any life is as valid as the next, such that an ending of 25 is as good as 88. I have no real regrets or fears any more, I just feel decisive and justified.’
Mrs Bukokhe, who appeared to friends to be ‘the happiest person in the world’, settled in the UK in 2002 and graduated in design and engineering at Nottingham Trent University, the inquest heard.
She was later appointed sales manager of a charity helping with family planning issues involving third world countries. But Mrs Bukokhe was deeply affected by her family living in other countries.
Her husband lived in South Africa so he could complete a Master’s Degree whilst her mother lived in Richmond, Virginia, in the US, and her sister lived in Canada.
Her only relative in Britain was her brother who lived 250 miles away in Gillingham, Kent and as a result of her feelings of loneliness she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Mrs Bukokhe’s sister Caroline Lusiche, who flew in from Canada to be at the inquest in Manchester said: ‘There were many factors which led to it.
‘She was a high achiever, her marriage was also a big factor. She wanted it to succeed but he was in South Africa doing his masters. She moved and they decided to put that marriage on hold.
‘She had come here as a very young girl and it really affected her that we were all dispersed in different countries. In the last few days we had been trying to get back in touch with each other.
‘But because of the time difference- me in Canada - we kept missing each other. I sent her an email and did not hear back then I heard.
‘She was trying to be the one to bring the family together, she had a lot on her shoulders weighing on her. She had high objectives we were taught to hold our chin up and get on with it.