Tragic death of popular Eastbourne florist just days after her husband

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A heartbroken florist who was hugely popular in Eastbourne died just three days after her husband, an inquest heard today (Thursday).

Ruth Goncalves, 50, was the well known and well loved owner of Petals Florist in Hampden Park. She was found to have died by suicide earlier this year.

Her husband, Miguel Goncalves, the delivery driver for the business, sadly passed away of natural causes days before on March 17, the inquest heard.

Coroner Alan Craze said at the court in Eastbourne Town Hall, “She couldn’t face continuing after her husband had died, which is very sad.”

A mother of three, Mrs Goncalves was a popular businesswoman and had owned and run the Brassey Parade shop for several years.

At the time of her death customers took to social media and Facebook to pay tribute to her. She was described as kind, friendly, caring and a talented and dedicated florist who would go out of her way to make sure people had what they wanted.

The court heard Mrs Goncalves was found dead by her ex partner Filip Goncalves at her home in Susans Road on March 20.

In a statement read at the inquest he said, “I wanted to visit her after the whole ordeal. She was obviously very upset but didn’t seem out of sorts.”

When he heard she hadn’t been seen since the Saturday, he decided to see if he could find her. When there was no response to his calls at the house, he broke in and found Mrs Goncalves’ body.

Sergeant Ed Ripley, who was called to the scene, said he responded to a ‘death by overdose’. Police found a note in the living room which coroner Alan Craze said, “Is a clear suicide note.” Concluding, Mr Craze said, “This is a very tragic case. The only appropriate conclusion is one of suicide.

“She intended that it should bring about her death. She made the decision having obviously thought about it.”

Petals Florist has been closed permanently.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans may be able to help – the charity’s helpline number is 116 123.