FIFTY-three-year-old Anthony Anderson has lost count of the number of times he has thought about giving up on life.
The Tredegar Park, St Catherine, resident is still reeling from what happened to his family in August 2010, the year he describes as the most devastating of his life.
That year death paid him a visit, and while it did not take his own life, it dealt him a severe blow as five members of his family were murdered.
Ruthless armed thugs went on a rampage in the St Catherine community where they shot, hacked and stabbed to death eight people from two separate families.
Anderson's common-law wife Hopelin Dennis, 43, the couple's daughter Angel, 11, Dennis' 24 -year-old daughter Neksisia and her son, Joey, 16, were among the victims in an attack that sent shockwaves across the country.
The two adult women left behind five children, one of them just three years old, whose care has now fallen on him.
"When them kill mi daughter and me wife it's as if them take all hope from me," said the still distraught Anderson.
Sitting on a small stool and looking through sleep-deprived eyes, Anderson told the Jamaica Observer that he had spent many a night crying to the point where he now feels he has run out of tears.
"Sometimes people see me and ask mi how mi cope with all of this, but to tell you the truth, a many days mi reach to the point where mi feel like mi a go over the edge," the tall, bald-headed man said.
He bit down hard on his lip and paused in reflection, his eyebrows formed into a knot as he fought to control his emotions as he shared his story.
"More time when hope leave me, is just the five youth dem keep me strong," said Anderson.
However, it is the struggle to care for them that adds to his stress.
"When mi look and see dat a me and the pickney dem alone, is like when mi want to call it quits mi realise that me have to stay strong for them," Anderson added.
He said this as he sat on the stoop of his small home where the group of children huddled around him.
His 90-year-old grandmother, who shares the dwelling, sat in a corner and listened to the conversation, silent but observant.
The children giggled, occasionally running off to play, seemingly oblivious to the gravity of the conversation.
The day that the Sunday Observer visited with Anderson (Friday, February 22) was particularly painful, the man explained. It was his late daughter's birthday.
"Today she would have been 14 years old. More time me sit and think 'bout life and it bring tears to me eyes," said Anderson with a wry smile.
He said he is yet determined to make good for himself and what is left of his family. However, he admitted that harsh economic times and lack of employment makes this difficult.
"Right now is me a the yout' dem breadwinner, but things hard. Mi cyaant get no job and when I do try it's a struggle because I have to tend to the youth dem," he said.
Some of his neighbours told the Observer that they had watched Anderson's struggles.
"Things really rough yuh know, and when me look on all dem man dey (Anderson) and see seh a him and the five youth dem him a struggle with, it rough," said Chris, a neighbour.
Another resident said he would love to see Anderson get some help for the children in his care.
"I just want to use this opportunity to call on anybody out there who can provide some assistance for us. I would appreciate it," said Anderson.
Anderson said since the murders he has received counselling as have the children left alive, but he feels that it is not enough.
Since the spate of violence in 2010 police and several organisations have implemented a number of programmes to bring criminals to heel in the volatile St Catherine community and neighbouring areas such as Gravel Heights.
One such programme was the USAID-funded Community Empowerment and Transformation (COMET) project.
Under this project, police and other stakeholders had a number of interactive sessions that brought together members of the community and the police in a new community-based policing partnership.
In 2010 Senator Dwight Nelson, the national security minister at the time also announced the establishment of a mobile police post in the community.
Residents said they have seen the benefits of this since.