BEDFORD, N.Y. – Every family has its share of pain and triumph. And then there are the Kennedys.

America’s great political dynasty is grieving again after Mary Richardson Kennedy, the estranged wife of Robert Kennedy Jr., hanged herself Wednesday at the family’s estate in a New York City suburb.

Her death at 52 came as a shock to some friends and family, even though the past two years had been undeniably tough ones. The couple was going through a divorce, and Mary had been charged twice with driving while intoxicated in 2010.

But Victoria Michaelis, a friend since Mary’s college days, said she hadn’t seemed suicidal, or crippled by the alcohol problems that briefly landed her in the headlines two springs ago.

“She was definitely suffering, but she was very, very spiritual and a resolute Catholic,” Michaelis said. “I’d say she was depressed the last two years since the divorce. But she would put that aside and ask you how you were. I saw her a couple of weeks ago, and she was fine.”

Her death resonated with a public that has watched tragedy march through the ranks of the Kennedy clan again and again.

“I think every family has its tragedies. But this is too much,” said Kim O’Connell, who dropped off a bouquet of Calla lilies at the family’s home in Bedford on Thursday morning. She had met Robert and Mary only a few times, while working at their health club, but felt a connection anyway. “I just thought she was just a lady. I woke up this morning, and I wanted to do something.”