I've been thinking a lot about suicide lately. Not of doing it myself, but just of the thing. People doing it. I've seen videos online of various people killing themselves, and it's just awful. I imagine the sadness and despair they must be going through to move them to such an action, and I almost feel it myself. Just extreme sadness. There's a movie called The Bridge, a documentary about Golden Gate Bridge suicide jumpers. There are several interviews with family members and friends of people who've killed themselves by jumping, and there is video footage of people doing it. It's in my head now, and I think of these people a lot. I'm sad about it. So very sad. It's awful. Just awful, but also compelling to me. The images of these people who jumped, and their families and friends, recur in my thoughts frequently throughout the days, and at night as I drift off to sleep. I cry at night when I think about them.
There was one guy in particular. A tall guy, tall and slim, dressed all in slick, shiny black leather... black leather jacket, black pants, long black hair, black boots, and black sunglasses. He was leaning against the railing, just kind of relaxing, it looked like, and then he turned around with his back to the rail and hopped up onto it. He sat like that for a few seconds, and then in one fluid motion, he stood up. He didn't even hesitate. He crossed his arms over his chest and let himself fall backwards. It was one of the most graceful things I'd ever seen, the way this guy who had come to the end of his rope ended his life. It was almost artistic. It was devastatingly heart breaking.
A few years ago I came relatively close to making the decision to end my own life. I even wrote a suicide note. That was about a year before I discovered the Orthodox Church. It's not something I would ever consider doing now, but I still think about it once in a while... about how it would be a relief to just give up, or how it would have been better if I had never been born. And although I do still have those thoughts sometimes, and I still experience feelings of despair, things are different now than they were when I wrote that note. Better.
"I still don't have any answers though. Just a bunch of observations, and a lot of experience with feeling disturbed. I don't know why people kill themselves... and yet, it's a small step to empathize, because I think we all experience moments of despair. That it would just be so much easier not to do this anymore. "