Last month, someone jumped from a building where I used to live.
I got a second hand account of what happened.
One of my neighbours from that building told me that he heard a loud noise and the building shook.
When he went on the balcony and looked down, he saw a body lying at the bottom, on the steps leading to the doors into the building.
This shook me.
I didn't see it, I didn't hear it happen, yet it shook me.
I don't even live there anymore, yet, it shook me.
Had I been in the building...had I been walking nearby...I can only imagine how I would feel!
The next day at work, I wasn't myself.
I told a coworker what happened, and she confided in me that her dad also committed suicide a few years ago. At the time, she never told anybody how her dad was found, just that he passed away.
It's only on that day, that I learned that she carried that lie and the weight of it for a couple of years, until she could come to terms with it. Her dad did not leave a note. His car was found by the side of the road, on a bridge and his body at the bottom.
I admire her for still being wholesome.
I admire her for being so stoic this whole time.
Part of me does not understand. Maybe because even in my lowest of lows, I never felt like ending my life. I'm not being judgmental, I don't know what goes through the mind of one who turns to suicide. But I've been told it is very common for people to have these thoughts. And fortunately not everybody who has these thoughts go through with it.
February was mental health awareness month.
The media talked about it at length. One morning, I heard a parent talk over the radio about how his daughter, a teenager, took her own life last year. The story was heart-wrenching. It's hard enough for a parent to lose a child, but for a parent to question whether they could have prevented it, it could be mental torture day in and day out.
I, personally, don't think I could ever do it, even if I am depressed.
I do not have piercings or tattoos because of the pain I anticipate I would have to endure.
Plus I would not want my family to go through the pain of going on without me, of ever thinking that they could have helped.
I know that in the moment, due to their illness (depression or any other mental disorder), people who commit suicide are not thinking of the pain they would inflict on their loved ones. In that moment, they think that taking their own lives would actually make everything better.
It makes me sad that there are so many people in the world who think they have no other choice.
It scares me that I may be walking by someone having these thoughts and not knowing what they are going through.
This is a reminder to myself and to the world to be kind to others, you don't know what kind of day they are having.