I’m going to share a story with you guys now — some people may find this traumatic — consider this a warning.
I’ve witnessed first-hand a suicide — it was at a train station. I saw a man throw himself into the side of a speeding train. I was in shock and everything went into slow motion. The station was thrown into a quiet surreal panic, with me and the approximately 20 other passengers on the platform — staring — not knowing what to do. After about 2 minutes a station guard ran out and hurried us off the platform.
As we left we walked through bits of brain, ligaments, and the sight of a man whose head had been split in half like a watermelon — I had never seen anything like this before — the colour of the blood was the reddest you could imagine. That colour — that vivid colour — will stay with me for life. I see this image in my head sometimes at night — the man’s dead lifeless corpse, whom I had witnessed springing into the side of the train full of life just minutes earlier. Women and children cried.
I read about the suicides that the government is causing, and I am hit directly by the trauma that such an event causes. The callousness with which such an act is treated by not just the government, but those who support both directly, and tacitly is a cause for eternal sadness in my heart.
I personally do not discount suicide as an option — it’s my life and if I choose to end it I will. Having said that, I hope I never have to.
The aftermath of this event was the icing on the cake. Eventually, I managed to get a train home — upon getting there I looked on the web to find out more information about the event. On the train company’s Twitter feed it was full of people complaining about the man’s selfish act — people indignant that their train had been delayed — their day RUINED!
Well, I say to those people that if they had witnessed the pain in the man’s eyes as he jumped they may refrain from such language and thinking.
Suicide is selfish to some degree, but at the same time, it is very VERY EASY to simply blame the person who has committed the act. Far harder — and more damning for us — to ever comprehend why people choose to kill themselves in the first place. This is a shame that we share as a selfish nation — and then you expect me to cheer and unite around this country. FUCK YOU.
Today is the anniversary of the event — life is always going to be traumatic, but we need to start talking about suicide, treating it honestly, and most importantly get to the root cause of why people do take their lives in the 5th richest country in the world.
Whenever I speak about this event it is usually greeted by an awkward silence — people don’t know what to say: this is understandable, but none the less puts those who are a part of suicide in a very isolated position — we need to become more grown -up and honest about how we deal with these issues.
Uncomfortable taboo subjects do not disappear just because we don’t talk about them — and the suffering at the heart of them does not get solved through this kind of blissful ignorance.
None of this will bring back the man who I saw kill himself — but perhaps it would prevent such unnecessary pain for others in the future.
One final note: a similar article to this was pitched to the Guardian and rejected on the grounds that it wasn’t suitable.
If you feel suicidal contact the Samaritans on 116 123.