These thoughts are stemmed from a documentary I recently watched entitled The Bridge. It focuses on “the most popular suicide destination in the world”, which is the Golden Gate Bridge. Via interviews with family, friends, and actual footage of people jumping to their death in the year 2004, the documentary offers some insight into the taboo that is suicide.
Committing suicide is a juxtaposition between strength and weakness. It’s incredibly weak that a person chooses to end their life rather than deal with the challenges presented before them; challenges that may appear fairly light when compared to those faced by others. It is often seen as the easy way out, though I’ll come back to that thought later.
And yet committing suicide is incredibly strong because that person, using whatever method, has chosen to face what most people in this world consider their greatest enemy-and that is death.
Consider the depth of it. At one point in time that person viewed death as their enemy; perhaps even feared it. That was when things were going well for them. When there was joy, love, and hope. But now death has become this person’s closest friend, savior even. Delivering them from the pain, anguish, and despair they feel.
Can you imagine how low a person must feel for them to come to the conclusion that death is a better alternative to the life they are living? I mean we all have moments of despair. Moments where we feel incredibly low. Moments where we aren’t sure we can make it. However, that’s just it–we have moments. There’s always something within us, something very faint and calming that reassures us that things will get better. Whether you choose to believe it’s God, or another higher being, or intuition, or some kind of spiritual energy. The point is that it speaks unto us, and in due time we find that it was correct. That things did indeed improve for us. But I guess for those whose choose suicide as an option, they don’t simply have moments of despair. Instead, there is a never-ending, ever constant world of despair.
I’m sure friends and family members of those who knew a person who committed suicide often wonder whether there was something more they could have done or could have said. But if a person is really that low, that hurt, and that desperate could anything truly have been done to deter their actions? Or perhaps something could have been done. Perhaps they just needed someone to ask them if they were alright. They just needed someone to smile at them. They just needed some validation that someone cared about what they were going through.
“They” say that committing suicide is taking the easy way out. Yet I find it to be quite the opposite. What is so easy about tormenting yourself with the idea of ending your own life? Consider the amount of time spent pondering the idea of suicide itself. Then the amount of time spent determining the method by which to commit the act. For some it’s weeks, for some it’s months, for others it is years. And then think about what is going through their minds as they prepare to do what they’ve long thought of doing. The back and forth. The yes and no. Nothing about that process seems easy at all.
The Golden Gate Bridge has been declared one of the Modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The fact that so many people use it to end their life seems quite ironic. On one hand there is a celebration of beauty, of wonder, of life. On the other hand there is the mourning of a life unfulfilled, a love never obtained, a dream never accomplished-the loss of a life.