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JUMPERS

Take It to the Bridge

OF ALL THE METHODS OF SUICIDE at our disposal (and there are many), falling from a great height is the most dramatic. It's also the most narcissistic, as it is only after one thing: drawing attention to oneself. Why not kill yourself at home, the rational and irritated public wonders. Why not swallow pills at a late hour of the night when the whole city is sleeping, then lie in your own bed and quietly die just before dawn? Why this grand declaration of your despair? Because with jumpers, it is not the death that is important, but rather that the fall is witnessed and reported. This has to be true, as no one has ever heard of a person driving to the country and jumping to their death from a tall pine tree where only bears and beavers might see them. No! This has never happened.

Falling from the sky is amazing! It captures our imagination like nothing else. Take, for example, this strange case from the natural world -- by this I mean the world of animals and so on. We are simply stunned when thousands of birds suddenly, inexplicably, commit suicide by falling from the sky, as once happened in some old city in Europe. The birds dove earthward and hit the concrete one after the other with rapid splats. So remarkable was this event that it was shown to the whole world via television, and billions were darkly moved by the sight of these little deaths. On the other hand, we are almost indifferent when big, sad whales beach themselves on our coasts and patiently wait for death to come. This act seems personal and none of our business. In a way, we even understand these whales: They are just tired of the endless and depthless sea (who wouldn't be -- it's so dark down there), and now they want to die on the beach, so leave them alone. We never, however, understand something that falls from the sky.

The jumper (the official term from The Codebook of Federal Security Agencies), whether bird or human, is in essence a lofty figure -- a failed movie star, a baseball player who never made it out of the minor leagues, or a rock musician without a record deal -- and all that is left for them is this final but very public act. That is why this form of suicide is ultimately a performance and the jumper a star (albeit a fallen one).

Here in Seattle, the main stage for such performances is the Aurora Bridge. True, people jump from downtown buildings (like the miserable man who leapt from the top of the Nordstrom parking garage last year) and other structures, but these are not center-stage events. The real place to jump (or perform) is the Aurora Bridge. In fact, one of the earliest jumpers was an entertainer, a stuntman named Ray Woods. In 1935, he jumped off the Aurora Bridge and survived without a scratch. (Two years later, however, Woods jumped from the more formidable Golden Gate Bridge and broke his back.)

Granted, many jumps from the bridge are made on a whim, meaning that someone walking or driving on the bridge suddenly thinks, "What the hell," stops the car, and impulsively cartwheels over the ledge, as one West Seattle man did in 1974. In these cases, people are drawn to the emptiness, to the nothingness that beckons from the great beyond -- they have to "embrace the abyss," as Sartre put it. The French philosopher and novelist also noted that this is an existential anxiety that burdens anyone who happens to cross a bridge or stand on a high structure. The less philosophical Officer Lone of the Seattle Police Department's Harbor Patrol put it this way: "They jump because the bridge is there," implying that if it weren't for the bridge, the thought of committing suicide would never enter these otherwise psychologically sound minds.

Who knows -- maybe in a way he's right. But a quick look at 10 or so police reports of jumps shows that the theme of performance runs deep. In 1971, a 30-year-old man, who had just gone through a messy divorce and was having problems with his second marriage, decided enough was enough and drove out to the middle of the bridge and prepared to jump. A passing police officer spotted the jumper, got out of his squad car, and started talking to him. The cop got close to the jumper and offered him a cigarette. The jumper looked at the cigarette and said, "I have seen that cigarette ploy on TV dramas!" Then he jumped. In July, 1980, a woman named Connie went to a small tavern in Queen Anne, and became so displeased with a band that was performing that night (the once popular Jr. Cadillac), she drove to the bridge and had her own little show -- she jumped to her death. And in April, 1990, a Harbor Patrol unit found the body of a jumper floating next to his violin case.

First named the George Washington Bridge when it was completed in 1932, the Aurora Bridge is 2,956 feet in length, and at mid-span, rises 175 feet above Lake Union. It is by definition a cantilever bridge, meaning it is "composed of anchored trusses, cantilevered out from the piers and connected by a shorter, suspended span," my handy Collier's Encyclopedia tells me. Though our cantilever bridge does enjoy some status in the Pacific Northwest (it was once the largest highway project in the region), it does not claim much else in the glamorous world of civil-engineering feats. So it has been the 200 or so people who've jumped from the bridge who have made this basic structure what it is today. It is they who inspired the numerous names the bridge goes by -- "Suicide Span," "Jumper's Bridge," "Fremont Falls" -- and transformed it into a local symbol, or a figure of speech that can be used to stress or dramatize an idea. For example, when trying to determine why dentists (who deal with the mouth) were more prone to suicides than proctologists (who deal with the ass), one Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter used the Aurora Bridge in this way: "If there is a psychological effect from looking into people's mouths every day, and being generally feared, as the suicide studies indicate, then one would think that proctologists would be lined up on both sides of the Aurora Bridge."

What these jumpers have done to the bridge is to re-purpose it, meaning that instead of just operating as a part of the highway system that links two land masses, the bridge is now something that can be used to end a life with a bang or splash. This re-purposing is important because if it hadn't occurred, the bridge would have remained anonymous; we would never have taken notice of it nor paused for a meditative moment when crossing it. A similar thing happened with an apartment building in Tokyo called the Takashima-Daira Apartment Complex. In 1977, this building became famous only when a family of three jumped from the roof to their deaths. Soon afterward, the apartment building became known as the best place to commit suicide in all of Tokyo. In his controversial book, The Complete Manual to Suicide (1994), suicide advocate Wataru Tsurumi writes, "At one point, someone jumped from the building every three days. In 1981, the complex installed iron fences around the roof and set up a suicide hotline, which drastically reduced the number of suicide attempts there. However, if you want to jump from this spot, it can still be done. Building number 3-11-1 is easy to enter and has low fences. It's fourteen floors high and surrounded by hard concrete; a fall is lethal. To get there, take the Mito-line to the Shin-Takashima-Daira station. Turn left toward 4-Chome. The building you want is the one facing the railroad track." Indeed, if I were to go to Tokyo at this very moment, this is the only building I'd know how to find. Such is the power of the jumper.

A prime example of the significance of re-purposing is the monstrous span that carries I-5 over Lake Washington: Despite being a larger, more impressive structure than the Aurora Bridge, with an excellent view of the city, as a bridge it goes almost unnoticed by drivers who transverse its curved length. To our eyes and mind it is no different from the highway it sustains. In fact, who even knows its name? (I discovered that it's called the Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge, but only after making several calls to the Seattle Public Library's information center.)

The problem is that the I-5 bridge has not awoken from the sleep of its primary function, which is to lead traffic from one side of town to the other. The German philosopher Heidegger once wrote that the essence of a tool (like a hammer) is only noticed when it is broken. If a hammer works, then it is nothing more than an extension of your hand, but if it breaks, you notice its "hammerness." This is close to what I mean by re-purposing; the added and unexpected uses of the Aurora Bridge (e.g., the way it has been used to express political and environmental concerns, as in 1997 when Greenpeace protesters hung from it by huge ropes and prevented two American fishing trawlers from heading to the Bering Sea) knocked it out of the slumber of its primary function, and it is now wide-awake, alert, alive. Indeed, like Heidegger's hammer, re-purposing brings out the "bridgeness" of the Aurora Bridge. Early in its existence, the Space Needle was quick to prevent this re-purposing from happening. After the first successful jump, a suicide net was placed around it to catch jumpers and frustrate their designs. As a result, the Space Needle has never been knocked out of the sleep of use; that is why we never notice it, or think about it. It is there, but no one sees its "space-needleness."

"Wet or dry, the physics of an Aurora Bridge jump are unforgiving," a reporter once wrote for The Lake Union Review (a now-defunct monthly supplement to The Seattle Press). "A 160-pound person covers the 180 feet in 2.2 seconds. Depending upon the configuration of the body during the fall, final speed is about 55 m.p.h. Force at impact is about 28,000 foot-pounds, equivalent in energy to being blasted by 20 30-30 Winchester rifles from a distance of 180 feet." This is how fast it happens: You jump and all that is left between you and eternity is two to three seconds. There is barely enough time to think before you the hit the water. But jumpers don't always hit the water. Some aim for and hit the street. Or the parking lot that belongs to the California-based software company Adobe, who moved under the bridge in 1998. These kinds of suicides are called "dry jumps," and they account for 20 percent of all leaps (about eight per year) from the bridge.

Last year, I found a report of a dry jump in the police files. It was very unsettling. A man fell hard onto Adobe's parking lot, on the very spot where, two months later, the Fremont Friday-night outdoor movie series screened One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Officer K. Jones, who is no longer with the force, wrote, "The victim sustained trauma to his entire body, including severe head injury. I observed the victim motionless lying face down in the north parking lot of Adobe Systems Inc. The parking lot underneath the Aurora Bridge. Blood was coming from his head. I felt no pulse on the right wrist." The officer's voice is clearly shaken; the spectacle is too much for words. How can one describe such an incident? It is unbelievable, fantastic.

Some psychologists, such as Karl Young-Mays, a Freudian, suggest that at the root of every jump is the hidden hope that God will intercede -- that in mid-fall, angels will appear to catch the jumper. This idea goes way back: According to the Bible, Jesus was tempted by Satan to jump off a high cliff, while he was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. If Jesus was who he said he was, reasoned Satan, God would save him. On the Aurora Bridge, the theory applies well to the class of jumper who aims for the water, because historically there is a one in 10 chance of survival; there is actually a chance for a "miracle." "Why me?" a survivor named Lauren Jameson, who jumped in 1975, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1996. "Why me that walked away unscathed? That's when I started believing in God." The person who aims for the concrete, on the other hand, is not playing a game with God, but sending a messy message to vulnerable humankind, giving us, the living, a big middle finger -- a loud "fuck you" in the form of a horribly bloody body.

Those who aim for the water and miraculously survive are never the same again. Physically, the survivors sustain permanent damage after their falls; they suffer from chronic back pain, digestive problems, breathing difficulties, even blindness in some cases. Mentally, however, it is said that they have a "new zeal for living," as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer put it in their '96 article "Life After the Fall." These survivors suddenly feel "better psychologically," says a study in the academic journal Suicide and Life (Summer 1998); they see the brighter side of things, and want to enjoy this "brief crack of light between the two eternities of darkness," as Nabokov once put it. "I cherish my life today," says one survivor in "Life After the Fall." "It changed my perspective on life," says another. "I've lived a whole lifetime since then and I think I have a good handle on things [now]," says yet another. One person, a Mr. John Dittmann, who jumped in 1979, opted for the joy of life on the way down: "At that point," he says, "I decided I didn't want to die."

FAME! LIGHT UP THE SKY WITH MY NAME

Though jumps make up only about 10 percent of the 200 or so suicide deaths in King County per year (guns are the most popular "suicide injury method" -- they account for nearly 50 percent), they are definitely the most democratic, the most glamorous, and the most memorable way to go. Who's forgotten that man who jumped to his death from a downtown skyscraper during rush hour in the winter of 1993? His final words, before throwing a fire hydrant out the window and following it, were, "I have had enough of this place." Can I recall one thing Jimmy Carter ever said? No, not in a million years.

A jump is so powerful an event that the Seattle Police Department will no longer release the total number of Aurora Bridge jumpers, hoping the lack of a number will lessen the bridge's glamour. Our city's policy is opposite that of San Francisco, which has kept a record of every jump from the Golden Gate Bridge -- a bridge that is "to suicide what Niagara Falls is to honeymoons," as the writer Geo Stone put it in his 1999 book, Suicide and Attempted Suicide. The city of San Francisco not only keeps a record of every jump from the Golden Gate, but in July 1996, publicly announced the 1,000th jump (that's California for you). In fact, back in 1971 when the 499th official jumper was reported, a TV crew set up a camera to catch the 500th jumper. Geo Stone writes, "The first fourteen for the role (one wearing a T Shirt bearing the number 500) were all stopped or talked out of jumping, but number fifteen, 26-year-old Steven Houg, evaded rescuers and leaped to his death. The cameras missed it."

Like shooting up a McDonald's in Iowa or a high school in Texas, the jump is a way for the little man/woman to become famous for a fast second; and that is why we dislike jumpers. They are like flashers in a dark ally, who expose their sordid souls to the world busily passing by. They want us to see their horror, to be an audience to their pain. One pissed-off cop (SPD Sergeant Miller) expressed the mood of many citizens when he recommended that instead of placing phones linked to crisis centers on the bridge (an idea that has been considered for many years), the city should place a diving board there, just to let the jumpers know how much the public dislikes their pathetic performances. Let's admit it: We hate jumpers! We hate them because we see in their final act something of a Silas Cool -- the man who shot city bus driver Mark McLaughlin, then himself, causing a double-long bus to "dry jump" over the side of the Aurora Bridge in 1998. They seem to want to drag us down with them. They use and mock us by taking advantage of our basic impulses, our weakness for big entertainment. We don't want them to jump; we want them to live and suffer like everybody else. But if they do jump, they know we have no choice -- we have to stop and watch their amazing fall.

 

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1
Looking down from the bridge at the concrete, and knowing that you'll succeed makes it harder.
Posted by andy on May 1, 2009 at 7:41 PM · Report this
2
my friend jumped off the aurora bridge yesterday and he was successful in killing himself. he wanted the quickest end available to him and that was it. some people do want the attention and spectacle. i doubt that is what he sought, though.
Posted by bewildered on October 13, 2009 at 9:03 AM · Report this
3
We will be praying over this bridge Oct 23 & 24 for the attempts of suicide. This needs to stop, there's gotta be other avenues for these individuals.
Posted by Some Do Care on October 14, 2009 at 4:05 PM · Report this
4
this magazine has some of the most heartless, cynical garbage I have ever read. I do find some of it interesting or funny, but shit like this is just that-SHIT
Posted by so many heartless snobs on October 15, 2009 at 2:01 PM · Report this
5
i hear you # 4. but then again i'm you as a troll...
Posted by heartless trolls on November 11, 2009 at 9:43 PM · Report this
6
I'm a close relative of one of the Aurora Bridge "dry jumpers", as well as another in the Los Angeles area. This is the first article I've read with some fresh insight as to WHY? After the initial swirling whirling tornado of horror abated, my next thought was: What was going through their heads just as they jumped? In both cases, without hesitation, in my mind's eye I could hear & see them screaming "Fuck You & Won't You be Sorry! I'm probably coming across as cavalier, but if I bury every ounce of emotion, I speculate how cavalier they were, facing a certain & grizzly death, with only 2.2 seconds of fame ...
Posted by JustJanie on May 6, 2010 at 10:12 PM · Report this
7
I witnessed a jumper on June 17, 2010. It was a horror. For a moment, I thought it was a bundle of some kind dropping in front of me from the bridge, but then I saw clothes, and a face on the street, which I will never forget. Please, Seattle, do all you can to keep people evaluating what they could do instead.
Posted by A Fremont Walker on June 19, 2010 at 5:41 PM · Report this
8
I also witnessed the June 17th jumper and attempted to respond as an EMT. There are no words for the trauma this can inflict on those working or living below. Get the fence built to stop the impulse and further trauma to those unfortunate to witness such an act of desperation and despair. For those arguing that they don't like the "sound" of the machinery building the fence or that it somehow obstructs your "view", I challenge you to decide if you prefer instead the visual of falling bodies and listening to the occasional sickening thud. Seattle, time to wake up to empathy and compassion for those who think there are no other options and those who bear witness to their fatal and dramatic choices...
Posted by Tabomoa on June 21, 2010 at 9:55 PM · Report this
9
I was biking today when a man flung himself off the bridge. To say I'm in a dull shock is an understatement. From what I can dig up, he is the second person this week. And while I'm glad there is not a continuous public logging of these suicides, I am appalled there aren't accurate figures with the SPD. Clearly this happens ALL the time. I am sick from one chance encounter; those who live and work in the area must live with this on a what, weekly basis?! That fence cannot be built fast enough. Thank you for this article. It articulated better than any words I could come up with, my confusion, distress, sadness, and anger. I realize some people think this article trite, but from 175 feet below, it is forthright and enlightening.
Posted by parnassusguilliam on July 3, 2010 at 1:20 AM · Report this
10
I couldn't read this article, so I don't know if it's any good or not. The beginning was too... esoteric? Poetic? Uncaring? My friend jumped from the bridge three days ago. I don't know if he was narcissistic or not. I don't know if he wanted attention. My friend is dead. That's what I know.
Two months ago, in a professional capacity, I stood with someone who had shot his brains out. I swabbed his face clean before his family came it. I hugged them as they cried, and got them tissues. Suicide isn't poetic once you've seen it.
Posted by achingandnumb on July 5, 2010 at 10:02 PM · Report this
mapletree 11
This article is brilliantly written. I work below the Aurora Bridge, across the street from the Adobe building. I also witnessed the jumper on June 17, 2010 - he practically landed on our door step. I've never been subjected to anything more fantastically horrific. The description given by Officer Jones is chillingly familiar to what I saw, except this jumper was lying face up, where blood trickled from his temples onto his cheeks and his eyes had gone white. There is no way to erase this imagery or to ignore the blood stained pavement where I park my car, but it's important to not turn another's violent fatality into your own tragedy. True, witnessing a jump and the aftermath of said jump is tragic. But it's important to find empathy for the victim, and recognize that you, yourself, are not the victim. But I still can't wait for the fence to go up, and I know the others who live and work under the bridge agree. The frequent sound of sirens racing toward the bridge is not only aggravating but it touches a sickening spot inside all of us, who know where those sirens are headed.
Posted by mapletree on July 14, 2010 at 11:57 AM · Report this
12
Yo cm,you really suck!you know nothing.I jumped the aurora,november 23,1980,this after having been viciously beaten & sodomised from the age of three on through my entire childhood,in a state run fosterhome,catholic style!Yes,there was a priest involved right along with the foster parents! As for playing games with god? Or wanting attention? HA! Tell you what I do want! I WANT things like you to wake from your stupified slumber & pay attention to what is really going on in this seriously suffering world! I WANT things like you to find your humanity & quit being such shallow idiots, & instead have the guts to HELP whenever help is needed, some compassion would be cool,forgetyou.
Posted by !pssdoffgrll on July 25, 2010 at 5:58 PM · Report this
13
You can still jump from the bridge and not cause attention, especially if it's at night. Someone will find the body eventually, but you can do it discreetly without causing a big scene. I think jumpers use the bridge because they know it will be effective. Swallowing a bunch of pills doesn't necessarily guarantee that you'll "quietly die before dawn." The bridge is simply effective and it's accessible to people who just want to get it over with quickly.

Of course, it's not right for people to use the bridge in that way and they deserve to be helped, but that's why they jump. Suicide is about as personal a decision as it gets and it doesn't mean that you should oversimplify and classify every suicide as a selfish person.
Posted by mhogan7 on August 14, 2010 at 10:08 AM · Report this
14
How dare you glorify this. F you stranger. What kind of paper do you think you are. What hypocritcal crap you spew. Liberal BS. We need to help those who are in need not ridicule the methods they choose to destroy themselves. How fucking dare you.
Posted by mbeezy on August 18, 2010 at 11:20 PM · Report this
15
Isn't officer Lone who was quoted in the article saying "they jump because the bridge is there" the one that died when he fell off the boat in the ship canal a few years ago? Small world.
Posted by conjunctionjunction on August 22, 2010 at 11:32 PM · Report this
16
The "pre-purpose" part makes me think that the prevention suicide fence which is being built up on Aurora Bridge may imply the people who have suicide attempts that "it is a place to jump off". I think the fence will physically decrease the suicide number on the bridge for sure, but the fence should be more like a warm symbol for the people who want to jump.
Posted by Yuzheng on November 25, 2010 at 5:43 PM · Report this
17
The "pre-purpose" part makes me think that the prevention suicide fence which is being built up on Aurora Bridge may imply the people who have suicide attempts that "it is a place to jump off". I think the fence will physically decrease the suicide number on the bridge for sure, but the fence should be more like a warm symbol for the people who want to jump.
Posted by Yuzheng on November 25, 2010 at 5:45 PM · Report this
18
I added an entire page comment, I think on this site, but I am not sure. I was recently informed about the incident in 2001 concerning Anne, though it was ten years ago, so I thought I would say my condolences.

However, something irked me. I then found a website concerning a friend of hers, Dick Didrickson, a man who was not suicidal, but looked at the view from the Seattle aurora bridge, passengers then dared him to jump, unbeknownst to him, he found out that someone engraved "jump you S.O.B." three years ago responding to the suicide of Scott. I do not know his last name.

Look, this is a very serious thing. As with homicide, suicide affiliates with death, "the end of living" (emphasizing that). It is not funny, and I do not know if many say it sincerely, or as a joke or dare, but imagine if it was you, or maybe a relative or friend. Pretend for a minute, you were watching the view from that bridge (or any other bridge for that matter) and someone told you to jump, someone you do not even know, how would that feel, suicidal or not. It would petrify me, probably not surprise me, since I know there are mean people in the world, and I have met many, but a chilling thought would always linger with me, "someone I do not know wishes me dead." Not very reassuring, right?

Ending on this note, if you are watching someone trying to commit suicide, no matter if you are passing them, stuck in traffic because of them, or whatever the circumstance may be, do not be mean. You may be stressed if you are in a hurry, I understand it can be exasperating at times, and you do not need to like the person. You do not even need to condone suicide, or change your belief of suicide being a sin. I do not condone it by any means, but I understand pain, it happens to everyone, and I know everyone is not suicidal, or even were at one point or another, but I understand suicide is serious, and I would never, never ridicule others taunting them to end their lives. That is cold, and is one of the cruelest and grueling things ever.

Therefore, if you watch someone try to die, whether or not you are stuck in traffic, or just watching them (driving or not), think before you speak, and please understand the repercussion of it. You may still think of suicide as a sin, I do, but what we all need to know is that life can be quite difficult at times, and some are not as strong as others. I am not trying to change anyone, not everyone has morals, I realize that, and I am not asking you to stop what you are doing just to help someone, but do not tempt them to die if they are planning to, and try to understand the potential outcome. Suicide is death, and death is final, do not underestimate it.

I am also ending this on this note. To Anne and Dick, I know words can be cruel, and haunt us always, but try to be strong, wishing you two all the best. To Scott and anyone who has committed suicide, or died doing so, I hope the best for you, and if you have died, I wish you are in a better world, my dearest concerns.

More...
Posted by Brandon84 on November 3, 2011 at 9:20 PM · Report this
19
I added an entire page comment, I think on this site, but I am not sure. I was recently informed about the incident in 2001 concerning Anne, though it was ten years ago, so I thought I would say my condolences.

However, something irked me. I then found a website concerning a friend of hers, Dick Didrickson, a man who was not suicidal, but looked at the view from the Seattle aurora bridge, passengers then dared him to jump, unbeknownst to him, he found out that someone engraved "jump you S.O.B." three years ago responding to the suicide of Scott. I do not know his last name.

Look, this is a very serious thing. As with homicide, suicide affiliates with death, "the end of living" (emphasizing that). It is not funny, and I do not know if many say it sincerely, or as a joke or dare, but imagine if it was you, or maybe a relative or friend. Pretend for a minute, you were watching the view from that bridge (or any other bridge for that matter) and someone told you to jump, someone you do not even know, how would that feel, suicidal or not. It would petrify me, probably not surprise me, since I know there are mean people in the world, and I have met many, but a chilling thought would always linger with me, "someone I do not know wishes me dead." Not very reassuring, right?

Ending on this note, if you are watching someone trying to commit suicide, no matter if you are passing them, stuck in traffic because of them, or whatever the circumstance may be, do not be mean. You may be stressed if you are in a hurry, I understand it can be exasperating at times, and you do not need to like the person. You do not even need to condone suicide, or change your belief of suicide being a sin. I do not condone it by any means, but I understand pain, it happens to everyone, and I know everyone is not suicidal, or even were at one point or another, but I understand suicide is serious, and I would never, never ridicule others taunting them to end their lives. That is cold, and is one of the cruelest and grueling things ever.

Therefore, if you watch someone try to die, whether or not you are stuck in traffic, or just watching them (driving or not), think before you speak, and please understand the repercussion of it. You may still think of suicide as a sin, I do, but what we all need to know is that life can be quite difficult at times, and some are not as strong as others. I am not trying to change anyone, not everyone has morals, I realize that, and I am not asking you to stop what you are doing just to help someone, but do not tempt them to die if they are planning to, and try to understand the potential outcome. Suicide is death, and death is final, do not underestimate it.

I am also ending this on this note. To Anne and Dick, I know words can be cruel, and haunt us always, but try to be strong, wishing you two all the best. To Scott and anyone who has committed suicide, or died doing so, I hope the best for you, and if you have died, I wish you are in a better world, my dearest concerns.
More...
Posted by Brandon84 on November 3, 2011 at 9:24 PM · Report this
20
Sorry to re-post #18, somehow I posted #19 by mistake. Can anyone please remove that? Thanks.
Posted by Brandon84 on November 5, 2011 at 4:30 PM · Report this
21
You really are a thoughtless fool. Sleeping pills (that cause death by overdose) are very difficult to come by, and trees are not tall enough. You've obviously never been suicidal yourself, hooray for you. People desperate to end pain use what means are available to them, and the last thing they are is narcissistic. In fact, they are seeking to disappear.
Posted by Shame shame on January 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM · Report this
22
Thoughtless fools are the ones who jest at others when they are planning to kill themselves. Who ever said anything about trees or sleeping pills? No, I was never suicidial, though often I pondered what it would be like as if I never existed, but some of my close friends were, and it is quite sad, not a joke at all. Point being, feel compassion for the suicidal, feel contempt for the heartless. It is time the people in the world wake up and face reality, meaning facing what they know is right and what they know is wrong, it is as simple as that.

(I also did not know if the latest thing I posted came through, so I thought I would answer again)
Posted by Brandon84 on January 25, 2012 at 5:37 PM · Report this
23
I would also want to point out. I think suicide and homicide (definitely the latter) are corrupt, but people need in this world need help, and people, unfortunately mosty, just do not care. I personally think it is not that they do not want to, it is just they do not know how to.

We were not put in this world to hate, is everyone that stupid to realize that? I am not.

(Hey, where is post #22, what I posted? Come on)
Posted by Brandon84 on January 25, 2012 at 5:42 PM · Report this
24
Brandon84, Shame Shame's comments were clearly levelled at the author, not you.

In any case, you took umbrage with his comment, despite echoing his sentiments!

You may not think you're too 'stupid to realize' certain things, but I'm really not so sure.
Posted by cloud on December 31, 2012 at 11:29 PM · Report this
25
Poorly written, badly researched & terribly expressed. This kind of shitspattering is inexcusable. Seriously? Where is your heart?

Compassion is what is needed for our suicides - and yes, they are OUR suicides, symptomatic of bigger issues (mental illness, access to mental health care, suicide prevention, open dialogues about suicide, people using snark to be dicks rather than helping) we need to own as a society.

Let the healing begin, and may the internet wash away this horrific article
Posted by mjmj on September 17, 2013 at 10:03 PM · Report this
26
I totally disagree with the first part of this article.It is not a persons last big show to jump off a bridge and get attention it is they are seeking a way to end this life and their pain. What makes someone choose pills or a gun to take them self out of this world? Suicide is suicide regardless of how it is done. To call someone narcsisitic is crazy.
Posted by Janel on October 11, 2013 at 11:24 PM · Report this
27
I agree partly with Janel. Jumpers aren't (all) jumping for attention or to leave a message. It may just be they want to be sure they die (90% chance ain't bad) or because it's the easiest or only method available. Despite what most think, an overdose on drugs is a very unreliable method. Almost all who attempt suicide via drugs or pills survive. The drugs that can kill aren't easily available, either. And guns are expensive, plus if you' re killing yourself out of impulse then you aren't going to wait for a background check.

We all need to find the compassion, loving kindness and joy inside ourselves, and cultivate it. We need to be kind and compassionate towards EVERYONE. Criminals, hate mongers, douche bags, they all need our compassion. Hating is an easy, selfish, out for all of us. We need to be intelligent and strong. Then maybe suicide rates would decrease and the world would find some peace.

We all want for the exact same thing, happiness. Every thought, word, or action in all their infinite variety come from that one deep seated desire, to be happy. So love thy neighbor, and the thief, and the stranger, they're more similar to you and to each other than you really know.
Posted by Chenrezig on November 21, 2013 at 2:46 PM · Report this
28
As with ANYTHING in life, if you haven't personally experienced it you have NO idea what someone is going through so grow up and quit judging others. Look in the mirror. Suicide and mental health disorders are no joke and those who do and say suicidal things whether its for attention or not and shouldn't be dissected by inexperienced people, bottom line.
Posted by diesel42583 on January 16, 2014 at 9:57 PM · Report this
29
I thought this article was out to set the record straight when I began reading. It calls jumping narcissistic. I thought it would explain how this is not the case. Jumping is an effective way to die. That is why people do it. Depressed people do not will to suicide; their pain has exceeded their coping mechanisms. The likelihood of any depressed person to have the energy to want to put on a show is callous and wrong thinking. Such a shame to take on a subject like this and make a mockery of those in too much pain to live. Sadly they want relief from pain and death doesn't provide relief. I'm frankly sickened by the spirit of this article.
Posted by crh on March 29, 2014 at 2:28 AM · Report this
30
shame on you Charles Maude for sensationalizing this. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Posted by Andie deroux on April 9, 2014 at 10:00 PM · Report this
TCLballardwallymont 31
I really hope a would be jumper sees this, and decides that a better way to go would be a murder suicide with a Stranger writer providing the murder component. Not any particular writer of course, pretty much any of them would do at this point.
Posted by TCLballardwallymont on April 11, 2014 at 10:40 PM · Report this
32
I too found this article to be negative and uncompassionate. During a difficult depressive episode 2 years ago, I contiplated suicide as a way out. I am a nurse and wanted an effective way to get it done. I didn't have access to a gun or an adequate doseage of prescription drugs. This is the only bridge that I knew was high enough. Research shows that when a nurse commits suicide they are very successful. There was absolutely zero amount of attention involved. When a person is at absolute rock bottom they are not capable of comprehending such matters inside. They are almost completely shut down and hurting so badly. A major deterant for me was reading about the suicide fences. I didn't think I could climb it in my state. My little boys were the main reason that I didn't do it. I knew it would scar them forever to grow up without a mother. These days I am feeling better. It took me so long to get a real smile and laugh back. I will always carry those bad times as a burden inside me. I wanted to reflect back on the time that I was thinking about the bridge. This article left a sour taste in my mouth. For anyone reading this remember "This too will pass"- that's what my mom would always tell me when I was sick.
Posted by Pediatric Nurse on April 28, 2014 at 1:05 AM · Report this
33
Suicide by pills is successful only around 6% of the time. Jumping from a sufficiently high bridge has an over 90% success rate. If you live in NYC, it's impossible to legally buy a gun so suicide by jump is the next best option for those who are serious about killing themselves.
Posted by yoyoyo on July 26, 2014 at 3:13 PM · Report this

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