Monday, December 29, 2008

Sad when someone takes their own life

the lady who jumped from the cruise ship ( story here )
sparked in me a memory
and as I told this to a new friend
i realized it had untapped value with regards to mental health.

It is frightening how powerful sadness and depression can be, when untreated.
I was on a cruise about 14 years ago with my then wife, Fred*
We were not getting along at this point in our marriage, nor had we for many years.
Now we were confined to the same ship and the same small cabin for four days and had none of the obvious outlets that helped to pass the time aboard: gambling, drinking, romance.

after departure and dinner I was walking the decks alone,
and looked at the sea far below as we steamed toward Catalina Island, our first stop.
I looked for too long at the surge of foam as it raced by, thinking no particular thoughts at all, and then a malicious voice spoke inside my head. The truth of what was said was as clear as the night sky; "you could just jump in there, and it would all be over quickly with no more pain or suffering" "splash, and you are gone. Gone to heaven, where God awaits you."
Sadly I was interested enough in this offer of a way out that I did not run from the rail or scream at the owner of such a slick but menacing proposal. I pondered it long enough to hear my own human reason work out the details of this bargain. No I would not like the water, once I hit it. I do know a thing or two about falling through the air from great heights, and thought that part would be a "trip". No I would not slip silently into the frothy wake and go easily from breathing air to swallowing water. Here was my reply; "You KNOW that you would be screaming like a mad man, swimming like crazy and only wanting to be rescued the second you came to the surface". I could not do it. i did not think about it more, I walked toward the back of the boat... and there saw the most amazing thing........
*name changed

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