The other day a women jumped off the 15th floor balcony of the my building to her death!
I was taking out the recycling when it happened right behind my back. I heard nothing as the grass was soft the birds chirped and the traffic passed.
As I ran up to her just tangled body and looked in her eyes it was evident she was very dead.
My heart went out to the young man who was in the unit with her just before she jumped and came running down to wait for the first responders to arrive.
Was she his mother, relative or just a friend visiting? Did they have an argument? What were the moments like leading up to her leap. One can only imagine……
I heard him on the phone as he spoke to the 911 operator. “yes she was intoxicated and just jumped”, he said.
As I heard multiple sirens approach I asked him is he needed help. His response was ‘just leave….just leave theres nothing you can do and they’re on their way’.
I think he was trying to spare me from the gory witness and wanted some privacy to deal with preserving the scene and protect her body from peering onlookers.
He was clearly in shock and desperately trying to keep it together. — I give him credit for his relative calm. If it were me in his shoes I’d be a screaming crying mess!
The image of her twisted body and half open eyes were painfully etched in my mind.
I turned and walked away in disbelief — nauseous and stunned.
I want up to my unit on the 18th floor and watched down below as the paramedics tried to revive her. It was pointless but I think they try anyway knowing people are watching and for the sake of saying they did everything humanly possible.
Moments later they placed an orange blanket over her body and pronounced her dead. For the next 6 hours various teams of police, detectives, and other uniformed personnel worked the scene. Taping it off, measuring, interviewing people.
What freaked me out was seeing her cold motionless body lie there beneath my bedroom windows as the sun set and dark damp still night crept over the scene. - such a beautiful sunset — so ironic.
Why does it take so long to remove her I thought? I’ve heard it takes a while for the coroner to show up but 6 hours ….. give me a break!
As night fell I had to do something to relieve the sense that her spirit floated around my apartment specifically on the balcony.
Ironically I came home from my boat that day to clean off my balcony and tend to my plants.
My partner suggested her presence was my imagination. I can’t go to bed knowing theres a freshly deceased suicide victim lying on the cold damp grass beneath my bedroom window.
I lit a candle and said a prayer. I did not know her but on some level we’re all connected and I know she must have been in profound emotional pain that day.
What brings a person to such despair that they choose to jump to their death in front of others?
Perhaps this was the empathy I was feeling for those involved that was bothering me? An unsettled sense that another human was in tremendous pain and is now transitioning into the afterlife because they’ve had it with this one.
At any given moment how many of the 7.5 billion souls having human experiences want to simply ‘check-out’?
Today my life is such a joyous contrast to their reality. I’m living, loving and learning to the fullest, on my own terms on my own time. My reality is one of profound appreciation, optimism and comfort.
When it comes to dealing with mortal death I’ve always associated the burning of candles as a catalyst to help the spiritual energy of those who have ‘passed’ to move on.
The type of catalyst whereby the warm flicker of a flame is symbolic of some form of communication between the observer (me) and the spirit (them).
The aim of our dialogue is always to resolve an issue. To comfort the one alive (me) and to help the one who’s passed to continue on their journey. For me to get closure and acceptance that they are no longer lingering in limbo within my personal space — unresolved and needing a little nudge to transition to their new afterlife home.
You can be in my space all you want so long as your at peace with your issues and your bringing ‘good-vibes’
Like when I light a candle at Christmas as a way to invite and encourage my mom and dad’s spirits to join us for dinner. — thats OK.
In this case I spoke silently in my head as I lit the white candle long stem candle.
‘This candle is for you neighbour. I don’t know you but I acknowledge your pain, and do not judge you and hope you rest in peace! This candle is to help you transition away from my life space into your own afterlife space. In a few hours when the candles flame has burnt through you will be well on your way and respectfully no longer in mine’ — I said
It was the expression on her lifeless face and the shape of her body I could not get out of my head space. I need to reframe that image from one of morbid damage to one of peaceful rest.
Get out of my space is a polite way to say please do not hover your pain and suffering (if you have any) around me. I NEED CLOSURE to what I just witnessed and when the candle is out the incident will be out of my mind and you will have moved on — out of my life.
Respectfully you were never really in my life a few hours ago as we have never met. Yet today you dominate my world. A world I did not ask you to enter. — I say rather selfishly but in the interest of self preservation.
I was deeply upset and needed my witness to your suffering to leave my psyche.
Today was but one incident in a moment in time and I need to make peace with just happened. Yea none of this was my fault but we’re all witness to something horrible one reason or another.
Perhaps all her spirit needed to hear as is passed near my window was I forgive you, acknowledge you respect your decision. — even though I would not do what you have just done and I do not understand.
Flash back 12 years when at that very same building. I was in a desperate state of despair when, for a thankfully fleeting moment, I too contemplated jumping to my death. Logic and my guardian angel stopped me. — The details a story for another time, it at all.
In retrospect to that time I really did not want to jump. I just wanted the pain to go away. I knew I was not ready to toss myself overboard because just below was a lovely flower bed. I grew more concerned for damaging the flowers and felt sorry for the people that would scrape me up off the ground. — a sign I clearly cared about something and not ready to ‘end it all’ — eh!
I think everyone at some point in their life contemplates the benefits and dire consequences of suicide. Sadly to many follow through.
On that life altering day 12 years ago a little voice inside of me (or perhaps it was my guardian angel) said…”Start over… you have a clean slate and opportunity to start over… AND no X-boyfriend or malicious person place or thing is worth dying over. Take back control and rebuild your life — be re-born and have fun along the way — you are free free free…..
It was a profoundly liberating perspective that catapulted me to grasp on tight to the notion of doing what matters to LIVE LOVE LEARN Life on my own terms and the terms of those nearest and dearest to me. On that faithful day I knew it was not my time to die and that had some unexperienced business left on earth.
PS: I’ve downplayed that little voice inside of me. In reality I believe it was my fathers spirit. I distinctly remember feeling his presence and seeing his face in the corner of the balcony looking at me telling me to step away from the edge.
Can you relate to any of what I am saying? Have you ever had a dark period in your life whereby that little voice inside of you, around you, offered a healthy balanced self determined solution to your problems?