I am Doris in N CA. Over time, this has become the "serious" blog.
Since the suicide of my son, I have become involved in suicide awareness and, yes, that creeps into the blog on a fairly regular basis.
Yesterday, I came across the comment above - Maybe we should just let them - from somebody I know and actually like quite a bit. Rather than being shocked, the way I used to be, I rolled out all the usual arguments: There are studies showing that people prevented from taking their lives, very often do not go on to find another venue or another means; only 6% of those prevented from jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge did go on to take their lives; it's an impulsive act and given time and a chance, people will more often than not change their minds; everybody who jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge and survived and talked about it said that the instant they let go they decided they wanted to live; and it's not the same as euthanasia, it's not an informed decision.
But the short and, what I think perfect, answer didn't come to me until this morning:
Would you still feel this way if the person trying to take their life was your child, your spouse or somebody else very close to you?
There were 10 suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge in August of this year. John Bateson, author of "The Final Leap" wrote a letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle about it ........... and the Chronicle decided not to publish his letter.
But the L.A. Times L.A. Times did and so did the Contra Costa Times.
He addresses all the points in his letter, the increasing number of deaths from the bridge, the strange allure the bridge has for suicide attempters, and the fact that the Bridge Authority, the source of information on all things relating to the bridge does not even acknowledge these deaths. They did decide just recently to build a barrier in the middle of the bridge to avoid head-on collisions to the tune of $25 million.
All the above and more is in John Bateson's letters and he says it so much better than I can.
A friend of mine died Friday night, it wasn't unexpected.
Marilee and I met 17 or so years ago on the AOL bead boards. Her username was "Patterner" - she was able to look at a piece of beadwork and could easily recreate it.
And she was knowledgeable about pretty much anything else as well. She was also disabled due to an unfortunate accident and a very rare reaction to a rather common pain killer.
We were more casual acquaintances than anything else for many years. The AOL community disappeared - AOL's doing - and we all moved on to a Delphi group. Other people from other forums joined, the group grew tremendously and I didn't participate much after an arm injury.
And then Henry died and another online friend put an announcement on that board. Marilee was one of a small group to send condolence cards and a special gift - beaded earrings. And she got in touch by email (she lived on the other side of the country so we never met in person) and was just there when I so badly needed somebody to talk to. She told me her story, her life hadn't been easy, but it's not my story to tell. In time, I didn't need hand holding so much but we kept in touch.
She was the first person (and one of a very small group) to read my blog and pretty much the only one who commented. I read her blog regularly and left comments and we emailed regularly.
Over the last couple of years it became obvious that her health was deteriorating and her blog posts dwindled. We were still in touch, but not as much as before. Our last emails were exchanged earlier this month.
When she didn't post anything new I started checking the comments on her last post and found out that she had been hospitalized and that she passed away.
There is a board where quite a few of her friends wrote tributes to her and I read those with great sadness. I knew she was a generous person and a kind one, but I had no idea how many people she helped in ways similar to me.
My life is fuller for having known her, but empty now that she is gone.
Marilee, you are greatly missed.