Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Bridge

I saw a man die today.
I was smart. I was voted "Most Likely to Succeed." What the f*** happened?!!
~a suicide note, "The Bridge"
I don't know how I feel about this documentary.

Probably because I struggle with empathizing with hopelessness. Because my lowest low has never taken me there.
More people have chosen to end their lives at the Golden Gate Bridge than anywhere else in the world.
It's fascinating, looking at that line between standing on the bridge and jumping off it. Or choosing between looking at life through a lens and putting the camera down to pull a stranger back to life.

I can't imagine...
  • ...realizing I don't want to die after taking that step off the ledge.
  • ...being so disillusioned after looking for love in every place but the right one that I just give up on love altogether.
  • ...finding a miracle in a shattered body rather than a lifeless one.
  • ...seeing no other option.
  • ...getting that phone call.
  • ...watching the fall.
  • ...choosing the fall.
I don't think suicide's an unforgivable sin. I think it's a tragedy. And that God's heart breaks for those who don't trust Him to pull them through. But God is bigger than life. He's not limited by one painful choice. Nor can human despair severe something God put in place. No, it's not His will. But condemning those who struggle with depression isn't His will either.

Why do we never talk about mental illness until it's too late? And why do we choose to ignore the cries for help?
"I will never again not intrude. I won't respect their privacy. And I will not ever again not do something because I'm afraid they might be embarrassed."
And what would I do if I saw you on that precipice?


In Christ Alone said...

I was one of the few (maybe?) who watched this entire documentary from start to finish and was so mesmerized by it and the thoughts of those around those who chose that ultimately exhilarating, sorrowful ending (or beginning depending on how you look at it) for their life.

I can totally understand the thoughts that take one there to that place but am so much in agreement that it is so tragic. (I have worked with the mentally ill and see the despair and the hopelessness that "the system" offers them). And yet, the film overwhelms me .... "No one can sever something God put in place" ...and how sad that they never view God as the answer or the cure....that His Love is THE Love that rescues, and restores and regenerates a broken life. They know not of this Wondrous Love, or if they do they have left it to replace it with despair. A selfish and sad thing to do. An unforgiveable many of us live in His will.
Thanks for bringing this to light for me.

I can almost imagine...people's depression and disillusionment can take them so far from "here" that "there" is where they land. The phone call....that is the one thing I cannot imagine....not at all...nope, it cannot register. I have seen the life sucked out of people that have received such a call though....Unbearable...almost.

In Him,

michael lewis said...

I viewed this film, and thought it was stellar.

Suicide barriers have not been erected on the Golden Gate Bridge due to public annoyance: the barriers would make it "ugly".

The people have spoken, and what they have said is that they want to provide that choice.

I've been to San Francisco twice now, driven across the Bridge three times, and walked half-way twice. It's quite eerie and beautiful.

Lethbridge has a "Bridge", the High Level Bridge. While mostly inaccessible to the public, some have still jumped off (at least one while I've lived in the city). It too is eerie and beautiful.