“…and threw himself in front of a train!” – with these words I was casually informed about a former colleague’s suicide.
So he finally did it. Nobody can pretend that there weren’t any signs. The last few times he contacted one uf us he seemed completely paranoid, connecting things that didn’t have anything to do with each other. He seemed nervous, thinking everything that happened was about him and I hardly recognized the person I used to work with.
He was one of my favourite colleagues; it was impossible not to laugh about his jokes. I knew him as a kind person with a hearty laugh and someone who could infect people with his enthusiasm. Someday he quit the job and started acting in weird ways. I wasn’t close enough to him to really know what was going on but basically everyone noticed something was wrong.
What makes me feel sad (apart from that he’s gone and there’s nothing anyone could do about it) is that the majority of my co-workers reacted with a shrug. “Well, he was pretty unstable…” they would say as if that made it any less tragic. As if it wasn’t our well-liked colleague but just some “loony” who didn’t leave anyone behind. And that’s something I notice very often when I talk about suicide to other people – many seem to think that suicide is something that’s not about our average friends and family members but only about crazy people you read about in the newspapers (or not because they don’t like writing about suicide but that’s another topic). There is a lack of awareness and a lack of respect in my opinion.
I can understand when someone thinks about suicide – I have certainly thought about it very often. Planned, written letters, abandonded plans…it would have been well thought out in my case. But my colleague…I fear that he did it out of acute desparation, he obviously felt so much fear and paranoia and I hate to imagine that he spontaniously jumped from that platform because he wanted to escape from something that wasn’t there…I hope there is a lot of peace wherever he is now and also that the train driver and his family are okay…I hope that everything that could have been done has been done and that he wasn’t all alone…I hope he found what he was looking for.