Friday, January 07, 2011

It's been a difficult time around here.

I didn't know her well at all, I only knew her to say hello to as you do when you see the same faces over a number of years in an apartment building, a petite woman, perhaps in her 50s, who lived in the apartment directly below mine. She seemed to be an energetic career woman, and that's all I knew about her. At 10 o'clock in the morning, pushed by who knows what despair, she ended her life by jumping off her balcony, 15 floors down to the edge of the park. There's a fine line between thinking about suicide and actually doing it, and all it takes is a couple of seconds to cross it. This I know because I've been there, but with me it was never negotiable; my stubbornness pushed me forward, the stubborn thought that there has to be something better than whatever is making us think these dark thoughts.

And it's because I know what it feels like that I don't judge her. But I feel incredibly sad that no one she knew could help or even saw the signs. I feel sad that someone who knew her much better told me that she had lost a lot of weight and that her hands shook the last time he saw her. She hadn't opened her door for days and newspapers were piled up outside. And yet, and yet.... those who saw that didn't think to check on her. But I can't judge them either.

Her name was Wendy. I found that out today.


  1. Anonymous1:29 a.m.

    Coco, that's really sad. It's also something deep, mostly the not judging any parties in a case like that. I shall remember that in the near future.

    Hope all is well with you...

  2. I know how you are feeling.. suicide has been part of my life in the past.. I questioned the same as you are right now.. why didn't someone reach out.. it is sad.. hugs to you Colette xo

  3. That's awful, Colette. I think you're so right that we can't judge. It's really hard to every know if someone could have been helped. I hope that awful feeling you must be having will dissipate soon, dear friend...

  4. praying for you and Wendy. a wake up call for us all.
    love, jill

  5. Oh Collette, you pay tribute to her with this lovely post. Thought-provoking. I have heard people say they cannot imagine contemplating suicide. I cannot imagine never thinking aobut it.

    You are such a dear person. You lift others up with each minute.

  6. oh colette, I am so sorry! that is so sad! if you ever need to talk about it with me, you have my number, love you!


  7. Such a sad story......I lost a friend to suicide years ago. There were alot of "what ifs" and "I wishes" after she passed. The only consolation to such a horrible outcome is that you and I and others with reflect on her demise for years to come. We will now be more aware when the signs of another's fate flashes before us, and we will perhaps be able to provide a bit of relief to their angst. big hugs xo

  8. I am so sorry to hear this Colette...
    unfortunately I have been hearing these stories occuring more and more these days. I hope that she is at peace now..I also hope that others feeling this way can find a way to reach out to someone, anyone and get some comfort before they too decide to take this drastic way out.

  9. Anonymous10:50 a.m.

    Last year one of my bosses killed himself. He left the office on a Friday cheerfully saying he would see me next Monday and instead that was his last day of life. Everyone in our office was shakened and saddened by his loss and everyone wondered what we missed seeing and what we might have been able to do to prevent it. I'm so sorry for the loss of her life and your sadness. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. Oh, Collette! I am sorry for her and for you and for those who love Wendy. I understand a despair so deep it could drive one off a freeway overpass or a balcony. I am grateful modern medicine kept me from the act. I am sad Wendy found no other relief.

  11. I am so so sorry for this loss Colette!

  12. Colette,
    I am so sorry for this poor lost soul and for you. Death even from a distance effects us~
    I feel sad for Wendy and what she must of endured to do this. I can imagine your feelings, I have lived near people didn't know them, but this happened. It shakes you and you wonder...

  13. I'm so sorry Colette, how painful. It is so very sad, and happens around us all, all the time I'm sure. Riki

  14. Thank you for posting about this sad event. I have felt very low for some months and it is true to say that we do sometimes forget how other people around us would be affected by what we might do.

  15. Julie Loeschke8:10 p.m.

    We all need to take care of each other.

  16. What a dreadful thing to happen Colette. As you so rightfully say, why did no-one notice. I hope that poor woman is at peace now, and full marks to you for not judging her actions.

    It put me in mind of the so called famous "jumper" of the Twin Towers horror. There were so many people judging that poor man because he chose to jump rather than stay where there was absolutely no chance of rescue. Until any of us were in the same position and faced with the same choices we have no right to judge him.

  17. I am so sorry that this poor lady died without anyone helping her in her hour of need. But I do not judge her either, for I have been close, like many others. How sad. You have a lovely blog here.

  18. Anonymous1:48 p.m.

    Julie said:

    Lost someone close through suicide. The pain of the loss manifested as physical pain for several days. I didn't pass judgement but pray and hope that she is peaceful now. She brought happiness to her friends while she was here.

    BTW, found your site through Robyn at Villa Maria. Love the music you choose for your blog, too.


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