Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Please Don't Jump

One year ago, I witnessed something that I will never forget.  I can't drive by without thinking of the man that ended his life by jumping off of the Judge Graff Bridge June 20, 2011.

I had just picked the dogs up from the groomer and was heading home.  The bridge was under construction.  As I was about to take the Ford City off ramp, I noticed a man on the ledge of the bridge standing, and looking down.  I assumed at that time, that he was a worker inspecting something.

When I got closer, I noticed that he had a blue scrub top on and that he was barefoot.  I passed within feet of him.  He was just calm and serene and just looking down, like he was looking for something.

It took me a few seconds to register what I was actually seeing.  I immediately tried to call 911, but all circuits were busy.  As I was trying to get my car turned around, I saw two women running towards him on their phones.

By the time I got my car turned around, he was gone.  He jumped.  Luckily, I didn't see that part, but the image of the man standing there still haunts me.  I can't drive by this spot without thinking of him.

Days later, I found out that he was from Indiana County.  I didn't know him, but I knew his sister Ellen.  She, sadly, died in a motorcycle accident years ago.  What tragedy for that family.  I feel for their mother, who is still alive.

I hope he found peace.  At the end, he wasn't agitated or upset.  He just seemed so at peace right before he jumped.  That to me is so sad.  To be so sure about ending your life.  To be so comfortable with that decision.  God rest his soul.

No comments: