After lectures and presentations in Durham University’s Open Day today (and I love it there), I arrived at the train station to be presented with some rather unfortunate news. Someone had jumped in front of the path of a train and all southbound trains were announced either cancelled or delayed.
Now I wonder which you took to be the unfortunate news when you read that paragraph. Trains delayed/cancelled? The death of a person who could not find something worth living for? Both?
I was alarmed at the negative responses I heard and that were said to me by others. The “inconvenience” of death. The “incompetence” of a lost soul. The “irritation” of suicide resulting in an hours delay or connection train. “Why couldn’t they have picked another day? Then it wouldn’t have mattered to me”, one said. I turned away from them, and a few moments later they apologised for their remark with nervous laughter and said that they were tired. Others were not so apologetic. Some had no space at all for sympathy. “Selfish” was a word I heard a lot. “Why couldn’t they have just taken some pills or something?”
God help us. Suicide in any form is not an inconvenience. It is a sadness. It should make us look at ourselves and all of humanity and think, how can we stop this from ever happening again? It should show us what out priorities are, and what they are meant to be.
Life is sacred. Life is precious. Life is priority.
I have lit a candle for him tonight, and will call him to mind in my Parish Home this Sunday.
May you now rest in peace. And may others desiring similar fates find love, joy, and a welcoming embrace from those, like me, who will always be here for you; to share strength, to kindle hope, to discover beauty in the world and in ourselves.
Christ’s is the world in which we move, Christ’s are the folk we’re summoned to love, Christ’s is the voice which calls us to care, and Christ is the One who meets us here…