The DVP was jammed almost as soon as we got on it. Sirens wailed in the distance behind us, coming quickly closer. Two police cars passed us on either shoulder.
“Car accident,” I muttered to Ruth and Jodi. We were taking Jodi to the Greyhound station downtown. She was going back to Quebec after staying with us for about a week and a half.
The traffic started to move and funnel into the left lane. I saw the police cars and looked for a sign of accident. The police were moving around quickly, putting up that yellow DO NOT CROSS tape and talking on radios. A couple cars had been pulled over to the side, but they didn’t seem damaged at all. There was no broken glass. No tire marks. I didn’t notice anything.
Until I noticed the bits of flesh.
Then it all came in quick. There was a body lying under a white sheet, bare feet exposed. I turned away quickly and felt sick. The girls gasped. It was then that I noticed where we were. Right under the Millwood bridge. Suicide.
I can’t find anything on the Internet about it. Who jumped? Why? Anyone care? What pushes someone so far? What makes a man think that non-life is better than life?
Ruth wondered aloud about what the jumper’s relatives must think now. Had they cared about him during life? Would they feel any guilt now that he was gone?
Depression is a dangerous thing. It’s too strong to fight with simple words. “Cheer up!” does nothing.
Toronto is a strange place. The highest and the lowest. The richest and the poorest. The happiest and the jumpers. What potential a large city has! What opportunity lies in dense population! What if we loved? What if we cared? What if we treated each other in a way that made it so there were no jumpers? What if we lived like Jesus told us to? What if we followed him?
Are we more than bits of flesh?
The next bridge down had a suicide net on it. I heard it cost about $2.5 million. Someone once commented that the money would be better spent on social services and suicide support lines. I doubt that would help. You know what would help? You know what would bring the suicide rate down? You know what would have stopped that nameless man from jumping?
Love. If someone loved him and knew his name. If we would just love people – all people – wouldn’t the world be better? What would it be like if Christ-love infected us all? What would it be like if we were all willing to love the unloved?
Paradise on earth?
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