Yesterday afternoon I witnessed something very shocking.
While having lunch with my parents and sisters at one of our fave restaurants in a residential mall, we were interrupted by a cacophony of shouts and confusion. Initially, we thought there was a celebrity in the building, and people were excited. However, when I looked through the window of the restaurant, I saw a shadow falling at high-speed towards the ground floor. Then, there was a loud crashing noise and the screams became worse.
We thought that something like a piece of building equipment had fallen from the floors above. A horde of passers-by started to gather around the balcony outside of the restaurant. Everyone had a horrified look on their faces.
My family and I did not move from our table, but we were curious. So, we asked our waiter what happened. Did something fall down?
“No”, she said.
It was not something, but a someone.
All of our faces went pale.
Two of my sisters became queasy instantly. Only my dad and my third sister went out of the restaurant to verify the waiter’s story. We found it hard to believe that someone had fallen. The complex itself had only 4 storeys, and all its balconies had relatively high panels. It would be hard for anyone to fall over.
When my father and sister returned to our table, we could see the terror plastered on their faces.
There was a body lying on the ground floor, and his head had cracked open.
He died on impact.
It was about 1 pm in the afternoon. None of us could finish our lunch.
Apparently, a young man had jumped from the balcony on the 4th floor.
He was at the food court on the 4th floor of the mall, with his mother. It was reported that he had an argument with his mother before deciding to commit suicide. His mother and two employees of the mall had tried to stop him, but could not hold him back.
It is believed that he was mentally unstable, and was suffering from depression.
You can read about it here.
What filled me with more sadness (and a certain rage) was the number of people who casually whipped out their phones, and started snapping pictures of the deceased. Some could be seen smiling, and no doubt had promptly posted the pic unto their Facebook or Twitter, and etc. So many vying to be the first to share this piece of news.
When did we evolve into desensitized fanatical buzz feeders?
Has human life been reduced to entertainment, or even a spectacle? The compulsion to eagerly comment, post and share without any regards to the anguish of a deceased?
That young man was someone’s son.
He was 26 years old.
May he finally have his peace.
As I laid in my bed last night, I tossed and turned. I could not sleep.
To be honest, I was reminded of my own pain and its accompanying chronic misery – being a former sufferer of suicidal tendencies.
Sometimes, the torment can become too unbearable and death seems like such a relief.
I believe that not everyone can find their way out of the darkness, because depression has a way of shutting out all hope. Despair can be, and often is, all-consuming.
There were numerous times during my divorce in 2002 when I thought of jumping off the ledge. On a daily basis, I had thought of the different ways to end my life.
If I had not the support and help of loved ones, I could very well be the one lying lifeless on the ground.
The statistics on suicide in every city is alarming. In other words, it happens everywhere.
In United States, suicide takes about 30,000 lives each year.
In Australia, suicide is the leading cause of death for those between 15 to 44 years of age.
In Malaysia, there was an average of two suicides in a day in the year of 2011. So, you can just imagine what the current stats will look like, especially when the rate keeps increasing each year. You can read more about it here.
South Korea has the third highest rate of suicides in the world.
If you really want to learn about the suicide stats of each country, you’ll find it here.
As we grow and develop as a society, we are blessed with remarkable advanced technology and medical care. But, have they turned us into more decent human beings or worse? Do we use all that we have created to help and heal, or to wound and maim?
Is this the real tragedy of our times?
You tell me.