Saturday 5 October 2013

Is it selfish?

Is what selfish?  Committing suicide in a way that has a massive impact on others lives.

This was debated this week because a man fell from a footbridge onto a major road and was hit by a lorry and subsequently died.  So far the man hasn't been named and the assumption is that it was a suicide. The road was closed for some hours and, as it is a major route into London the closure caused traffic chaos.

Several staff members were caught up in the disruption and took much longer to get to work than usual.  A secondary effect was that our menus had to be changed the next day because we did not receive our meat delivery on time due to the same disruption.

It's not actually been confirmed that this was a suicide but it seems likely - the footbridge has a high fence - you wouldn't accidentally fall over it although of course if the person was drunk and messing about anything is possible.  My husband has told me how one night he and some friends walked over a railway road bridge on top of the wall at the sides.  They were drunk and could very easily have fallen on to the train tracks below.  And maybe that would have been reported as a suicide attempt as well instead of druken stupidity.

Getting back to my original point, I don't believe the person committing the act consciously takes into account the effect their actions will have on others.  I'm sure there are some people who take their own lives who are very clear about what they are doing and although their suicide will have a devastating effect on family and friends they choose methods that will not impact the wider community and, God forbid, inconvenience them.

But then there are other, very troubled individuals, who are not thinking clearly enough to consider the effects their actions will have.  People who just feel that taking their own lives is the only solution to whatever situation they may be facing and sometimes an opportunity just presents itself or they may decide how they will end it, possibly by throwing themselves over the side of a bridge onto the road below but I'm not sure they think through the consequences.

It's sad to hear people's comments focused more on how inconvenienced they were rather than how desperate the man must have been feeling at the time and the effect it would have on his family and friends.

On a lighter note we now have another driver in the family - our eldest son passed his driving test this week.  Shame he's now based in Nottingham so no use for lifts anytime soon!