“Good morning ladies and gentleman” a voice came on over the train speakers this morning as I was heading to work on the Midland line: “There is a delay on our route into the city as someone is on the train tracks, we will get moving as soon as possible, thank you for your patience”.
I looked up, wondering if I could do anything to help. Some part of me is always willing to be a superhero but I don’t think I’ve thought of how to actually pull that one off. That poor person. Had they fallen onto the track? A mis-step perhaps? Or had they tried to jump and commit suicide? Had they been pushed by bullies? Were they having a heart attack or seizure or something? What was going on?
No matter what the reason, my heart ached for them.
There was a guy sitting across from me in his high-vis work clothes and clunky work boots. “What a d*ckhead” he said out loud – to noone, it seemed. “If you’re going to kill yourself, you should do it properly and not just stand on the tracks in front of a train that’s not going anywhere. Have the guts to do it properly. You’re just an attention seeker and you’re making me late for work”
First of all – why are you even talking right now? Who are you trying to get attention from?
Second of all, HOW FREAKING DARE YOU?!? You don’t know the story behind what’s happening. You don’t know why that person is on the tracks and you don’t know if it’s a suicide attempt. Maybe a lady dropped her phone and a gallant Gentleman jumped down to get it for her. He passed it back to her and she was grateful but then he found his foot caught and he was trapped, panicking as our train drew closer to him and trying to stay calm but not making any progress in freeing his foot from the bar.
Maybe he was a hero?
Maybe it was a lady. Maybe this young woman had worn new shoes for the job interview she desperately needed as she had to move away from home and parents who abused her. Maybe she was wearing her nicest dress and as she was walking to board the train before ours, her shoe had slipped off into the gap they always tell us to “be mindful of” when we get off the train. She had to let that train go and chanced hopping down onto the tracks to get that shoe but it was wedged under something and try as she might, she couldn’t get it loose.
Maybe it was an Elderly person who was confused and light-headed and they fell? Maybe they were badly injured and weren’t able to get up?
Maybe it was a loving Daddy who jumped down onto the tracks to retrieve his little girl’s favourite stuffed animal?
And maybe – just maybe you were right, you rude, ignorant, beligerant git. Maybe it was someone who just couldn’t take any more and they had tried to jump in front of the train. Maybe they’d suffered so much for so long and couldn’t take the pain for one moment longer. I’ve been there. I’ve put my toes over the edge of the platform and considered allowing my body to tip forward when the express train races towards the station. I know the Express train is not going to stop, so I know the speed and force will combine to quickly end my life. When you are in that deep, dark, shameful, horrible place – there is no other way out apart from leaving this life.
Whoever you are, man or woman – young or old…I prayed for you all day today. I thought about you as I bought a hot chocolate from the cafe. I thought about you as I typed invoices and I prayed for you on my walk home from the train station after work this afternoon. I hope the people at the station today were able to get you into a hospital. I hope that somehow you had Private Health care and that you are now in a nice Private psych ward with your own, quiet room and Nurses keeping a careful eye on you. I hope you get to choose meals from a lovely daily menu and that you get a good night’s sleep tonight on new meds. I hope you get paired with a great Psychiatrist who wants to see you healed and whole again.
If I could visit you, I would.
I hope you’re going to be ok xx
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