Friday, February 18, 2011

Aurora Bridge Suicides: Link to Ron, Don and Rachell Belle's story.

I listen to the radio a lot when I am on the road.
All day and often into the night.
Years ago, I listened mostly to music, and still listen to it a lot.
It's helpful when I've got images in my head.... brain matter and blood spatter for instance...
photos of dead children... accident scenes..,..
or pictures of a squished sports car I just took on behalf of a  deceased client who alive in that car before it went under that semi.
The music triggers some button in my brain and I find escape in the songs.
Depending on mood and cases, I travel between places to hard rock, soft rock and mellow.
I still can't handle "easy listening"

Mostly, however, I listen to talk radio -- specifically to the hosts and shows I've become familiar with over the many number of years I have lived in the Seattle area.
I love B.J. Shea in the morning.
And Ron and Don for the commute home.
Late  at night I will confess. I listen to and like Tom Lycos (most women don't) and found great amusement and occasional insight in Dr Laura.
National Public Radio is my favorite  radio place to be on the road on Saturday.

So a couple of weeks ago, I was driving into Seattle across the famous Aurora Bridge where many suicides happen.
The statistics quoted are varied and astounding.
There are a whole lot of bodies falling by windows and landing near pedestrians, car or boats.
Sometimes jumpers hit the water, many times they hit the concrete... or the tops of cars...
which is mortifying to witnesses....
and routine, yet equally mortifying, to first responders and clean up crews.

As far as launching pads, the Aurora bridge used to be the one of choice for those who feel they have nothing left to live for.
Or no desire to feel the pain any more.

Yes, suicide is a choice.
It is probably the most painful choice a person can make, to end his or her life.
Imagine that.
Feeling so low, so  alone, so afraid,  so scared, so different,  so desperate, so poor, so anxious, so bone tired, so humiliated, hopeless, whatever...
imagine feeling so bad about yourself, your existence.... you take the leap over the rails of the bridge.

I usually travel the Aurora Bridge to and from the ferry because it allows me to travel back in time while staying in the present. It also keeps me off the concrete sea, the freeway, I-5.
It is a bridge of so many stories I could tell you now.
One story is about a bus full of people sent flying  high off that bridge by a lunatic criminal.
However, my time is limited and so is the attention span.

So back to the case in point.
Over the course of months... I have been going over the Aurora bridge watching the suicide barriers go up.
I was very skeptical as to how and whether they would work.
I listened to many talk radio debates  about how these "activists" wanted the barriers put up, the city or some groups in the city were defiant and a waste of money.

People pro-barriers said, not only  did the bridge make it too easy for someone to act on what is truly an impulse decision that often passes...
so many people were jumping, their bodies and flight and on impact were traumatizing the workers below who saw it happening all the time.
Imagine that.
So many people jumping. So many people seeing.
Not a good thing.

So I don't know when exactly, a couple weeks ago, I was driving over the bridge, the traffic was slowing, I slowed in a traffic jam took pictures of the new suicide gate/barrier going up. I knew I wanted to put a photo on Facebook and blog about it sometime.
Now is that time.

I'd blogged before about a similar bridge in China, though the Aurora Bridge was much more personal.
Because I have know more than casually  two people who jumped off that bridge. For both, I think, the pain of living was so strong, they couldn't handle it any longer. No one even suspected the thought was in their minds. They hid it well.

So yesterday I was driving south on Aurora listening to the the Ron on Don Show.
Rachel Belle has joined them with what I think of as sidebar stories, which are always fascinating.
For road warriors like me,  Ron and Don are the torch lights home.
They are the beacon that penetrates the darkness and endless sounds of drone cars on concrete trying to get us to and from our places at varying paces.

Ron and Don are popular because they don't care as much about ratings as about what matters.
And because they are like this, they have a huge following.
So yesterday, I delivered cases to a law firm,  hopped in mu car and happily approached the Aurora Bridge northbound.

As I slowed enough to tick people behind me off.... I looked at the completed barriers, and viewed a roadside cross and picture placed on the rails of the bridge by the loves ones of a young woman who must have jumped before the barriers were complete.
Then, I flipped on the Ron and Don Show...
and there was Rachel Belle's brilliant and moving story about the very bridge I was on and obsessed with.
I am linking you to that story now...
And if you can, find a way...  listen to the Ron and Don Show, they are on KIRO, on the radio where you live... or on your computer.
They'll open your eyes.
And your mind.
Just like Rachel Belle did their show.
To hear Rachel's  amazing story, click on the small horizontal link provide in the link below that plays the entire radio bridge story. It's on the bottom left area of the link below.

Please... pretty please.... click here to open your eyes and mind to how suicide affects all of us.
Aurora Bridge Suicides Through the Eyes of a Seattle Firefightere

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