My friend Todd committed suicide November 17, 2005. He and I met volunteering at a coffeehouse for homeless street kids what feels like an eon ago. He sparkled and could make any kid feel at ease. A few of us including Pam and Darren raised money for suicide prevention a few months after by walking 18 miles in the Out of the Darkness walk. It was a small effort on our part but somehow helped us remember him and honor him.
Thursday night was the Maundy Thursday service at church. This commemorates the Last Supper Jesus spent with his disciples. We ate soup and hunks of bread. We sang songs and read passages from the Bible. There’s this one point in the main passage preached from John that says Jesus in the fullness of His understanding of who He was, full of power wrapped a towel around his waist and proceeded to wash the feet of the disciples. It seemed a good time to me to go home and watch my current Netflix that had been waiting for the right time.
“The Bridge” chronicles the lives of several people who commit suicide by flinging themselves off the Golden Gate Bridge. It also discusses the allure that this bridge painted International Orange has for those wanting to end their lives. This documentary feels at moments like a re-enactment. But that’s the thing, the shock of it, as well as the tentative walking across the bridge multiple times plays a trick on the brain accustomed to violence in movies or television. Instead what you’re seeing is the last moments of these peoples’ lives. What you’re hearing is the perspectives of the people around them trying to trace the road leading to the Golden Gate.
Again, I was burdened with the weight of inexistence toppling that of existence. Thinking about Jesus knowing He was going to die and praying into his moments before arrest. Grateful that He chose to go through with a death that was nothing if not painful. If not solitary. Because only through this could death lose its sting. Life beyond life.
Recently, the same friends, Pam and Darren gave birth to a baby boy named Samuel Todd…