Just a heads up, this post is about suicide.
This story in the Sydney Morning Herald is lovely. It is lovely because this man had the courage to approach strangers and intervene in this incredibly sincere and gentle way:
For almost half a century, Don Ritchie would approach people contemplating suicide at the edge of The Gap, just 50 metres from his home in Watsons Bay, his palms facing up.
Mr Ritchie told his daughter Sue Ritchie Bereny he would smile and say: “Is there something I could do to help you?”
And this whole piece on Joe Biden’s recent speech in Politco is absolutely stunning about the experience of being suicidal and going through profound grief.
Vice President Joe Biden, in a moving speech to families of fallen troops on Friday, recounted the dark days following the tragic deaths of his wife and daughter and talked about understanding thoughts of suicide.
“It was the first time in my career, in my life, I realized someone could go out – and I probably shouldn’t say this with the press here, but no, but it’s more important, you’re more important. For the first time in my life, I understood how someone could consciously decide to commit suicide,” he said. ”Not because they were deranged, not because they were nuts, because they had been to the top of the mountain, and they just knew in their heart they would never get there again.”
It reminds me of two things, the wisdom of those who have lived through awful times and the genuine humanity that still drives some politicians.