A little dead bird: How suicidal thoughts made me laugh at (and not kill) myself

How I met the bird…

Sitting in a Cafe in front of a large window overlooking Yokosuka bay. There are two submarines docked over by the base, one of them is spouting water and steam from its side for as long as I’ve been sitting here (about half an hour). The sun is getting ready to set, leaving a sort of golden hue in the clouds and the reflection in the water. There’s a little dead bird outside, on its back, close to the window on the brown patio. Its little feet sticking in the air. Its beak is still. Eyes shut tight. People; marines in uniform, couples holding hands, kids, students; walk along the boardwalk outside, talking, looking content. People around me are chatting, sipping coffee, looking at their phones, laptops etc. And there are two little fish jumping out of the water in the distance. There’s instrumental guitar music playing from the speaker above. A woman who just went out to find a seat on the balcony scowled at the sight of the little dead bird. I felt a flash of anger, I wanted to tell her to back off and have some respect for the little guy – just for a brief second.

Laughing at depression…

Yesterday, not far from here, I had suicidal thoughts again. It all went on in my head as I walked across a street and into a shopping mall. It lasted about 10 – 15 minutes I guess. Thankfully I thought my way out of it again. I remember thinking about something I had read recently. About the shortness of life. About how our lives, the lives of us all, from the very beginning of human existence itself, are just a mere flash in the pan in the greater scheme of things. A history of life on earth written in a thousand words would include one sentence on the human race apparently. Even before life on earth, there were billions of years (two security men just showed up with a large bin bag two take the bird away) of planetary action across the inexplicably large universe. And then there’s me, wandering around a shopping mall feeling all gloomy and sorry for myself. Honestly, it’s actually comical. If the great book of life on earth was to be continued until the end of the story, we’ll all be dead on the next page in my estimation.

It gets funnier…

I listened to a podcast on suicide not long ago, in this very cafe. There was some author interviewed on the subject. I didn’t expect to burst out laughing while listening to this – it was depression which led me to listen to it – but I’d like to thank that man for giving me a whole new perspective on killing oneself, and giving me a good laugh too. The story was about a time when he went off to study some remote tribe in a jungle, how they saw life as opposed to us wretched city dwellers (my words not his). Anyway, he ended up giving them a talk on suicide. They all gathered around to hear his horrible experience of when his stepmother shot her self. He explained the grimness of it all and how it changed his life forever. You can imagine the reactions he would have had from people previously when telling this sad story. Perhaps he was comforted and told how awful the whole saga was and how tragic his stepmother’s death was. Well, this tribe who had gathered round to hear his story had burst out laughing when they heard the woman had shot herself. They thought the idea of suicide was absurd and comical! If you are reading this right now and have suicidal tendencies, how silly would you feel explaining it to this lot? Think about that for a while. They are wiser than us, of that, I have no doubt.

Rest in peace little bird. I feel I have given you a little funeral today. I’m sure that was the last thing you expected – besides dying. And don’t worry, you’re not alone; we’ll all be with you someday soon.

 

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