A lot of personal crisis happen through life. Death, disease, etc. One thing that’s traumatized me more than most were the jumpers in the World Trade Center on 9/11. I wonder how they felt that morning getting ready for work. The conversations they had before they left home. How happy life was on that clear sunny day.

I was at work that morning, the same timezone. The office manager told me an airplane had hit the Sears tower. I don’t know where she got that. Her and her manager were never much for current events. But me, I had to see what was going on. I turned on the T.V. in the clubhouse just as the second plane hit. I couldn’t leave, this was tragic. The managers were asking if I had some work to do. I heard them but didn’t respond or even care what they were saying. People were jumping out of the building. My first thought was “Bin Laden”. I remembered him from the USS Cole story. My mind couldn’t grasp the thought of jumping from those heights. I have a fear of flying and being up high. How awful could it had been to choose to jump to your death. How do you think that? There wasn’t much choice. I couldn’t have stood near the edge to look out. I think about this a lot, more than I really should. I’m definitely traumatized by it.

This wasn’t suicide by the jumpers, it wasn’t survival. To look down and see life in the streets below and that’s where you have to be. To think you have to jump and know in seconds you will die. Everything you’ve done in your lifetime comes down to this final moment. You’ve had children, you planted a garden, you painted your favorite room, you hung a family portrait for everyone to see. Your life is so wonderful, how do you make this decision? I can’t imagine it. I’ve tried, I just wasn’t there.


5 responses to “Jumpers

  1. A very thoughtful and moving text, Mike. I think it was a matter of knowing that you are going to die and choosing the way you think is for the best. It’s so sad and as you point out something one never expects to face in their day to day lives, so ordinary. It is heartbreaking and something we should not forget, these ordinary people like us.

    Liked by 1 person

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