The bridge and why I didn’t jump

About a mile from my house is a very long ribbon of a bridge that crosses over the Neuse River. I used to drive over it on my way to work when I worked full time, and the view of New Bern and its boats and water were a spiritual experience for me twice a day.

I don’t go over that bridge much any more, so I was really surprised when, the other night, I came up with the idea of jumping off of it.

The feeling of letting my family down churned around and around in my crying head and turned into the question of why I put them through it. I could put a stop to all of it that night, I thought, if I wanted to.

And I thought of the bridge.

It was tall enough that if I jumped from it, I probably wouldn’t survive, and it seemed like in the past year or so I had heard about some other woman who had hurled herself over to her death.

So I had a way to do it and a reason to do it: I could not bear to be where I was right then.

But I didn’t jump over the bridge because I had made promises to people that I would call them before I did anything that shared the category of bridge jumping.

She answered. Thank God, she answered. And she listened to why I wanted to jump off the bridge and she told me that what I was feeling, while very real, was very temporary. She told me that she couldn’t talk me out of jumping over the bridge, but maybe I should wait until tomorrow and see how I felt about it. She told me to go to my family members and tell them I love them and that I was glad they were in my life, and to go up to bed and go to sleep.

And so that’s what I did. I blinked and a full night of sleep had passed. It was the next morning and I didn’t feel like jumping off a bridge at all.

It only takes a moment of uncertainty, I realized, to jump.






5 thoughts on “The bridge and why I didn’t jump

  1. I am so glad you didn’t jump! Whoever you spoke with gave you good advice…I know how hard this must be for you and know that we pray for you.


  2. I’m glad you didn’t jump too. I would miss you. If *I* would miss you, think how much your family would miss you. I think you have lots more to say and there are many of us out here waiting to hear it. I know it’s hard, but hang in there with us and for us, please. You’re helping so many people with your honest sharing. Hope today is a better day. Love you.


  3. I love your friend for being there. I love you for calling her and I want to be next in line to call if she is ever not able to answer the phone. Her advice was good. And her words so true. That bridge became part of your perservating that night don’t you think? And you found strength to walk beyond it.
    I love you so very much for your imperfections that have made you so very perfect.
    Always yours
    Sister sister


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