Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Niagara Falls


I wrote the Taughannock Falls story for my creative writing class - supposedly one of my earliest memories.

I failed to mention that a friend and co-worker of mine at City Hall, in Buffalo, New York, committed suicide by going over Niagara Falls Easter weekend, 1978. I have always had a very hard time dealing with that, and with the guilt I have felt in knowing that most likely a conversation I had with him the last day of work before he took his own life caused him to make that decision. It has been a difficult thing to live with.


  • At 5:52 AM, October 21, 2004, Blogger Carrie Kelley said…

    Sorry, Mom, I don't think you're that powerful. Most likely this person had been sick long before the suicide, and what you said the day before probably didn't even register in your aquaintance's mind...probably wasn't even listening to you!

  • At 9:30 AM, October 21, 2004, Blogger Kitten said…

    Rita..thank you for the kind words. it means alot.

    But I have to agree with your daughter....that person was sick long before your conversation. suicide is rarely a split second decision, id wager that he had been contemplating it for some time. please try to let go of your guilt, it is such a worthless human emotion.


  • At 3:46 PM, October 21, 2004, Blogger Rita Xavier said…

    Yes, the person was definitely sick before he ended his life, but it was the content of our conversation that caused me to feel that way. Also, the Superintendent of Personnel, in the office where we both worked, called me into his office when I first arrived at work after the weekend, and told me the news, before he told anyone else in the office. My friend must have left a note in his car at the Falls.

  • At 4:12 PM, October 21, 2004, Blogger Scott B said…

    After 8 years unemployed I got into this class learning computer aided design. I was like a duck to water. totally oblivious to the other failures in the class, all dole queue drop outs. this guy sat next to me, he kept asking me questions, he was amazed by how well and good I was at this CAD stuff. he annoyed me butting in asking me questions and I would tutt at him and brush him off rudely. looking at what he was doing crudely and thinking - 'you are shit, I am great'.

    The monday after this, the teacher came in, the place next to me was empty. the teacher announced that he had committed suicide. I was gutted, felt so bad. in the end I resolved it in myself by thinking....death is a gift. I cant help what happened but I can make his death a gift and this I will use to save me from my downward spiral and get off welfare. It did. I got a good job in something I excelled at and finally got the break and here I am today. making money, a success of somekind in IT now though....

    but thats not quite the end of the story and I swear this is true. you just reminded me reading your post.

    About a year later after getting the job. I was on a bus going through Hackney in London where I live and the fucking guy got on and sat next to me. he didnt recognise me. I was flabbergasted. I said

    'you used to be in a CAD class I did'
    he barely remembered. I said
    'Come on you must remember it was at Dalston Tech college'
    'oh yea' he said
    'I rang up and told them I had died it was the only way to get out of the compulsory training programs without them asking questions '

    all that time I had been secretly wracked with guilt. like it was my fault. My reaction was an angry one at first until I caught the funny side. and then ever since that it makes me laugh my head off to think about it.

    lifes kinda funny like that so dont do yerself in over someone elses death. really. the guy probably had a boat wating at the bottom and made some claim off the social. honestly you never know.

    good luck and strive to be happy. that's all we can do.
    life is here to be enjoyed I am sure of it.

    thanks for your post, you really cheered me up remembering that!



  • At 7:59 PM, October 21, 2004, Blogger Rita Xavier said…

    Thanks for the input; I like hearing from people. Interesting story. Good luck with what you are trying to accomplish.


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