Monday, September 7, 2009

What's That in the Tree?

So my friend Bob, who is a recreational cyclist, is out for a ride the other day. This is his first ride a little over a week after his first crash on his bike. Now, the crash was minor and Bob escaped with only a little road rash and his bike wasn't damaged. The thing about a crash, no matter how minor, is that it leaves a lasting impression on you. So Bob gets the nerve up to go out for a ride the other day. I can imagine that like anyone else, Bob was a little nervous on his first ride back after a crash. He was probably not riding very fast, and probably took extra precaution when riding through intersections, making sure the drivers saw him. I mean, this is only normal after crashing the week before, right? But this ride turned out to be anything but normal.

What Bob didn't expect during this ride, was to see something that will never leave his mind. Something that will forever be burned in the photo pages of his brain. Something that will make him totally forget about his first crash. Something very horrific. As Bob rounds a corner and heads down the street passing a local school, he sees something just a bit out of place. I'm sure he had to take a second look before the image was clear to him. There, hanging from the branch of a tree, is a man's body. Dead of an apparent suicide.

Now I don't know about you, but this is not my idea of a scenic ride. I much prefer the occasional wild animal, or the greenery of a golf course, or the view from the top of a mountain I just rode up. I can't imagine what went thought Bob's mind as he realized what he was seeing that morning while out on his ride. I do know that Bob had his cell phone with him and that he called the police. I do know that he waited for them to arrive and shared his story with them. I don't know much else, however, I will definitely ask Bob about it the next time I see him. Who knows why this man took his own life? We are living in tough times, and suicides are unfortunately a part of the territory. We can only hope that those around us who are struggling, will find help before what they think is the end of their rope.

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