It’s strange how tiny details of the most stressful times have come back to me now, when I am able to think again.
I clearly remember the lady I spoke to when I called the emergency services (999) on getting home and finding his note. She spoke calmly and politely while I was in a state of shocked frenzy, pleading with her to find my son for me. She gently kept me engaged in conversation till someone arrived. She must have known what had happened while I did not. How difficult must her job be!
When the two Transport Policemen arrived, I noticed one was noticeably senior to the other. He was the one who spoke to me and gave me the news along with my son’s belongings. I remember him saying, “I have done this many times but it never gets any easier.” He was very empathetic. He did his job very well but what a sad thing to have to do on a regular basis!
A big thank you to all the people involved in looking after individuals and families who find themselves in a situation similar to mine! You make a big difference everyday.
Today I was reminded of these kind people when I saw a Mental Health awareness desk at London Bridge station being run by staff from the Transport Police with the aim of preventing suicides. Apparently they have started educating railway staff on how to identify and approach people who might be contemplating suicide on railway platforms. I learnt that pacing up and down the station, going into the far corners of the platform and taking off ones shoes and ritually placing them on the platform are some of the signs that indicate the intent of suicide.
These initiatives made me happy and sad at the same time. I signed up as a volunteer. That made sense.
One little step at a time. One person at a time.