|Txema Rodriguez |
Fiona Coyne was an actress, communications consultant and best known as being the host of Weakest Link South Africa. I remember when a local T.V station sent out a nationwide casting call to find the host for the Weakest Link they wanted someone who was "as tough as nails". In an interview with Fiona after she was cast she very confidently stated "I am honestly not intimidated by people". Man, I envied her!. And she lived up to her reputation on the Weakest Link for her biting comments used to cut over- confident contestants down to size. She was smart with a post grad in Clinical Psychology. But she also had a great heart- being actively involved with charities focusing on nature and education. She sponsored a disadvantaged student through university. She indulged in the finer things in life: theater, opera, travel. Everyone described her as fabulous and feisty.
On the 19 August 2010, her housekeeper arrived at her house to find two letters on the kitchen table, one being addressed to her. In the letter she said she was very sorry and told her housekeeper to call the police immediately, she even wrote down the number. When the police arrived they found Fiona's body in her bed. She had committed suicide. The entire country was shocked and in utter disbelief. In everyones mind, including those closest to her she was the last person that would have taken her own life. Not just because she "seemed" to have it all but her very personality didn't seem to fit the profile of someone on the edge. Fiona had planned her suicide to the very last detail. In a letter to her mother she said she had weighed up the positive and negative aspects of her life and made her decision based on this. This story is especially tragic because just two months later, Fiona's older brother Bruce, heartbroken over his sister's death also took his own life. Sibling love can run deep.
This time last year, there was an amazing story of a man who parked his Audi R8 sportscar at the Table Mountain Cable way station and handed his keys to 8 car guards, saying, "It's yours". The story reached the evening news and everyone was curious about the anonymous donor. Generosity rubbed off on the lucky car guards and instead of selling the car immediately they cut a slit into the bonnet where people could donate money to charity. Eventually they did sell the car, four of the car guards were able to return home to The Congo with enough money to support their families for a life time. Two of the car guards used their money to start a creche for disadvantaged children and donated money to Haiti after the earthquake.
But where this story unfortunately ends is with the donor- his name was Rob Taylor and last week he made headlines again when he took the cable car up Table Mountain and jumped to his death from one of the look out points. Sadly this has shed some light onto his donation and the real reason why he gave the Audi away. Some people believe that he even meant to commit suicide they day he gave his Audi to the car guards. He was a wealthy property developer. People who knew him said he always gave to those less fortunate.
Now closer to home. When we moved into our current house a we hired some people to help us. One of them was a lady who had a daughter- in- law. This daughter- in - law was a diabetic. I am not to sure of the circumstances but her husband really wanted children and so she consulted her doctor. But her doctor gave her devastating news that she could not have children. She went home and apparently took every pill that she could find in the house even vitamins. She was only 25 years old. This has rocked the small farming community where I live. Her husband was so distraught over her death he had to be hospitalized.
Her death has also struck an emotional cord with me and not just because it was suicide. I cannot have children and this has made me re-evaluate how I handled this news ( I shrugged it off ) and what this could really mean for me. One, I have felt very guilty for being able to handle this news so well and two I have realised that the real consequences of this are still coming (will save that for another post). This girl had no previous history of depression or mental illness I can only imagine the emotional horror she must gone through in those final hours.
A few months ago I walked down to the cottage by the lake on the farm scoured the the front lawn for a sharp stick, sat down on the grass and began cutting my wrist with the sharp end of the stick. It really hurt and I wasn't really making any progress because the stick wasn't sharp enough. In the end I gave up because it was sore and I was just making a mess. I went home feeling like a caged bird. That night my Mom took me out for dinner and told me my godfather would be paying for a psychologist.
There is no real message behind this post, just self- absorbed pondering: How were all these people able to go through with it?. Why haven't I been able to?. I have been suicidal since I was 11. I remember standing on the balcony of my room really, really wanting to jump. But I didn't. Why didn't I?. I have been at the edge more times than I can count and I have turned back. How?. I don't think the answer is because I really want to live, deep down inside. Maybe I'm afraid of death- I don't know. During those times I really wanted to be dead, so how can I be afraid of death?. My sister has always declared that people who commit suicide are the most selfish people on the planet. That has always stuck in my mind. The church I grew up in believed you went to hell- something I think is bullshit but I'm ashamed to say I still wonder about.
Maybe I'm a coward- I won't kill myself by slitting my wrists- it hurts. I hate the smell of petrol so gassing myself in the car is out. I won't jump off something high because being on something high without a barrier tends to paralyze me, and I hate that "falling" feeling. Drowning I know, I just know I will come up for air before I loose consciousness and a dead body in water is...yuck. I don't own a gun and the idea of my Mom being confronted with bits of brain is just cruel. That leaves overdosing but even when I have made the decision to swallow all the pills I have...I. just. don't. do. it.
It seems to be that I am the most picky cowardly suicidal punk that ever walked the planet. I'm too scared to go through with it. So I have been living my life in a rut- not being able to stop being suicidal but unable to actually go throw with it. I know it sounds weird but the people I have written about seem incredibly brave to me.
I'm not sure how to end this...I will still be here tomorrow and the next day and the next.....