Safety net

Last Saturday morning, sometime between 7:30am when she called her father and 8am when the police arrived at our building, my neighbor shot herself dead.

We were just waking up in the unit next door and we heard nothing, knew nothing, until we noticed a large contingent of police and firemen gathering in the courtyard outside of our neighbors door.

Our first thought was that it must be the mother. She looks like she’s well into her 80s if not older and her health has steadily declined with each of the seven years we’ve lived next door. We had been preparing ourselves for years that she would likely pass soon.

But no, it was the daughter. She was a lovely women, always something a little sad and lonely about her but I never thought much of it. It was to be expected right? A woman never married in her 50s and the sole caretaker for an elderly and frail mother. Now I look back on all the missed opportunities. Moments that could have been used to create a real friendship were rushed because I was too busy and had things I needed to do or I was just too tired and exhausted to create another connection with somebody.

My heart hurts for her, for the pain she must have been in to do such a thing. The loneliness. I wish I had been more empathetic, understood how lonely she was and reached out. But it’s too late now.

Another reminder to live every day to the fullest. To reach out to people you see in pain. To at least try to help if you can. And to live without regrets.

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