On Death, and Gratitude for Life

Last Saturday, a tragic event took place in my building. A man evidently fell out of his window from an apartment above mine six flights to his death. I heard his screams as he was falling, as well as the horrendous thud of his body hitting the ground one flight below. I heard these blood curdling noises while still in bed, and I was convinced that someone was being murdered in the apartment above me. That was the first thing that came to mind. The drapes were drawn in my bedroom so I couldn’t see outside my window. This horrific noise startled me and I got up to find my phone and then proceeded to text my upstairs neighbor since I was convinced he was engaged in some sort of death duel.  When he got back telling me he was in Paris, I got upset at the fact that you can never tell which apartment sounds are coming from in my building. I knew I couldn’t just lie there in bed after what I heard– I had to help whoever it was who was in such agonizing pain.

Some minutes passed before I heard the sound of policemen’s voices on their walkie talkies coming from the courtyard area outside, just below my window. I jumped up, peered through the curtains, scared of what I might find. I then opened the window to get a better look. Nightmare below. There were tons of cops and one dead body. OMG. I called out to the cops. They told me to please go back inside and that they’d knock on my door if they needed more info. I got dressed, brushed my teeth and went downstairs to find out what was going on. There were a bunch of neighbors gathered trying to figure out what happened; cops and detectives were in and out of the building not revealing anything since they didn’t know much at that point and they still don’t know that much more today. Standing with the other residents was comforting and it reminded me how necessary community is for all of us no matter where you live. We need each other to help process senseless tragedies that occur everywhere and all the time. I eventually went on with my day but I had this haunted feeling that stayed with me all weekend.

From what I’ve heard, it seems like this unfortunate upstairs neighbor of mine who I never knew or met, accidentally fell to his death. Horrific. Life over in an instant. Boom. A real reminder for me to be grateful for my life and to live it as fully and responsibly as I can each and every day.

Claudia MasonComment