A few months ago, my neighbor jumped from his balcony on the fifth floor. I was the second person to find him, about two minutes after he had jumped. At first I didn’t realize what was going on. I heard a sound, didn’t think much about it, then went outside to go to the store. I was completely stunned for 15 seconds before I understood what had happened. One of my other neighbors was holding his head and talking to the emergency services people on the phone. I went over to help. I think “somewhat traumatizing” are the right words for how this has affected me. It was a very jarring scene. A lot of blood. He seemed conscious, but couldn’t speak (for reasons I won’t go into detail about here because I don’t want to upset anyone). It was obvious to me from the moment I went over to him that he was not going to be OK, but I still lied and told my other neighbor (who was crying) that it was all going to be OK. I started crying too. I was told to try to put him into the recovery position to help him breathe. If my other neighbor hadn’t stopped me early, I could have broken his spine. I didn’t know it was dangerous to move him. So then I just held him there for 10 minutes or so, and cried, until the ambulance arrived and gave him morphine. He went into a coma at the hospital. After a few days, I was told he had died, and that it was just as well, considering the damages. A few days later, I saw his parents sitting outside where it happened. They didn’t talk to each other, they just sat there for hours.
As some of you might know, I don’t have my psychologist anymore. And I really didn’t want to trouble anyone with this at first, so I didn’t talk much about it. I felt guilty when people asked me about it because I didn’t want to make his death about my problems. He was a great guy. I felt making this about me would be disrespectful to his memory and to his parents. Now, it’s been some months, but I still can’t think about it. And sometimes, I can’t not think about it. It is negatively affecting my functioning and my life. I find it hard to see life as meaningful, and I feel depressed. I worry that some of my loved ones will commit suicide. And I feel guilty when I think about how it still affects me. I also feel guilty for not helping him earlier. I saw him outside an hour before he jumped, and he seemed distressed and very sad, but I didn’t stop to talk to him. I know I should talk about this with someone, but it’s difficult. Do any of you have any ideas about how I can deal with this?