Can I Help?

I don’t often write about my day to day job. I don’t often disclose details on here or Facebook or any other social media account I run.
Today is an exception.
Yesterday, I, with 3 other colleagues proceeded to board one of our services and carry out a full ticket check.

My job is basically to deal with ticketless travel, in whatever form it may come in. I’ve received extensive training, but mostly it boils down to common sense, customer services and ensuring you remain professional no matter what. A little compassion thrown in doesn’t hurt either, after all, we’re all human!

Whilst going through the train, I came across a young woman, who was visibly upset. She was wiping away tears and obviously trying her hardest not to cry in public. I’ve been there, it’s hard and embarrassing and a tad humiliating, and you worry people are staring at you, judging you, making assumptions.
Before you ask, yes, she did have a ticket, yes it was valid and no I didn’t make her cry!

I asked her if she was ok, and she mumbled something, wiping her tears with a tissue that she had just fished out of her bag.
I sat down next to her, and I asked her if I could help with anything, and she shook her head and said that she’d be ok.
That’s when I looked down and I saw a bunch of leaflets littering her lap, all about cancer and cancer treatments and cancer support services.

This woman, like many other people around the world, has to deal with cancer and it’s heart wrenching affects.

The likelihood was that she had recently been diagnosed, but it is possible that she’d been with a loved one who’d been diagnosed. Either way, it’s shit.

I told her that if she needed anything, where to find me, and asked if there was anyone I could call for her.
She said no, but thanked me.

In reality I didn’t actually do anything for that lady. But I showed compassion to someone who was in a vulnerable position.

Cancer is an absolutely horrible disease. I hate it with all my being.

I lost my grandad to Cancer. It was horrible and traumatic. I was 6 months pregnant. I commuted to the hospital to be with him every day. I sat with him when he took his final breaths. I helped arrange his funeral, register his death, and I did a reading at his funeral. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss him or think about him.

People die. Sadly that’s the way of the world. We cannot all live forever. However dying because of cancer is horrific. It’s a disease that doesn’t just affect the person who has it, but their family, friends and colleagues.

At this moment in time, I have a friend who is battling Cancer. So far every treatment hasn’t worked. Her positivity is amazing and I admire her greatly. She is 30.

It’s not fair.

Cancer, I hate you and I will rejoice on the day that there is a breakthrough in eradicating you. Hell, I’ll have a god damn street party!

That said, back to the lady I encountered.

I hope she will be ok.
I’m glad I took the time to ask if she was ok or if I could help her.

If you see someone who is upset or looks vulnerable, please don’t just look and walk on by. It only takes 2 seconds to stop and offer help or ask if someone is ok. That 2 seconds could mean a lot to someone. Hell, in some cases that 2 seconds could save someone’s life.

Compassion is a great skill to have. Please use it. It doesn’t cost anything.

Fatal Effects

This evening someone felt the need to end their life. Underneath the wheels of a train.
I don’t know what was happening in that persons life that made them feel like there was no other option but suicide, but whatever it was, it causes my heart to ache.
I understand depression all too well. Sometimes I feel like I’m losing the battle, sometimes I feel like I’ve conquered it, but mostly I feel like I’m doing ok. I’m very lucky to have a very supportive husband and doctor, unfortunately that’s not the case for some people.
But this post isn’t about that.

Tonight someone in my twitter feed asked this question.

 

 

 

Majority of people (myself included) responded. The common answer from everyone that responded was pretty much this – “No, it’s disrespectful

I REALLY do not understand WHY someone would do such a thing. Normally when an incident such as this occurs there are a lot of unhappy people because they have been delayed through no fault of their own. Some people are so unhappy that they tweet things like this;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have purposefully removed the user names from these tweets, although really I should have left them in and let you all descend on them like a pack of rabid wolves with a deer carcass, for obvious reasons.

Why? Are these people really that selfish and uncompassionate? Whatever happened to being empathetic?

I’m issuing you a challenge. The next time your train is delayed because of a fatality, before you complain about being delayed, or having to be squashed on to a train, or not having a seat, or being stuck on a train or for whatever reason, THINK.

Think about that person being your mother, father, sister, brother, child, best friend. Think about the people who were minding their own business and then witnessing something such as that. Think about the driver of that train, think about what he or she see’s when that person jumps or falls and is killed. Think about the fact that someone, somewhere will shortly be opening the door to two police officers asking if they can “come in” and then being told that their loved one has been killed.

Just for 1 minute THINK. Just for 1 minute of YOUR life have some COMPASSION for a fellow human being who has just DIED.

Suicide doesn’t just affect your journey home or your journey to meet friends for a night out. Look at the bigger picture. It affects the driver of that train. It affects the people who witnessed it. It affects the police officers and the emergency services workers who have to attend the scene. It affects that persons friends and family and co-workers.

I’m going to leave you with a story, told to me by a friend, who just so happens to be a train driver.

One day he was driving his train when all of a sudden there was a huge bang and a sudden splatter of blood on his windscreen. He hadn’t been driving trains on his own all that long and his heart hammered away in his throat for a millesecond before he realised he had hit a pigeon and that was what had exploded on the front of his train.

A pigeon weighs approximately 1lb. An adult human being weighs between 130lbs and 220 lbs (on average). Now image what would happen if you threw something of that weight in front of a moving train.

The next time you’re delayed because someone didn’t think they had any other option in life but to die under a train, think of that story.

 

If you are having suicidal thoughts, please do not think there isn’t another option. There is. It may not seem like there is help out there or that there are people willing to help, to listen or to lend a hand, but there is. Please get in touch with the Samaritans or with Mind. Please don’t end your life. There are people in this world who care.