On the death of Robin Williams

My thoughts on Robin Williams and his death.

I wrote this after hearing of a suicide on my tube line. This is what had happened that evening, perhaps even that moment, as I sat above the same line, half a mile further into London, at a Quaker meeting in Friends House. At a terrible point in my life, I’d looked down at the line on the same platform and had considered the same, desperate step, but I cling to my wonderful up-and-down life too jealously.

I heard afterwards from the sister of the person who’d died: she approved of what I’d written. That meant something, as it is difficult and dangerous to speak or write about another’s torment.

EUSTON TO FINCHLEY ROAD

They said you jumped, but not like that;
they made it so much more anonymous.
It hit you once, then rumbled to a halt.

As I’d listened to the rumble in the quietness,
five times it hit me: everything is meant to be.
Five times amongst my friends, I felt the stillness talk.

One time, one line; two lives, two spaces.
Now I’ll never know you but I know that place,
that platform edge; I will not join you yet.

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