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Photo of Ravenal Bridge in Charleston

How to Save a Life

16 November 2015

“…& I would have stayed up with you all night, had I known how to save a life.”


Sunday, November 15th

10:39pm- Hey are you up?

10:39pm- Hey yes I am

10:41pm- I don’t think I can do it anymore Emily.

10:42pm- Did something specific bring this on or in general feeling like this?

10:43pm- Do you want me to come over or go for a drive to Folly. I’ll do whatever to help.

10:46pm- It’s okay I just needed someone to know I’m not okay.

10:47pm- Where are you?

11:00pm- I’m on the bridge.

11:01pm- The big one.

11:03pm- Are your thoughts ideational with not wanting to be here or are they more action taking like you are going to put those thoughts to action?

11:04pm- Action taking like I’m sick of thinking it.

11:04pm- I know trust me I know it’s so hard to feel like this constantly and so hard to not be able to stand it, but we can get you help. 

11:04pm- Please don’t do something to hurt yourself. 

11:04pm- You need to know how important you are in this world. There are so many people who care about you, including me. I know it’s hard to realize but you need to try your best to realize that.

11:05pm- My life has been affected positively by you and it would not be the same if you were not here.


11:09pm- Are you there?

11:11pm- Please let me know you are getting my texts.

I usually only write about myself. My life. My experiences. My struggles. But, not tonight. Tonight, this is only about you.

I’m looking down at the freezing, fast-moving water from 186 feet above, replaying our conversation over and over again in my mind. No, not the text conversation above. The conversation from just a day before.

The one at lunch. The one we wanted to have since last spring, but both of us hate making the plans, so we said for months “let’s get together soon!”. The one where you told me you related to my blog and wanted to talk. The one we rescheduled over and over again. The one we both had a tough time getting the motivation to go to the day of.


The one where we sat and talked for more than two hours straight. The one where we were laughing hysterically at the fact that everyone in the restaurant could hear us telling our life stories and probably thought we were insane. The one where we opened up about personal experiences. The one where we talked about our struggles. The one where we were comforted knowing that someone actually understood.

I took the same walk that you did and now I am sitting here, looking down, just as you did last night. My hands are cold against the railing that you were clinging onto. It is calm and silent, other than the sounds of the passing cars every few minutes and the boat horns in the distance. I am sitting here thinking about what you had said to me during that lunch.

I want you to know that was the most honest and deep conversations I have had with another person. I knew walking home after that you were a lifelong friend that came into my life at the perfect time. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I rarely get past the surface level with people, let alone the first time really talking to them without other friends there.

You don’t cross paths with people by chance. God puts people in our lives for a reason.

I have to apologize to you. I know at lunch we found out that we both hate clichés. Like when people say “God will never give you more than you can handle” because sometimes it feels like He’s giving us a hell of a lot more than we can handle.

We hate when people say “You are so strong” because at times we don’t feel like that at all. We feel like liars because we don’t see the person that others see us as when we look in the mirror.

So, I apologize for using this cliché now: God puts people in our lives for a reason.

I can’t help but believe this one to be so true. We had been talking about getting together for months and we finally did that day. We chose that day to talk about everything. A night later when you were feeling helpless and tired, you were able to know that at least one person in this world of more than 7 billion people knew how you felt and that may have given you the slightest sense of hope.

God is so incredibly good. Because you reached out to me, I was able to call your best friend, so she could go be with you and help you too.

I don’t only think God put me in your life at this time for a reason. I know He put you in mine for a reason. God brought us both together to be there for each other, to support each other, and be strong for each other.

At the end of our lunch, I told you I was sorry for not having all the answers to make feeling this way any better. You responded and said that you didn’t want or need an answer. You said you were comforted that someone was just able to understand and not try to say they had a solution. That you now had someone that would check in on you to see how you were doing and I had someone that could do the same.

When reading the title, you may think I am trying to say I saved your life last night. No, I am not saying that. I am saying you saved mine.

I know you didn’t see me there last night, but I was there and I saw you. You made me understand something I never truly understood until I saw the multiple police cars’ lights flashing and flying toward you on the dark highway. Until I saw you being pulled off and into the back of the ambulance.

People always say to imagine how your family and loved ones would feel without you here, how incredibly sad and lost they would be. I always tried to see from their viewpoint because I logically could understand. But, when someone is feeling so desperate and alone, it’s hard to truly grasp that concept emotionally and think about anything or anyone else in that moment.

For the first time though, last night, I finally saw things from their viewpoint. I finally understood what it meant to be on the other side.

Sitting here, thinking of you actually taking that jump into the water that I look down at right now, makes me physically sick to my stomach. I never ever want you to feel like that again. It makes me realize that this is exactly how my family and friends must have felt back when I was in high school. I finally feel it and it is an absolutely horrible feeling, knowing that someone you care about so much feels so helpless that they don’t want to be on this earth and you have no idea how to fix it or change their mind.

How do you make them feel better? How do you get them to realize they really do have a purpose in this world? How do you make them realize they are important to so many people? How do you make them realize they mean so much to you personally?

I really don’t know. I told you I didn’t have all the answers at lunch, and I don’t have all the answers now. I am still trying to figure it out.

But, what I can tell you is this:

I thank God that you did not take that jump- that you felt even the slightest glimmer of hope, which kept you on this railing. I thank God that I can write this to you in the present tense and do not need to use past tense verbs. I feel so blessed that you reached out to me last night and I feel comforted knowing you would have been there for me if I reached out to you. I feel so incredibly and genuinely lucky to know you and to be able to call you a true, lifelong friend. I know for a fact this world would be a worse place to live in if you were not a part of it and that everyone else that knows you would agree. I am so relieved and extremely proud of you for getting help. I can promise you that I will always be here for you, no matter what the time is or where I am, because your life matters that much to me. God brought you into my life for a reason and I am not going to let you or Him down.

That is what I know right now and I can only hope and pray that is enough to continue to keep you here. ❥

– Emily


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