If you work over the hill, or had some business to do in San Jose, you may have been stuck in traffic yesterday as highway 680 was closed for 9 hours due to a woman sitting on the edge of an overpass, making it a very dangerous situation for her and others.

On Sunday, on our way home from our trip, traffic on the freeway came to a dead halt and slowly passed as a man was sitting in the fast lane begging someone to run over him. It was a very disturbing sight to see for me and my family as I rolled down the window to see what he was saying but had to get out of the way as cars were coming up behind us and people were pulling over calling authorities, so it appeared that drivers knew he was there.

Yes, it is a major inconvenience to be stuck in traffic, but your heart has to go out to people who are struggling with whatever they are struggling with in their lives and suddenly you realize that being stuck in traffic is not the worst thing in the world. It is far from being a terrible tragedy. We get to our destinations and we vent for a couple of hours, if that, but then life goes on. Hey, I get it, we have all been there and I have done my fair share of venting. But again, life goes on.

Yet for many, they don’t want life to go on.

It’s hard to understand suicide because we constantly talk about how great life is, right? But many times underneath all the smiles are also tears of sadness or demons that we are fighting for whatever reason. I know that I constantly talk about how happy I am, how blessed I am, and I mean it with all sincerity. But not everyone has it like we do. We are all so fortunate and blessed to live like we do and we can never take that for granted.

I also believe that we all share a certain responsibility to really reach out to others that we know, and also to people we don’t know because we don’t know what they are going through. Yes, it is our responsibility to do what we can to enrich the lives of others around us. And not just during the holiday season, but every day of the year or at every opportunity that you have.

Learn to recognize the warning signs of suicide and people who are having major struggles in their lives that make them think not being here is the best solution before it’s too late.

According to WebMD, some of the warning signs of suicide include:

– Always talking or thinking about death
– Clinical depression — deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating — that gets worse
– Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving fast or running red lights
– Losing interest in things one used to care about
– Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
– Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
– Saying things like “it would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
– Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
– Talking about suicide or killing one’s self
– Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

There are a lot of people around us who could use a “pick-me-up” of some sort whether it be a hug, a hand shake, some food, or even just a conversation where we actually listen more than we are talking. Be a listener instead of a talker, you will be amazed how that one thing alone can brighten up someone’s day when they know you care.

If you, or someone you know is struggling and has had thoughts of suicide, reach out. Every single life is important. Yes, one life is important enough to close down an entire freeway despite the “inconvenience” it brings to others. Inconveniences are secondary to the importance and value of one’s life.

Need help or just need someone to talk to? You can always call 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) or 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) or the deaf hotline at 800-799-4889.

Vine Hill Movie Night


Robert Aldana
Publisher & Founder