TTC commuters are accustomed to delays on the subway, which are sometimes caused by suicides on the tracks. Though for most commuters the announcement might result in being late for work or school, some have the misfortune of witnessing a suicide. This can translate into either shock or trauma. People suffering in the aftermath of witnessing suicides have found refuge in online forums, with many coalescing on Reddit. The social media forum features posts from witnesses to TTC suicides.
When was 18 and in the Canadian Armed Forces, Ron Raby remembered going sleepless for days while stationed in the town of Soest, West Germany. It was 1953, during the Cold War.
“We had to sleep in tents, in weather below 45 degrees,” Raby said.
On March 4, 2009, Canadian soldier David Macdonald pulled ahead of his convoy on its way into Kandahar to ensure that a bridge ahead was safe. Fourteen days later he came out of a coma in a German hospital bed.
“I woke up … (and ) they told me about my injuries. I asked them where my platoon was and they said they were still back in Afghanistan,” MacDonald said. “That was far worse than hearing about any injuries I had.”
Jason Mullis waited patiently for the funeral to end. People paid their respects at a coffin draped with the Canadian flag and with flowers all around the gravesite.
“I knew something was different,” he said, “so I stood there for … hours waiting for everyone to leave.”
That’s when he finally spoke to Denise, the mother of the deceased veteran being buried. Mullis simply wanted to offer his assistance to her. He recognized the difficulties she might have faced as the mother of a former soldier who died by suicide.
Bill Rusk remembers June 24, 1990, as a pretty hot and clammy day.
Police officer Rusk and his partner were on patrol in a North York neighbourhood and tasked with arresting two suspects in a drug investigation. Around 1 a.m., Rusk began pursuing a suspect.
“I was between two vehicles and (the suspect) turned and yelled. I realized he had a handgun pointed at me,” Rusk said. “It was too late for me to pull (out) my firearm.”
Around Remembrance Day, Michael Warren’s son recalls his father’s toughest wartime memory in Belgium during the Second World War. “My dad said the Germans knew exactly where they were,” Daniel Warren said. “Sometime during the night, (his father’s unit) started getting bombed and the commanding officer told everybody to ‘Stay in your trenches. Don’t get out.’ In the morning, my dad was the only one alive. He lost 19 of his friends. He said, ‘It’s just pure luck.’”
Youth mental health advocate and Carleton University social work student Jayson Pham has spent years trying to bring awareness about the struggles many young people have with anxiety, depression, and other forms of mental illness. From speaking out on campuses across Ontario, to participating in the Bell Let’s Talk annual initiative, Pham, a PTSD survivor […]