I went to the vigil in Washington Square Park last night, with my friend Sam. It started to rain as soon as we got to the park, a few light drops at first, then a deluge.
Undeterred, the young and not so young, kept filing into the park. Oblivious to the rain, Sam and I gave out the Suicide Prevention wallet cards left over from the Fair. When we ran out of those we gave out my personal cards with the blog address.
“Help break the silence on suicide, please sign the petition,” I said with each card I gave out.
“I’ve run out of cards,” Sam said, coming back for more, again and again.
“This girl wants to meet you, she is a student from NYU” Sam said at one point, coming to me with a young woman.
“This is Esmeralda, Andrew’s mother,” he said to the NYU student.
“Did you know my son?” I asked, hoping she’d say yes. Hoping that here was someone who could talk to me about my son, but, “No, I didn’t know him,” she said. “But I was at NYU when it happened and I wanted to tell you how sorry I am.”
“Thank you,” I said. “You can help break the silence on suicide. You can help by signing the petition and sending it to your friends.”
“I will,” she promised and I hugged her before moving on.
As I gave out my last card, starting in the middle of the crowd and spreading outward like a ripple, louder and louder people sang “sometime, somewhere, over the rainbow…”
I burst into sobs. I thought I could hear Andrew calling to me in anguish as he fell to his death.
“Mummy, Mummy…” the voice was young, a child calling to his mother.
Sam put his arm around my shoulder and his small umbrella over my head.
Andrew… don’t do it. Oh my baby, I am here, Mummy’s here.
We walked to Bobst.
“FUCKING LIBRARY,” I said out loud.
“That’s where he jumped from,” I said, pointing to the tenth floor as soon as we came through Bobst’s revolving door.
I stared at the void into which Andrew had jumped. I thought of desperate Tyler Clementi jumping into the dark, cold waters of the Hudson, Cameron Dabaghi plunging from the heights of the Empire State Building, I thought of all the other suicide victims…. shards of pain stubbing my heart…
But now, just now, a bird is flying straight at my window…