young people like to commit suicide by jumping off that big bridge.

if you travel to West Virginia, or you plan to travel to West Virginia, and you pick up some brochures…or go to a website…and look….I can almost guarantee, with certainty, that a photo of that bridge will be on a cover, on an ad,  on a brochure, or on a commercial. you can’t miss it.

there’s that bridge.

you can go to a restaurant overlooking it. you can go to the edge of it on a hiking trail…on both sides. you can even jump off the bridge…on a bungee, and swing back up. in theory. but you cannot jump off the bridge without a cord, without a parachute, and expect to have a good chance of surviving the fall…from the country’s highest single span bridge.

young people like to commit suicide by jumping off that big bridge.

today I was far from that structure…but close to it in memory…as I listened to an old woman who grew up not far from the place where the bridge was built. she told me she did not like driving over the bridge. on windy days, if you are in a small vehicle, it is not particularly pleasant if road work has limited it to one lane on each side, which I have seen. it is also not particularly pleasant when you look out the window, and instead of focusing on the  vehicles and the fog that lies below you, you see someone near the edge of the bridge.

young people like to commit suicide by jumping off that big bridge.

but the planners probably never imagined that the towns nearby would become another stop on the opioid express, and the bridge itself, would become a link between the substance and the result of that substance. because when you have given up on life, and you want to end it quickly, what better spot to do it than a super-high bridge with a walkway, where people jump off on a bungee cord for a thrill?

if I ever drive across that bridge again, I will be watching. and, I hope, someone else will be watching. watching daily. watching to rescue the broken. and just like the temptation of that bridge for those who have given up on hope, those of us alive, in every sense of the word, should be watching, ready to take not just a step of compassion, or kindness, but one of rescue. 

wherever we go, wherever we are.   








About thelostkerryman

Thelostkerryman is an author, and entrepreneur, living in the forests of a consistently confused country. Here in this hill country, hurling doesn't usually involve a hurley; store-made soda bread has the consistency of a sea sponge; and Kerrygold butter has finally found a permanent place on the grocery shelves everywhere. His blogs are an account of his adventures, thoughts, eclectic -and eccentric- ramblings, random or insightful poetry, humor and non-humor, pictures (photos), video, essays, fiction, poetic fiction, nonfiction, drama, and writing he has not classified in the description above. All of his posts from,,, and are copywrited according to international copywrite law.
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