Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's a cold world we live in...

RIP Abraham Biggs.  Most of you probably don't know Abraham Biggs, but you might have heard his name.  In November, Abraham Biggs became famous for committing suicide live online.  His web cam recorded the incident while almost 1500 people watched and chatted about it. 
(You can read a story here) 

Now, being a youth pastor, it hurts me when I hear about students who felt that the only way to get relief in their life was to end it.  Within my first 2 months at PWUMC, I had to deal with 2 suicide's by father of teenagers.  I had heard the story about Abraham shortly before Thanksgiving, but what I didn't realize was what I found out when I got to my mom's house.  The day I arrived, my brother was at a memorial for Abraham.  He was my brother's friend.  My brother knew him.  Here is a somewhat anonymous person I heard about, and I find out that he is connected to me.   Needless to say my brother was heartbroken about it.  He couldn't believe it.

I continued to follow the story and couldn't believe the stories I was hearing.  The stories of people in the chat room cheering him on, telling him he wasn't doing it right and no one taking the time to call the authorities.  I know the online world has a small level of anonymity and that we see things online that are staged/fake/not-real all the time.  I can't imagine what it must have been like to sit in a chat room and encourage someone to kill themselves, whether you believed it to be true or not.  It chills me to think that there are people who knew it was real and still encouraged him.

How sad that we value human life so little, that people actually cheer when others die?  How sad it must have been for Abraham to feel so alone, that he saw no way out except to end his life?  My heart goes out to the Biggs family.  I can't imagine the pain they have felt.