You are a Beacon for Others
Ove’s wife Sonia died of illness six months ago, and Ove wanted to follow her footsteps by taking his own life. However, his attempts to commit suicide were always interrupted by his neighbors.
Ove, at 59 years of age, has worked for the railways for 43 years and lived in his community for 30 years. Years of experience as a trackwalker have made him intolerant of any disorderly conduct. Carrying a grim face, he maintains everything in his neighborhood, making sure that behaviors like illegal car parking, scattering about things, disposal of waste without sorting, and driving on the sidewalk are minimized.
After the death of his wife, he started spending his life inside an airtight protective cocoon, displaying no sign of emotion to others. Even when he looked after his neighbor’s children, he would keep a straight face; and after fixing a bicycle for a young fellow, he would complain of his carelessness.
His neighbors had seen enough of it, and they understood him thoroughly. The first time he put a rope around his neck, his neighbor backed a truck into his mailbox while moving; the second time he tried to hang himself, his neighbor’s kids passed his window and peeped into his house with curiosity; and the third time, when he locked himself in a car, attempting to kill himself by filling the car with exhaust fumes, his neighbor banged on the garage door, hoping that he could drive her to the hospital. His suicidal attempts were held up over and over again. Though it may have seemed accidental, those disruptions were actually intentional. In fact, he was waiting for them as well. Whenever he saw a sign that prevented him from taking further actions, he would take advantage of it and drop the idea of killing himself.
During his suicidal preparations, his recollections explained why he was so reluctant to part with life. His childhood, the early death of his mother, the embrace that his father— also a railway worker— gave him after his mother’s death, his work experience at the railways, his first flat, Sonia—the woman he