Kevin C. Berthia (KCB): and Kevin Briggs (KB)
KCB: Before March 11th, 2005, I never even went to the bridge. I didn’t even know how to get there. I had to ask for directions.
KB: And I see you standing on the sidewalk. You looked at me and went over that rail and I thought you were gone.
KCB: I just got on that railing and turned around. I was overwhelmed with everything. It’s like everything that I ever was bothered by, everything that I was ever dealing with came up on one day. And I just felt like a failure. All I gotta do is lean back and everything is done. I’m free of all this pain.
KB: You know, you seemed angry to me.
KCB: I was just mad at myself for being in that situation and I was embarrassed. But somehow the compassion in your voice is what allowed me to kinda let my guard down enough for us to have a conversation. We talked for 92 minutes about everything that I was dealing with. My daughter, her first birthday was the next month. And you made me see that if nothing else, I need to live for her.
KB: So we took you to a hospital, and that was the last time I saw you for years.
KCB: Yeah. I spent eight years not thinking about the bridge, I didn’t wanna talk about it ever again.
KB: And, I don’t usually want to meet someone who I’ve spoken with under these circumstances. But your mother wrote me a note and I did contact her.
KCB: I didn’t know exactly how I was gonna feel once I met you. But when I first saw you, it was just like two old friends that haven’t seen each other in a while. That was the first time I was able to talk about everything that happened that day.
KB: Yeah. It’s okay to talk about it. I’ve found that out with my own depression and things that I kept bottled up for decades.
KCB: You know, we’ve been through similar things in our lives and I’ve never been around anybody that’s seen me at a more vulnerable state. The greater picture is that I need to be here for my daughter. You know, she’s 10 now and, had you not been there, I wouldn’t get to see her grow up. And, you know, I don’t trust a lot of people. So for you to never judge me and just to have that trust, that’s what keeps us afloat and different from any other friendship.