Flashback Friday: Donna Lee Urban

I think this is the first time I’ve profiled a probable suicide for Flashback Friday. It’s pretty obvious what happened to Donna Urban: on February 7, 1983, she jumped off a bridge over the Delaware River, presumably to her death, at the age of 23. Over 30 years later, it’s unlikely her body will ever be found.

Another young life lost to depression. Wherever she is, I hope she’s finally at peace.

6 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Donna Lee Urban

  1. chris January 10, 2014 / 6:30 pm

    Can u make a list of mp’s who are believed to have committed suicide?

  2. Andrea622 January 10, 2014 / 9:29 pm

    Wow there is no shoulder on the bridge. Everytime i go over it i always think of how dangerous there’s no place to pull over without getting probably rear ended since people FLY on that bridge.

    • Meaghan January 10, 2014 / 9:31 pm

      I doubt Donna very much cared about her personal safety at that point.

  3. Diane January 11, 2014 / 5:08 am

    I recognize that smile Donna made in the picture on the right-hand side in her profile; I would call that a “depression smile”, aka a fragile, painful expression meant to attempt to look outwardly “normal” and cheerful. I can’t count the number of times I made that smile in the past. I too suffer from clinical depression and was suicidal in my teens. I have always had a rough time when it comes to socializing with others, but it was especially tough in grade school (since it was supremely insular, I was considered “strange” [as a brain and a klutz], and young children are the most closed-minded people out there) and I withstood a normal amount of bullying in high school (which is now understandable to me since my grade school experiences rendered me easy prey to the bullies). I kept my attempts secret from everybody at the time, not even writing a suicide note. I didn’t do them as cries for help but rather as a real attempt to not have to wake up the next day and put up with the kind of life I’d been cursed with. I also hated myself so, so much and was deeply unhappy most of the time, but tried to be a good actress when out in public and put on a facade of normality. That smile Ms. Urban made in that black and white photo of hers is almost exactly the smile I’d make when I put on that face.

    I’m on a medication now to treat my depression and have found self-help avenues to try to channel a lot of those unhealthy thoughts I’d had when I was younger, plus having the kind of hectic, stressful life I have now means I’m incapable of thinking those kinds of thoughts almost all the time now (because my mind is often too preoccupied with other thoughts). But I still understand why Donna made that leap off that bridge. I can make an educated guess about the thoughts that ran through Ms. Urban’s head when she drove to that bridge and feel from experience that she probably felt a lot of relief and genuine happiness the day prior to her leap off the bridge, because she knew she wasn’t going to have to live one more day with a tortured mind and a heart that was forever broken. For her sake I hope that death came quickly, but I also know that she missed out on the opportunity to live through this, to be a survivor and gain strength, wisdom, and experience. She’s at peace now but the world is poorer without her.

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