While you from windows open, broken, fell to death.
At eight this morning of tomorrow’s gentle joys I dreamt
While the unbearable today you put to sleep—forever.
At eight tonight, conscious, wide-awake I am,
While now your brain and body rest for good.
At eight tonight my friends and I discuss:
How and why and where we let you down.
Maybe your shattered silence, unknown fellow-student,
Will make us act upon the loneliness of others.
Maybe your fall into this endless timelessness
Will help us seek all those who different are.
Your final farewell from unsocial towers of seclusion:
Our welcome to your shy and isolated neighbors, brothers.
To you, the friend we never knew:
AVE VALE—FARE THEE WELL—BEDROOD.
The heartache of loneliness
A 21-year-old Persian student from Tehran committed suicide here at the University of Essex by throwing himself out of the window of his room (10th floor of Eddington Tower) at around 8 o’clock in the morning on Thursday, March 18. He was a first-year student in computer science and he rarely met any people.
Most of us on campus are very shocked and many discussions have taken place on how one can break through the loneliness in which many students, especially foreign ones, find themselves.
Please find enclosed a short poem expressing the general feeling; the “final farewell from unsocial towers” should be our welcome to (the dead student’s) shy and isolated neighbors. We are sending it to his parents as a sign of hope and good-will.
We do care here at Essex.
Henrik Eger, Tawney Tower, University of Essex, Colchester
March 18, 1977