Jeff was a loving Pastor. He was tall, athletic, and well loved. He was one of the good guys; always a smile on his face. With his loving family he had served the church and community with a heart that truly cared. I was shocked and grieved as I tried to wrap my brain around the news. He had taken his life
Michael was a talented man; a singer, handsome, very funny, and loving. By all accounts he had found a life that was joy-filled and purposeful. He had married his college sweetheart and they had built a beautiful loving family together. When I saw the news I was breathless, shocked, and so sad. He had taken his life.
Over the weekend I read about a hugely successful realtor who was married to the love of his life and spent limitless amounts of his time and money on making a difference in the lives of others. As I looked over his Facebook page I saw hundreds of beautiful pictures of he and his wife on exciting vacations, earning awards, and making incredible memories. I just couldn’t make sense of it; he had taken his life.
I don’t think this issue of suicide is easy to discuss or understand; I feel awkward and uncomfortable even writing about it. Yet, I don’t think there are always blaring warning signs beforehand. I do believe that everyone who has been impacted by the suicide of a loved one is left with a host of unanswered questions and grief.
When a life is cut short we ponder the “why?”. When a life is cut short we wonder if there was something we could have, should have done. Truth is, I don’t believe that we can always pinpoint a key reason or even make sense of it.
What I do believe is important is grace, healing, grieving, and forgiveness. Each of these elements matter as we walk through the process of loss. However, it is also important to celebrate ALL the memories we were able to make with our loved one and to acknowledge their valuable life in creative and meaningful ways.
We experience deep grief whenever we lose someone we love; no matter how they pass. But, the loss due to a suicide bears it’s own unique sadness; a different kind of groaning in our soul; we need God to bring comfort and grace. And He does; He’s good like that.
If you have had thoughts about suicide; reach out! Isolation is the worst choice when going through rough times, or are experiencing emotional instability. There are more people who love you than you realize!
If you have a sense that someone is experiencing deeper challenges and greater instability than at other seasons of their life; reach out to them! Enter into a courageous conversation, a messy conversation, in an effort to open up a dialogue about your concerns.
Suicides will and do happen and there is no one who should own the blame. However, with the rash of lives cut short I am left to ponder if there’s anyone I need to be watchful for and am I making good choices in my life to stay emotionally healthy and surrounded by a loving support system.
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens! Don’t give up!”