I will forever be grateful for the people who knew and tried to reach out, not
judge or hand out platitudes, but who sat and listened or who simply invited me
to do things with them. I am grateful for the fervent prayers and fasting on my
behalf - inside and outside of the temple. Looking back, I know this made a
difference. I am grateful for a wise counselor and family that did not give up.
Having gone through this and come out on the other side, I do not
judge those who do not make it. My heart goes out to all who have lost loved
ones in this tragic way. I believe in a merciful God who welcomes these
individuals with open arms and not condemnation.
When I was a young adult I suffered from severe depression - I did not know such
darkness could exist. It is difficult for people to help someone in such a
place. Do not beat yourself up too much for not being there more. Yes, do
better next time but recognize unless you have walked that path you will not be
able to fully understand the pain involved and while your efforts can make a
difference, they alone may not be enough. I personally was
uncomfortable around people I knew because I was not the same person. I had
turned into something I didn't recognize. Due to great effort on my part,
most people were unaware of what was going on inside me.
end of previsous post.With regard to people who take their own life,
now doubt it is a serious act but I have great confidence and take great comfort
in knowing that their judgement will be by Christ himself, full of mercy and
Our culture has too often been quick to judge and make insensitive comments
based on the thinking that becuase of modern revelation that we know more about
heaven and Gods judgment than others do. That type of thinking is wrong more
often than it is right and produces hurt feelings rather than the comfort that
is needed. I remember the "talk" going around that my
brother shouldnt be buried in his temple cloths because of the manor in which he
died. How comforting it was to remember that through the Atonemen Christ bore
all of the sorrows, pain, and suffering resultiong from our sins and that
through his perfect judgement (knowing everything)that mercy would be able to
satisfy justice. I can accept that judgment whatever it ends up beingAs for the other judgers, they should simply focus on their own need for
forgiveness and recognize that there is much that we dont understand yet about
heaven and our own final judgement.
For those who choose to judge harshly, they should read what the church says
about suicide in the red Church Handbook.
I wonder that because believers think they have a "next life" and other
worldly entities, they procrastinate the kindnesses they should give, and they
assume others are being comforted by spirits or ephemeral prayers, instead of
taking action helping others themselves.For me It comes down to
this: when you don't have a "Savior" in the other world, you have
to save one another right here, right now. No promissory notes, no abstract,
ephemeral "I'll pray for them" will do, no fasting and putting
someone's name on a prayer role - since none of that means anything, the
nonbeliever has nothing but actions, here and now. You don't get another
chance to love. This is it. Fill your life with love, not judgment,
self-righteousness, and condemnation. There are no comforting arms in the next
life, so we must comfort and be comforted with our own arms right now, before it
is too late!
My son died an apparent suicide 23 years ago, at age 15. I was amazed at the
wide assortment of Christians rushing up to me to let me know my son was going
to hell. Can't people think of something better to say? After about a year
I had the strength to respond thus: "Are you going to take Jesus' place
as the judge of my son?". It was hard work to survive his death. Getting
through each day was like climbing a mountain. It shattered our family. Many
people quietly helped. To them, I am forever grateful. To the others? I'm
still amazed and curious. What did they hope to accomplish with their
pronouncements? I suppose everyone is "in process", learning and
growing and will have life experiences that may give them another view.
My friend ended his life. I regret not doing more to help. I regret not taking
the time to fully understand the pain he felt. I essentially had all the time in
the world to help him as I was jobless at the time. Had I spent more time
comforting him, distracting him, helping him see past the negatives while
finding hope for the future, maybe I wouldn't have had to give that life
sketch. Hindsight is never 20/20 with suicide. Every time I stop by his grave a
couple times each year I promise myself, if I ever have another friend or family
who Im close to in the throes of evil aggressive depression, I would do all it
takes to turn it around. Meaning being and active supportive friend by making
sure he's at church and activities, making sure he's not focused on
the pain and suffering but on everything else that positive. Just as the best
cure for an angry kid focused on something is a distraction, so it is with
adults. Focus on the problem and the pain just makes it worse.
The suffering of the severely depressed is 'exquisite'... something
you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Death seems the only relief. We need
to have greater empathy for those who suffer, so learn all you can about the
condition and you will have greater capacity to help. There are marvellous
medications and programs that can help those who suffer, combined with the love
of family and friends there is hope and there are those who have trod that dark
path and triumphed. There is hope and you are not alone.
I have a very dear friend who chose to end his life. I was in shock, then even
a little angry, when I first heard about it. I feel bad that I did not follow
what was most likely a prompting from the Lord to reach out to him and say hello
not too long before he chose to end his life here on the earth.If I
could see him, or rather "when" I see him again, I will tell him I am
sorry I did not do more to help him carry his burden. He is a beautiful,
enormously talented son of God and I will also tell him that I love him and I
missed him.May we each do our best to grow and love as the Lord
wants us to.
My grandmother took her life when I was fourteen. It haunted me for many years
until a friend so kindly helped me look at it another way. My grandmother had
had many struggles and been abused through her life and my friend said what God
was probably doing when she arrived home was to gather her in His arms and say
"That was really hard, come here and let me hold you" He would comfort
and heal her because He is GOD. I am sure he has done the same for all of those
we love and lost too soon. He does so because of who he is!
Suicide is so tragic, both for the victims and their loved ones left behind. It
is so wonderful that you were given comfort and instruction through the Spirit.
Love to you and your family. And to those who say hurtful things, one day you
will truly understand.
The compassion with which religious leaders now embrace the survivors of a loved
one's suicide, and the victim herself, is one of the reasons I am ever
thankful that religions change and evolve, discarding their worse aspects and
cleaving to the good.
When my brother died, members of my own family were quick to judge the way
he'd lived his life and they were fighting about it. I finally stepped up
and said to them that we all make mistakes. Our older brother wasn't
perfect and he clearly had his share of struggles in life, some of which he
didn't handle so well. But we all have struggles, some of which we
don't handle so well and we need to stop judging and just try to celebrate
his life and the good parts of it and not focus on the bad and leave the rest in
Heavenly Father's hands. It is so easy for people to go crazy with judging
in their grief.
Just as we may be more solicitous toward the helpless than the healthy, Heavenly
Father wraps His arms around the suicide victim one nanosecond faster. Only He
can fathom the 'dark night of the soul'. We should not try to; we
cannot. Survivors can only rest in His Grace and assurance that the pure in
heart are with Him eternally, whatever the circumstances.A beautiful
piece by a gifted writer. Thank you.
Thank you for your willingness to come forward and discuss your sister. We
experienced nearly the same thing with our son six years ago - an attempt plus 7
days in the hospital before he passed away. Nearly everyone we knew was kind
and spoke kindly about our son and what had happened. One of the best things we
found was a talk by Hyrum W. Smith at the funeral of one of the missionaries
that served under him and that had committed suicide. It is titled "My
Peace I Give Unto You". The loss of a family member or friend to suicide is
a great trial in our lives but there are many in today's world that have
"sorrow that the eye cannot see" and struggle against dragons &
demons that others don't know about. Remember that judgement is reserved
to the Lord who sees all of those things that we struggle with. We firmly
believe that all is well with our son on the other side of the veil and it
sounds like you have received that witness regarding your sister. May all who
have lost family or friends to suicide receive the comfort they seek.