I’m not quite sure how to start this post, or even if I should. Yesterday was International Suicide Prevention Day – its funny they have days for everything now, even Pot du Crème (baked custard) but Suicide Prevention Day reminds me how much I miss my Mum and how much my Mum has missed out on. Because of suicide I picked out my wedding dress with a friend, because of suicide there was no mother of the bride, because of suicide my kids have no biological granny and Jenny will never know the remarkable women she is named after.
The irreversible choice my Mum made 10 years ago, in brief period of mental illness, has had far reaching shockwaves throughout or family. One crappy choice, which no doubt she thought it was her only and best choice, put to an end the life of an amazing, hilarious, loving, eccentric (she always hoped people would think she was eccentric!) mother, wife, granny, friend.
Mental illness is no joke and is not to be taken lightly – it carries no shame and is treatable/ manageable, even if it is long hard road. I do think the church is becoming better at recognizing depression and mental illness as reality not to be swept under the carpet with glib encouragement to experience the joy of the Lord.
Jesus understands sorrows and I believe His death was to deal with every effect of sin in our lives – physical, spiritual and mental although we will not experience the fullness of His healing this side of eternity.
Isaiah 53: 1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a rootout of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
So my thoughts on suicide this Suicide Prevention Week:
- Suicide sucks – that is my theological opinion, feel free to use my terminology. It hurts so many people, it leaves so many unanswered questions
- If you think this world is better off without you – you are wrong – you will be missed, things can get better (maybe not quickly, and maybe not back to exactly the way things were before), but your situation is not unchangeable, whereas suicide is permanent and irreversible.
- If you are having thoughts of suicide speak out, reach out and get help. Talk to your pastor, talk to the Samaritans, don’t keep it only in your head http://www.samaritans.org/
- If you are a pastor get some training in suicide prevention – http://www.wewillflourish.com/
If you are left behind by a loved one who commits suicide I am so sorry for your loss – it really really sucks. Life will never be the same again, but it has a way of continuing whether you like it or not. Don’t burry yourself in shame or questions – there is help there for you too – courses like Grief Share can really help. In your broken heartedness turn to the one who deals with broken hearts:
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.