Fame won’t fill an empty heart. Two among many were Kurt Cobain and Chester Bennington, the lead singers of the world-famous bands Nirvana and Linkin Park, who committed suicide.
Many years ago, one of my friends ended his life prematurely. It was overwhelmingly painful for the family.
All these years, it saddens me to see a young life wasted. Until now, I still keep, perhaps the only copy of, his suicidal notes as it was entrusted to me by his family for my ministry purposes.
As I journeyed with the family towards recovery, we’ve created a mutual bond that we keep until this very day.
1. Face the Reality.
Suicide is a sad reality of life that some families have to face. A family member has suicidal thoughts and somehow experienced so much pain and did take his or her own life.
There are persons in the Bible who committed suicide too. Samson, King Saul, and Judas are three famous characters, while Ahithophel, King Zimri, and Abimelek are lesser known ones. Judas, however, committed suicide because he was filled with remorse in betraying Jesus.
The truth is suicide respects no religious faith. It could happen to religious and non-religious alike. In fact, there is nothing in the Bible that guarantees a Christian could not commit suicide.
Some people who were overwhelmed with anxiety, guilt, fear, and hopelessness resort to committing suicide. Likewise, those who are alcoholics, drug abusers, and those who were abused have the tendencies to kill themselves.
Severe heartache, suffering, disillusionment, mental illnesses, pride, and inability to accept reality are also causes of suicide. The possibilities for suicide are manifold.
But the most powerful of these, as far as I’m concerned, is the loss of meaning in life. When too much pain and sense of worthlessness drag a person into a state of no purpose for living, suicide comes in like the devil who “steals, kill and destroy.”
2. Find Help.
I’m thinking of the families and friends of those who have committed suicide. In the first place, those who have committed suicide were the very ones who needed to find help, until it’s too late.
When there are symptoms of suicidal thoughts, that person must seek the healing of emotions and memories before God. The person must find a support system and not be allowed to face it on his or her own.
Every family members must not take for granted the jokes of committing suicide. It is possible that the person is making fun of it to lighten the act to end life. It gives suicidal one a certain level of readiness and acceptance to resign fate in his own hands.
While every person with suicidal tendencies must find help from professional therapists and pastoral counselors, the same is true for the surviving family members to seek a support system.
Check your hotline or online help on this matter. I’m pretty sure there is available help nearby. For me, the community of faith plays a vital role in comforting the grieving family members.
3. Focus on Hope.
The truth is, there is hope beyond suicide. It may not be easy, but with God’s grace and help, people can recover.
While it is helpful to be assured that a person can “cast all [their] cares” upon God, there is no reference in the Bible that those who didn’t and have committed suicide shall be doomed to hell. That destiny is determined by one’s faith in Christ alone.
Suicide is also not an unforgivable sin. Nothing in the Bible that explicitly says suicide is unpardonable before God. (But the one who rejects Christ is the one who commits such unforgivable sin.)
Of course, there are serious consequences of suicide. Research shows that when a child commits suicide, a high number of parents also commit divorce or separation. The grieving process, when not handled properly, could deeply affect the family relationship.
In moments of grief, the family must find strength from one another, and above all, from God. Nonjudgmental and compassionate friends are very helpful in the grieving stages towards recovery.
It’s a blessing to have family and friends who are truly sharing their lives to make their presence be of comfort to the surviving loved ones.
There are many reminders of hope throughout the Scripture. As much as possible, find comfort in it. On top of these is my favorite one.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Glenn Plastina (c) 2017