A new way to look at suicide

I received this from a Facebook friend.  I think it's beautiful and hope it brings some peace and comfort to those whose live's have been touched by suicide...

A few years ago, when a young man died by his own hand, a service for him was conducted by his pastor, the Reverend West Stephens. What he said that day expresses far more eloquently than I can, the message that I'm trying to convey.

Here are some of his words:

"Our friend died on his own battlefield. He was killed in action fighting a civil war. He fought against adversaries that were as real to him as his casket is real to us. They were powerful adversaries.  They took toll of his energies and endurance. They exhausted the last vestiges of his courage and his strength. At last these adversaries overwhelmed him.  And it appeared that he had lost the war. But did he? I see a host of victories that he has won!

For one thing - he has won our admiration - because even if he lost the war, we give him credit for his bravery on the battlefield. And we give him credit for the courage and pride and hope that he used as his weapons as long as he could.  We shall remember not his death, but his daily victories gained through his kindnesses and thoughtfulness, through his love for his family and friends...for all things beautiful, lovely, and honorable. We shall remember not his last day of defeat, but we shall remember the many days that he was victorious over overwhelming odds. We shall remember not the years we thought he had left, but the intensity with which he lived the years that he had.  Only God knows what this child of His suffered in the silent skirmishes that took place in his soul. But our consolation is that God does know, and understands."

Three additional posts about suicide ~ please click:

Have You Considered Suicide?

"Deliberately Crossing Over"

One Mother Shares After Her Own Son’s Suicide


9 comments

  • Thank you for sharing this message. It is exactly what my mind has been telling my heart but I have been unable to express it well to my family and friends.

    Also I would like to thank Kelli who commented, as her words also expressed my feelings about the cruel things people say even though they may be well-meaning.

    Deena
  • I have been crying, whimpering, gasping, sobbing, driving down the road… even pulling over to the side of the road to scream, because at that moment, there is absolutely nothing else I can do. I grind my teeth in my sleep. I even find myself grinding them during the day. I have been shaking my head in disbelief; and even jumping up and down, pounding my fists helplessly, in my anguish.. since my 21-yr-old son ‘deliberately crossed over’ 2 years ago.

    I have had people tell me that it’s time for me to ‘move on and get on with my life’. “I know you loved him, but it’s time for you to move on,” said one neighbor (a MOTHER, no less!!) I had to bite my tongue to prevent asking her which of HER two children or her two grandchildren she could live without. Is it just me, or was hers the stupidest and most insensitive statement ever??!

    A couple of people have told me I should move out of my home and get away from all the memories. But do they think that the memories and pain are attached to the house itself — and not to my heart?

    I had one man ask me if my son had been ‘saved’ (by a Baptist preacher, presumably, since they seem to be the only ones ‘qualified’ to do so). He shook his head doubtfully, saying sadly, "Well, I sure hope he was… " Can you imagine the idiocy of saying something like this to the mother of a son who had just killed himself??! Even if he THOUGHT it, how anyone would be so careless and callous to ask such a naive and stupid question, is beyond my comprehension.

    Another man boldly (and stupidly) said that if HE’D only had 30 min. with my son, he would never have done anything so ‘selfish’! (Really…?) SEVERAL people, in fact, have told me how selfish an act my son’s death was! Again, STUPID AND NAIVE AND… OBLIVIOUSLY-INSENSITIVE!!!

    But when these morons spew their drivel — often in an effort to ‘help’ me ‘move on’ — I take a breath and calmly ask them how they can be mad at my son when I, myself, am not mad at my son. I only hurt for all the pain he must have been in — for so long — that the only way out was to deliberately step out. They have no RIGHT to be mad at my son! They have no basis on which to condemn him — in ANY way — for ANYTHING he ever did, because it is not for them to judge!

    My God is loving and gentle; and He took my beautiful son into His arms to give him the peace he so desperately longed for. And for this, I should be MAD at my son? or at God?? No. Neither is to ‘blame’. All is exactly as it should be — and was planned, long ago. To question the plan is futile. But it doesn’t mean that my heart doesn’t ache for my beautiful fair-haired, blue-eyed son from the moment I open my eyes in the morning ’til I lay my head on the pillow at night… and even throughout the night, in my unsettled sleep. He is, and always will be, right here in my heart, so that I can hold him close forever.

    Thank you, Tom, for sharing the beautiful words spoken by Rev. Stephens, which HAVE helped me on this day after Thanksgiving, of 2015, when I am missing my son so much, that I can scarcely imagine how I’ll make it to the end of the day — much less, the 60 minutes in each of the 24 hours in each of the 365 days in each of years that I will be missing him, for the rest of my life.

    His name is Sebastian and he was 21 and 265 days old…

    Kelli
  • I have been crying, whimpering, gasping, sobbing, screaming, grinding my teeth, shaking my head in disbelief, and even jumping up and down, pounding my fists helplessly, in my angst.. since my 21-yr-old son ‘deliberately crossed over’ 2 years ago.

    I have had people tell me that it’s time for me to ‘move on and get on with my life’. “I know you loved him, but it’s time for you to move on,” said another neighbor (and a MOTHER, no less!!) Is it just me, or is this the stupidest and most insensitive statement ever??!

    A couple of people have told me I should move out of my home and get away from all the memories… (do they think that the memories and pain are attached to the house itself — and not to my heart?)

    I had one man ask me if my son had been ‘saved’ (by a Baptist preacher, presumably, since they seem to be the only ones ‘qualified’ to do so). He shook his head, saying sadly, "Well, I sure hope he was… " Can you imagine the idiocy of saying something like this to the mother of a son who had just killed himself??! Even if he THOUGHT it, how anyone would be so careless and callous to ask such a naive and stupid question, is beyond my comprehension.

    Another man boldly (and stupidly) said that if HE’D only had 30 min. with my son, he would never have done anything so ‘selfish’! (Really…?) SEVERAL people, in fact, have told me how selfish an act my son’s death was! Again, STUPID AND NAIVE AND… OBLIVIOUSLY-INSENSITIVE!!!

    But when these morons have spewed their drivel, I have taken a breath and calmly asked them how they could be mad at my son when I, myself, am not mad at my son. I only hurt for all the pain he must have been in — for so long — that the only way out was to deliberately step out. THEY have no RIGHT to be mad at my son! They have no BASIS on which to condemn him — in ANY way — for ANYTHING he ever did, because it is not for them to judge!

    My God is a loving and gentle god; and He took my beautiful son into His arms to give him the peace he so desperately longed for. And for this, I should be MAD at my son? or at God?? No. Neither is to ‘blame’. All is as it should be — and was planned, long ago. To question the plan is futile. But it doesn’t mean that my heart doesn’t ache for my beautiful fair-haired, blue-eyed son from the moment I awake ’til I lay my head on the pillow at night… and even throughout the night, in my unsettled sleep. He is and always will be right there in my heart, so that I can hold him close forever.

    Thank you, Tom, for sharing those beautiful words spoken by Rev. Stephens, which HAVE helped me on this day after Thanksgiving, of 2015, when I am missing my son so much, that I can scarcely imagine how I’ll make it to the end of the day — much less, the 60 minutes in each of the 24 hours in each of the 365 days in each of years I will be missing him for the rest of my life.

    Kelli
  • The love of my life took both our lives last year in August … I still feel like its my fault… I left him when he was going through hell… I can’t count how many times I tell him how sorry I am…

    Brianna
  • Wow these words are so wonderful….it is so very heart warming to have suicide refered to in this way….what I belive in my heart writen in word…..

    Thank YOU….on July 15 it is my frind Connie’s birhday…..she suffered so here on earth and took her life in 2001…..told me she was going to do it….was okay for a bit….wanted me to be the one to find her….but I choose not to play that role when her children called me….I have always felt her to be at peace….but never have heard it described so beutifully until now…..

    Peace my friends…..

    Lisa

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