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


  • Having survived the suicide of an immediate family member and being the one that found him, I can tell you the world stopped that day…. But the sun rose the next day. And as the years went on, I found my experience from that day (and the hurt that followed after) gave me an insight I never would have had when close friends lost a 16yr old to suicide and when an in law found a beloved family member hanging in a garage. The pain the people suffer is as real and as strong as any cancer or other disease. My family member had a strong belief in God and on that day God chose to take him up in his loving arms to peace at last. The hugs I share with others that have experienced this loss is soul to soul. The pain is always there and the steps of grief, anger, blame ect.. are natural and human…and an important process in moving ahead—- not necessarily on- but ahead in our journey till we all meet again… God Bless the survivors

  • Thank you for posting …. it helps make my son’s death more understandable to me .

    boyd w.
  • Thank you for posting this letter Tom. It was over 20 years ago that a friend/therapist who was also a Presbyterian minister took his life. It rocked my inner world, hard. I believed then, that certainly a minister wouldn’t do that because it was a ‘sin’ against God, and that a therapist wouldn’t do that because they had the tools and colleagues to keep them ‘sane’.

    In order to reconcile his action with the good/wise man I knew him to be, I began doing research on life, death, dying, suicide and the nature of the human soul. This path of study lead me to my profession of 20 years in body/soul healing. I have also spent over 10 years studying shamanism and esoteric philosophies on the nature of the soul, spent 2 years working with hospice patients, have been beside for the death of another friend, and am currently spending end-of-life time with both my mother and a beloved mentor. Life, death and dying are all around us, all the time.

    As a result of all I have learned, I can no longer define ‘sin’ and ‘sane’ especially from the soul’s perspective. And one thing I know to be true is that ‘their death’ is ‘not personal’ to US, but it is ‘personal’ to THEM.

    Regarding the nature of the human soul, I will paraphrase the words of a wise and beloved Hawaiian teacher of mine, “we all have lessons to learn, and we came here to learn our lessons, no one else can learn our lessons for us.”

    I extend my compassion to those who remain ‘here’ having the human experience of another’s suicide, and I extend my compassionate understanding to the souls ‘there’ who utilized suicide for their own reasons to make their exist.

    Gail Johns
  • I’m grateful to see this, as it supports what I endured. I am blessed and very grateful that I was able to win my fight, my war. Thank you Tom and thank you…Author of these words…and thank you kind sad soul, kindred spirit of mine.


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