A good friend yesterday asked me to write about suicide. I have had way to much experience working with families that have had to struggle with the why’s and what if’s of loved ones taking their own lives. All of the stories sound unique because of personalities, relationships, manner of death etc. Yet, they are all very similar.
One story I will share is the mother who wondered “WHY” her son did this. He left no note and there were no specific warning signs or previous efforts. She spoke with us at a funeral directors convention many years ago. After the presentation I spoke with her. I asked her how long she asked the question “WHY” Her response, was so perfect. She said, “after two and a half years of asking WHY, I decided I just couldn’t do it anymore!!”
The other story I tell is about a good friend of mine, who lost his son to suicide. Although his son had struggled with depression and relationship issues, he had recently found new purpose and friends in volunteering. He was beginning to put his struggles behind, or so it seemed when it happened. As we approached the day of putting his son’s body to rest, I would ask my friend how he was doing. It was evident that he was struggling and working hard to find some understanding, not just for his own benefit but to help everyone. If there was anyone who would figure it out, I knew he would. The third day I asked how he was doing, he told me he had figured it out. We went to the study and sat down to talk. As his expression took on a sad but compassionate and loving softness, he explained to me “Mark, If my son were sitting here with me right now, he would say Dad, I’m sorry, I made a mistake, I was not in my right mind”
I will never forget it and I share the story with all the families that are confronted with this horrific event. What I’ve learned is, we’re all human and sometimes we make mistakes because we’re not in our right mind. The difference is sometimes it can take place where reason, understanding, hope and resilience does not exist. A place where there are no more solutions or options.
In our life we will experience tragic events that happen to people we know and love. Often we will never know the reason or have the answers to the many questions we ask. Often it will come when we least expect it and in the blink of an eye. Life is designed to be a mystery and I believe and have learned while it may not always be obvious, we have the ability to handle it. Within us is a wisdom and love so profound yet often untouched, unknown about and experienced until tragedy strikes. Let’s not wait for that!!
”Blessings on your journey”
For many more of these life changing and supportive stories order my book “Living and Dying” Finding Love and Hope in the Journey of Loss at http://www.mkanthony.com