Tuesday, August 30, 2011
For the past few weeks, I've been a bit melancholy. I've been watching films about natural disasters, shipwrecks, and the Holocaust. This is very unusual for a chick flick and comedy lover like me. I've been pondering death and suffering a lot lately, and sometimes my imagination and dreams go to dark places.
Then I realized it's the 1 year anniversary of my Dad's death, of course I'm melancholy. If ever there was a time to mourn, it's now.
Death is always difficult to process, but I think losing someone to suicide is especially traumatic. Because suicide is taboo, it's difficult to talk about. In fact, it almost seemed wrong to write this post. Would people be offended or judge me?
Suicide is so complex, and here's why:
- the gruesome/painful nature of self-murder
- the stigma surrounding it
- suicidal people often have mental problems and their relationships are already messed up
- because of this, the survivors may feel a sense of relief when they are gone--> immense guilt
- the person who commits suicide is the victim and the perpetrator at the same time
- if they leave a note, they have the last word
- all the happy memories and accomplishments of that person seem worthless, since you know their life ended on such a tragic note
- those who found the body may suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, in addition to the normal feelings of grief
- did i cause it?
- could i have stopped it?
- why wasn't my life and our relationship worth living for?
- can a person who committed suicide go to Heaven?
- what were his/her last thoughts? was i in them?
- did he/she even consider the consequences this would have for the survivors?
I don't have the answers to all of these questions, but I do have the answer to the first two: "Did I cause it?" and "Could I have stopped it?" The answer is OF COURSE NOT. I needn't give myself more power than I actually possess. I cannot control people, make them happy, or force them to get help. I can only love them, pray for them, and rest in God's sovereignty. I started to heal when I was able to give those questions an honest "no", and be ok with leaving the rest unanswered. Only God knows.