Reflections on Suicide

Upon hearing the news about Trey Pennington committing suicide, all I could think of was: Why?

Really, I do not know the man. We had a couple of Twitter encounters, which equals nothing in reality. Although, do we need to know people personally to have a desire for them to understand how valuable they are to everyone around them? The answer is an emphatic NO. We are our brother's keeper and I believe that whole-heartedly. Well, as far as our brother will allow us, right? Right.

This event will shake his family and friends to the core. I know exactly how they will feel because my dad committed suicide, too.

I typically do not talk about this part of my past with anyone because it is such a hard thing, but here we go anyway.


It was hard to realize how sad and desperate my father had become that he would take himself out of this world instead of waiting for God to bring it on in His way and in His time. It was hard to realize how glad I was that his pain (physical and emotional) was gone. The confusion I felt about the welfare of his soul even tormented me. He was a Texan and raised Baptist and even had some Catholic blood in him because one of his older sisters converted to Catholicism and made sure he took the Catechism classes (not sure what they are called exactly). Even though he converted to Mormonism mid-life, knowing his upbringing, you know he ingrained in us that if you kill yourself-- you are going to you know where. Through lots of prayer, it all got sorted out in my heart. So no worries on that particular topic.

Since my mother passed on, he was never the same man. I would go visit him to take him to an appointment, clean up a bit or bring him a meal and he would start weeping, weeping over how he took my mom for granted during much of their marriage, that he couldn't take care of himself, for the loneliness he was suffering through, with gratitude for a simple home-cooked meal and a daughter to make it for him.

That said, we had a plethora of problems. I am still unsure if I have forgiveness in my heart for a couple of them, yet it is in the past and my hope is that time will heal those wounds. My belief is that we need eternity after this life for all the learning and healing that we need to get through from all our mistakes we make on earth and it will take that long to do it all. All my gratitude goes to the Savior of the world for his sacrifice and the comfort and healing he brings to me now.

I never will forget my father sitting in his recliner holding his face in his hands crying over a plate of food I brought him. I also will never forget that I did all I could to befriend him, help him, and let him know that we need him even just hours before his tragic death.

Giving love and support is all we can do and sometimes we have to come to terms with the fact that everyone has their inner challenges and their choices to make for themselves. and it is NOT our fault after we have done all we can do.

If you have a loved one or even someone you barely know who struggles with serious depression or suicidal tendencies, strongly encourage them to seek guidance from a professional. Help them find resources and be a friend as much as they will allow you.

And if you are struggling with these types of problems, reach out to someone. Get help. It will be a life-changing decision and one that does not make your friends and family grieve and mourn.

related link:

My Hope for Eternity

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for your vulnerability.

    After I battled cancer, I struggled with suicide and why people would choose death after I fought through chemotherapy and surgeries (and the side effects) to survive. But as a nurse, I also see the effects of depression on people. And often these people ARE surrounded by people who care- who desperately care.

    I don't have the answers but I can attest to the damage (years of damage) that suicide leaves to the family and friends left behind.

    Sending prayers and internet squeezes. Thanks again for your sharing your heart.

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  2. Thx for sharing that Laura..

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