When a Loved One Commits Suicide

My kids and MomThis picture is one of my favorite memories. My mother had come to visit for the first time after my father passed. The four others in the picture with her are my four birth children.

Sometimes I look at this picture and try to see if there is some hidden sadness in my son’s eyes.

See, he took his life on August 8, 2014, nine years after this picture was taken. I still don’t have closure. I can’t understand what drove him to believe there was no hope, nothing to live for. When a loved one takes their own life, they leave their loved ones with unanswered questions.

Some of the thoughts I shared in my journal on the initial days after learning this tragedy follow:

Today I received a phone call no one, especially a mother, should receive. An impersonal call from a coroner letting me know you, my son, had taken your life. I’m in shock, disbelief and unexplainable grief. My poor troubled son, was there some clue to your pain in our conversations? In our last phone call? Could I have said something to life your depression so well hidden beneath sarcasm and laughter? Why, son, I keep asking. You could have come home. We all loved you even though you distanced yourself from us. Why did you not seek help? Am I to blame?

Four days have passed and still the tears flow and my heart is heavy. I can’t believe I’ll never see you walk through the door with your smile and “I love you, Mom.” I wait for the phone to ring so I can hear your voice again. It was a mistake, I hope you’ll say. Son, I pray for God’s mercy for your soul to now be in peace. I love you always, my beloved son.

I sit alone in an empty house. Silence reigns, but my mind screams. In two days I make a journey to say farewell, but I’m not sure I can do it. How can I look at my dead son’s body? For the first time, I’m wondering why they say funerals are for the living. I want to remember you laughing, sharing your quick wit, smiling. I don’t know if I can do¬†this.

Closure? No. What happened to you? The shell you left behind looked so different from when I last saw you. What made you so sad? Your good friends were as shocked and lost as we are. Some questions perhaps are not meant to be answered.

Today is your birthday. You died so young. I cling to the comfort that you are no longer in pain, and that when you gave your life to Jesus, it was forever and that God has taken mercy on your soul. I pray you have no more suffering. Walk in peace, my son.

I haven’t written any further in my journal. It is too filled with the pain of loss. I opened it today because the anniversary of my son’s death passed¬† a little over a week ago and his birthday is Friday. I still have trouble believing he is gone.

Suicide is a tool of Satan’s. When we lose a loved one to such a cruel ending of life, there is no closure, ever. It is something we must try to put into perspective and move on. Faith is what we cling to. Hope comes from Jesus.. God’s grace is our comfort and healing.



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