Archives For suicide

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"You can't think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don't get why you aren't," Michelle Carter allegedly texted to Conrad Roy III.

It was the day he parked his truck outside a Fairhaven, Massachusetts Kmart and killed himself through carbon monoxide poisoning.

Those were words from a 17-year-old girl friend to an 18-year-old boyfriend!! What a terrible tragedy.

What can we as parents learn from this?

Something we already knew:

The power of words to influence…

…and the power of a wrong association.

As our kids are beginning this new school year and encountering new relationships, it is critical that we mentor them to wisely choose their associates and guard their hearts from deceptive and evil words.

Many questions remain in this particular case. But one thing is very clear. This young man should have walked away from this girl.

I have 2 tools to offer you today as we pray for all those involved in this case:

  1. Here are some great scriptures to use as you sit down and talk about this story with your own kids. 

Proverbs 7:6-27

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20

A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26

Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."   1 Corinthians 15:33

 

  1. Here are four of our posts on suicide:

Is Suicide the Parent’s Fault?

A Death Discussion with Your Kids

A Death Discussion with Your Kids, part 2

Suicide: Are We Missing the Point?

Image: Naema Ahmed "IMG_2909" via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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Last week I encouraged you to talk in your family about the Brittany Maynard case of assisted suicide.

One of our Frontline Moms and Dads readers took me seriously in that challenge, and sent me this provocative article. The author shares yet another perspective on whether a person with a terminal brain cancer diagnosis should fight to stay alive.

These issues of death and dying reveal so much about our own views on life and living!

For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

I appreciate the personal struggle represented  by both of these families’ stories. Will you join me in praying for each family? 

And will you also pray for the body of Christ as we are charged with representing the heart of God on issues of pain and suffering?

Image: Soumyadeep Paul “Alone and Dying” via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

 

 

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I must confess: the first time I read of Brittany Maynard's story, my heart was moved as my mind was also conflicted!

She seemed so sweet and young and pretty.

Her cancer seemed so cruel and unfair.

Her suffering seemed so senseless.

Her solution seemed so....logical.

Surely, I am not the only who had to think again. So that makes me wonder. How will our kids do with this news story?

Will she become a heroine in this generation? Will this story be used as this young woman has said she desired?

Will it become a catalyst to re-write the rules on death and dying issues?

Today the Catholic Ethics committee made it a point to bring their clarification. Perhaps we should follow their lead and have this discussion in our families now.

I liked Joni Eareckson Tada’s article on this issue. Surely as a lifelong quadriplegic, she would have a sensitive yet principled response to the assisted suicide debate.

As we are talking about this case, we must help our children see the importance of allowing biblical values and principles guide our decisions ....rather than emotions and popular opinion.

Here are some important scriptures to consider in our discussions:

 

Psalm 139:13-16 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

Romans 14:7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.

Deut. 30:19-20 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Exodus 20:13   “You shall not murder.”  

Proverbs 12:28  In the way of righteousness there is life;
    along that path is immortality.

John 10:10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Job 14:5  A person’s days are determined;
    you have decreed the number of his months
    and have set limits he cannot exceed.

Hebrews 9:27  Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.

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Image:Colonel John Britt "Nostalgic Grace" via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)  

See also:

A Death Discussion with Your Kids, part 2

Suicide: Are We Missing the Point?

admin —  August 17, 2014

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by guest blogger, Karen Hardin

I appreciate my friend Karen's thoughts for our families on this most distressing story this week. –Lisa

The headlines began populating the internet and media by mid-afternoon August 11, trying to make sense of a senseless loss.

“Robin Williams Dies by Suicide at 63.”

 An unthinkable tragedy from a man who some have said “had everything” and yet obviously he didn’t. He didn’t have peace. But is that to say, he didn’t have some type of relationship with God, as some have suggested in their tweets and Facebook posts? Not necessarily. But human nature wants to blame something or someone and so we search for answers. And searching is good, if it leads us to the correct responses. So far, based on the innumerable cyberspace responses and outpouring of grief, I’m not convinced that has happened. And I am left wondering....Are we missing the point?

The questions and statements that are flooding the internet in response to this tragedy shine a light on yet another tragedy. We are potentially asking the wrong questions and making the wrong assessments.  Here are just some of the posts and tweets flooding cyberspace after the announcement of Williams’ death.

FB Post: “What if he had known God?”

FB Post: Well, at last he is free.

Tweet: “Genie (in reference to his role in “Aladdin”) you’re free.

Tweet: It is chemical imbalance and not his fault.

Tweet: Now you can be happy.

But does suicide truly bring a final happiness? Is knowing God the “answer” to fighting suicidal thoughts? Can we realistically push all the blame to a chemical imbalances—although they are  real?

Popular blogger Matt Walsh said in his post of August 12, “it isn’t just clinical, it’s spiritual,” a statement which has brought him under fire. I agree with Walsh. Depression, which precipitates suicide, isn’t just clinical. There is a spiritual element to this insidious plight that has taken the lives of young and old alike. There is a spiritual oppression that certainly plays a hideous role which sucks its victims into a hole so black and dark that they feel they will never emerge. And yet, there is no denying that depression is also clinical, as studies have shown that chemical imbalances in the brain and nervous system are definitely contributing factors in this issue of mental health.

As a parent we have to ask the hard questions, “What about my children or their friends?” Are they fighting this battle? Are they masking the fear, pain or an imbalance in their system that makes them susceptible to consider death an alternative to life?

For those who say they cannot comprehend what would push someone to consider suicide as a viable alternative, let me share some important facts:

  1. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in American teens.
  2. Suicide rates are four times higher among men than women.
  3. The strongest risk factor for suicide is depression.

Unless you have battled depression, (and it is important to note that not all who battle depression also battle suicidal thoughts) it is probably incomprehensible to grasp what would push someone to the brink of such despair that they feel their only alternative is to end it all. What kind of pain would lead someone to believe that there is truly no hope? And that is the key. The pain.

On August 12, Walsh commented on his blog, “I can’t comprehend the complete, total, absolute rejection of life. It’s a tragic choice, truly, but it is a choice, and we have to remember that. Your suicide doesn’t happen to you; it doesn’t attack you like cancer or descend upon you like a tornado. It is a decision made by an individual. A bad decision. Always a bad decision.”

I agree with Walsh—up to a point. I agree that the decision to attempt suicide is a choice….a decision…and always a bad decision. But I don’t believe Williams' decision was to reject life. Instead wasn’t it a decision to reject what had become for him unbearable pain and be free from the torment? 

It is important to understand that contrary to Walsh’s post, depression can and does descend on many like a tornado. It IS like a cancer that eats away at the mental well-being of its victims from the inside out. The battle to return to “normal” is not a simple fix. Many who are in depression, face seasons in which the battle is daily. For them each day can be a fight—a decision--to stay in the game. It is a choice they make, in spite of the dark tunnel in which they find themselves. The painful escalation of whatever situation seems to be closing in and sucking the very life and breath from them. So how can we walk with them to keep them from losing the battle? From making the wrong choice?

When asked about Williams’ mental well-being, over and over his friends and colleagues responded, “I had no idea he was in such despair. I wish I would have known.”

Williams, like many who battle depression, chose to mask his pain—the emotional and mental turmoil—rather than reveal the anguish that penetrated his heart, soul and mind. He used comedy as a therapeutic drug that kept the focus off his personal problems. Make people laugh. Make them think everything is ok. But it wasn’t.

Which brings me to the real point that I think we wish we did not have to face:

Maybe there is a “Robin Williams” sitting at the desk next to me, or standing in the mall beside me, or sitting at the dining room table with me --- masking their pain and turmoil behind a smile or joke. Because too often, in my busyness, I can overlook the obvious often right in front of me.

And so tonight I am humbled to lay aside the questions I cannot settle about brain chemicals or demonic torment and instead whisper an earnest prayer....."Lord, what can I do? How can I step out of my own world and be more astute at recognizing the pain and the needs of those around me?"

And then when I am forced to think of all those who tonight could be tormented about what they did not see and what they did not do, I would add on another part to that prayer....

"Lord, for those family and friends who are going through the ultimate agony of regret, grant them grace and peace. And ultimately may You be the One they run to for strength and courage and hope. Amen."            Image Source:  Wikipedia

Karen Hardin

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Karen Hardin is a seasoned homeschool mom of three, author and literary agent with more than 25 years in the Christian publishing industry. For more information on Karen or to subscribe to her writing and marketing tips blog go to: www.prioritypr.org

Related post:

Is Suicide the Parent’s Fault?