Friday, March 5, 2010


I just found out one of my friend's children committed suicide last night. That is not my story to tell. I know her child suffered from depression, and was receiving treatment. It can be easy to forget that depression is an often fatal illness, even when treated. As humans we are affected by so many external influences, things beyond our control, events we can't change, personal attributes we can't choose. Brain chemistry is only a part of depression, and medications cannot make a person happy. Unfortunately, not every illness is curable, and suicide is not always preventable, even in a wonderful loving family.

When someone loses a loved one, people have a hard time knowing what to say or do. In the case of a suicide, I think this is doubly true. The emotions are much more complicated than other types of death. There is often a lot of anger involved, along with the intense sadness. The survivors may need a hand to hold, someone to listen, or just to know others are thinking of or praying for them. Don't withdraw from a grieving family because it's hard to face emotion. Even just saying "I'm sorry" can be a real comfort.

My heart aches for my friend and her family. I wish I could take away their pain. It will be a tough challenge to come back stronger from such a loss, but I know they will stick together. I plan to hold my kids a lot more tightly tonight, and pray for peace for those who suffer emotional pain of all kinds.

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