Thursday, October 31, 2013

Suicide – Calling the Elephant What It Is

“I think many people kill themselves simply to stop the debate about whether they will or they won’t.”
― Susanna Kaysen
FAMILY – it’s what nearly all of us live for; perhaps all of us.
Family is what can keep us from doing something silly; something incredibly stupid. But to talk in these terms to someone who’s contemplating ending their lives – someone who’s thought through the logistics – may not cut it. It may miss the mark. They may be resolved. They may be totally cold to life, having come to the decision. Having wrestled with the minutes and hours – having struggled and tussled with matters irreconcilable – there is the sullen reticence: It (life!) cannot go on!
Isolation seems the key sign of retreat.
Retreating from life, a resigning of self to the court of the night, isolation is that coursing of strained tunes in our minds – the prevalent rush of despair in our hearts – when the experience of life gets just too hard. One foreign hour, a twisted minute, a salient second – we are so vulnerable.
Truth | Connection | Hope
Suicide is something that needs to be called for what it is. It is an elephant that tiptoes, until it announces itself by stark and echoing aftershocks.
The impact of the loss of your life is incalculable.
You are so many people in one single person. You are a person with a voice. You are a person that people care about – and nobody cares like God. These are not just clichés.
Sure, this may still not be enough to convince you otherwise,
You who sits or stands there and simply utters sighs!
You who they care about – you, who they can’t replace,
You are the one, of course, who must find life to face.
There is something in your future that will turn you all around,
There is something ahead you’ll find – then you’ll be certainly found!
What must occur beforehand, though, is to hope beyond the despair,
To do what none can do and simply provide space for your own care.
A long face that holds a stare,
We need something to hope on,
A future calling us home to Care.
There is an elephant that roams wistfully in and out of people’s lives, wreaking destruction. Suicide destroys the lives left behind. If something will hold us in this life it’s that people care about us: our children, our spouses, our parents, friends, co-workers... and, yes, God cares!
There is a reason that will make sense to each one of us to protect our lives. Let’s not give up until we find that reason.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.


karen said...

I'm so pleased you are talking about suicide. My husband and father to our 4 children died by suicide 3 years ago. He was a believer in the Lord Jesus and we had no idea things were so bad until it was too late. Sure, we knew he was down, but we had no idea suicide was even on his mind. I think your analogy about the elephant is so very true....and very sad. It's a topic that many christians and the church stay away from, yet since my husbands death, I've come across far too many christian women who have lost there husbands similar to me. Thank you for speaking up.

S. J. Wickham said...

Oh Karen, it is humbling to consider what you've been through, and what you go through. Can the church be anything other than compassionate? Yet, the church is replete with fearful people - only today someone mature in the faith was saying how appropriate it is to be cautious about talking suicide - I didn't agree. Somehow we need to ensure it can be talked about... I praise God for you. You and your 4 children be blessed, always. I pray also that you would find love if you haven't already (if that's your desire).

karen said...

You are right in saying that the church is replete with fearful people....and sadly, suicide is a topic not spoken about, though it is changing slowly and it needs to. Suicide is real and there are many hurting people in the church who need a helping hand, a word of encouragement or someone who won't judge them. God is amazing in that the church we now go to I've met a middle age christian lady who tried to committ suicide but God spared her and an older lady who's son died similar. I haven't found love and if the Lord has someone for me then I'm happy to remarry. Thank you for your understanding and prayers.

Stillhope said...

Wow, this is so good. This is a tough topic because we can't get into the brain of someone who died. We can never know what happened. And this is so hard for the Christian community to face and talk about. Can someone who knows and loves Jesus choose death? The reality that we have to try to accept is that suicide is often the result of severe clinical depression and no one would choose death unless they were completely overcome.

My husband, like Karen's died unexpectedly of suicide. He must have crashed through. The result for me and our families is a tremendous burden, as you alluded to in your post. Thank you!

S. J. Wickham said...

The beautiful and astounding thing for me in reading your comments, Stillhope and Karen, is the wisdom you have for your experience (without wanting to sound glib). I praise God that you both are there to speak compassion and wisdom into those who are suffering and will inevitably suffer. This is an area where theologising falls far short of the glory of God.

karen said...

Stillhope, I'm so sorry you are going through similar to what I's so painful and the fact that we don't know what happened to our husbands makes it even harder...and then we have to deal with the church and there response to this topic.I heard an interesting sermon by Steve Wickwire on the christian and suicide and if they go to heaven or not and why christians die this way. How long has it been since your husband died, if you don't mind me asking? I'm leaning to that my husband had bipolar, as after doing some research he ticked all the boxes. He was never diagnosed with any medical condition that could point to why he took his life. Steve, although I haven't suffered from any type of serious depression, I have a real desire to get along side those who are hurting to let them know that people do care and that suicide is not the answer.