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SUICIDE: Pastor friend of 600 left note, "I'm tired. Just want to be with Jesus."

 
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Post SUICIDE: Pastor friend of 600 left note, "I'm tired. Just want to be with Jesus." doyle
by Chaplain Doyle / writedoyle@gmail.com

FOR ALL OF US who have lost a friend or family Loved-One to suicide, over time, the pain begins to subside some, but it never goes completely away. Grief has no time-limit. There is no earthly law or spiritual requirement that we must "Get Over It."

My Mom died at 61 from a massive heart attack. Four of her seven brothers and sisters lived to be in their late eighties. Two lived into their 90's. One, a World War II Veteran, later committed suicide.

It has been years now since Mom passed from this life. There are still times when tears fill my eyes remembering her sweet voice and the love she had for me. I would give everything just to spend an hour with her; to hear her voice again. Grief lessens over time. It does not ever completely go away. Most of us do not want it to.

THE TIME DOES NEED TO COME when we can and must begin moving forward in life even if only one step at a time; go to church, to work, the grocery store, take the kids to school, wash clothes, mow the lawn, have coffee with a friend. etc. Over time, the intense shock of their passing begins to turn into continued memories of their beloved presence.

In Pastoral ministry for years, and then as a Hospital Emergency Room, ER and Intensive Care, ICU Chaplain, like most ministers, I have been with families in their deepest hours of grief.

Sometimes with several different ones on a shift, I sat at the bedside of patients who attempted suicide and to their surprise, survived. And yet, understanding the emotional depths of why some attempt it, and others facing far more difficult situations in life do not, is as yet nearly unfathomable.

Though we want very much to understand the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of it all, we are often left grasping for answers. A hopeful line from an old Gospel song comes to mind. After listing temptations, grief, troubles and trials we go through, it says, "We'll Understand It, All By and By." (Famed singer Russ Taft sings at the 2-minute mark).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYQh6A3zcJc

"By and By" may not completely soothe the pain of "Here and Now." However, as Jesus began to prepare his disciples for the shock of his departure back to heaven, he said, "I go to prepare a place for you."

A PLACE AFTER LIFE'S RACE
He was not delegating it to a committee, but was going personally. Why? So that, "Where I am you may be also" (John 14:2-3).

Listen, that totally blows me away. Jesus knows everything about me and because his forgiveness is so complete, HE STILL wants me to live in his neighborhood. I've heard it is a gated community.

Indeed, if your Faith includes the hope of future after death (LIFE after LIFE), though heartbreaking now, the time we spend at the graveside of our cherished Loved Ones, is not be the end of our journey.

In years past, it was believed that people who commit suicide, were somehow mentally destabilized. In some cases that is true. However, in recent years, Mental Health advocates, have begun to lean toward those who commit suicide as being "Rational" in their reasoning and planning.

FOR WE WHO LOVE THEM, that makes it even more difficult. We can understand if someone cracks under the pressures of life, but we struggle deeply with any possibility that they may have been rational.

Indeed, there are probably cases of someone just "Flying off the handle" and hurting themselves. Even so, there is often long-term planning as to how, when and where. Many labor long over the choice of words for the note they leave behind. They make certain to leave the note where it can be easily found.

To his surprise, one of the more than 1,500 who have leaped off the SF Golden Gate Bridge since it opened Thursday, May 27, 1937, did survive. He later shared about driving more than a thousand miles to get to the bridge. He then drove across the bridge both ways numerous times.

Parking his car in a safe place, he walked to the center of the bridge, which is 4.5 miles long, and leaped off.

GRIEF ON STEROIDS
Whatever the reason and whether the person was rational or not, for we who loved them, it is devastating. Was it a case that they couldn't handle the pressures of life, or just did not want to?

MOST OF US have had relatives, friends or associates who took their own life. One of my favorite Uncles shot himself. A Pastor friend ran a hose from his car tailpipe into the car. They found him sitting in the car with a note in his lap. The 600 who attended the Pentecostal church he pastored, were totally shocked.

His note read, "I'm tired and want to go home to be with Jesus."

O MY GRACIOUS. Whether intentionally killing ones self is a highway to heaven or not, has been debated for thousands of years. It was a command not a suggestion when Scripture proclaimed, "Thou (You) SHALL NOT Kill." (The Bible in Exodus 20:13)

The word "Kill" there is translated "Murder."Regardless the answer, we weep, hurt, grieve, groan, mourn and sometimes ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

As their initial shock lessens some, I try to help families move beyond the tragic suicide moment and remember the larger mosaic of their Loved Ones life. Their presence in our life was a wonderful, positive influence. Without the richness of their presence...

THE ABSENCE OF YOUR PRESENCE
Their smiles, laughter, times of fellowship and fun together, ENRICHED life and made it even more enjoyable. The moment they hurt themselves is heartbreaking, but memory of them is still vivid and vibrant. They were a blessing to our life. Their memory still is.

FELLOW TRAVELERS
If you are hurting from the loss of a friend or Loved One by suicide, we are fellow travelers in the healing process. By "Healing Process," I do not mean forgetting. Trying to forget is fruitless. We simply cannot do it. And why would we want to forget someone we loved and who loved us?

Healing has begun when we can remember them without that tragic moment of a few seconds, overwhelming the continuing preciousness of our memory of them.

Your input, agree or not, is welcome.

Chaplain Doyle
writedoyle@gmail.com
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Last edited by doyle on 2/19/22 4:04 pm; edited 5 times in total
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2/4/22 6:58 pm


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Post UncleJD
my view has evolved somewhat over time. While suicide on its surface is murder and therefore, sin, the delusion that leads to it is usually brought on by mental illness and therefore, I believe, is covered by God's grace. Now, if you can contemplate that at the point where you make the decision, then you are outside of grace because you are still able to judge right and wrong (again my opinion and not a hill to die on). For that reason, I would NEVER insinuate to anyone that suicide is ok, not wanting to lead that person to Hell. But on the other hand, for those grieving, I tell them that I believe, more times than not, that it was a decision made without the capacity to understand right and wrong in that moment. Golf Cart Mafia Consigliere
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2/11/22 10:25 am


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Post Quiet Wyatt
While their final judgment is of course in God’s hands (as is true for all of us), beneath the question of mental illness it seems to me is the obvious reality that those who destroy themselves are not listening to the Holy Spirit but are listening to Satan, the only one who desires their destruction.

In one town I formerly pastored in, a pastor-friend of mine, who also worked as a mental health counselor, was driving in from out of town one day. As he entered town, out of nowhere, he began having intense suicidal thoughts, which he had never had before in his life. As a Pentecostal believer, he struggled with these thoughts for a few seconds, being absolutely bewildered by them, as he had not even been depressed when they came to his mind. The Holy Spirit then reminded him to rebuke the evil spirits that were tempting and tormenting him, and the hopeless, suicidal thoughts instantly vanished. Over the next several days, in a town of about 25,000, four suicides occurred, more than occurred over a year’s time for a town that size on average in that time period.

I realize it’s just an anecdote, and one could just say it’s just a coincidence. All I know is when I have battled depression and suicidal thoughts in the past, spiritual warfare in Jesus’ name has always worked best. Good rest and proper nutrition and even psych meds can help as well of course, but we must always remember the spiritual nature of such struggles.
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2/11/22 11:51 am


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Post FLRon
I do not pretend to understand the vast complexities surrounding death by suicide, particularly when it happens to someone who has been a pastor or an active church member. Furthermore I have never been in the camp of those who believe suicide is an automatic ticket to Hell, preferring to leave that up to the Almighty.

When a person commits suicide it should elicit from us an outpouring of deep sympathy and love for that person as well as their family members left to deal with the devastation. It is not the time to put on our hat of judgment and condemnation. The fact that any person could reach the point of absolute hopelessness should grieve our hearts, especially if we knew that person.

I remain eternally grateful for the COG pastor in Tennessee that I randomly called at one in the morning some 30 years ago when I had reached my own end. In my utter despair and in a way I will never understand this side of glory, God guided me to call a random number of a church secretary who then took my number and called her pastor at one in the morning. That man gave me an hour of his precious time to speak love into my tortured soul, bringing me back from a place too dark to speak of.
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2/13/22 3:38 am


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Post Cojak
FLRon wrote:
I do not pretend to understand the vast complexities surrounding death by suicide,.....That man gave me an hour of his precious time to speak love into my tortured soul, bringing me back from a place too dark to speak of.

I appreciate the comment FL. I have thought of suicide at times, I always thought everyone did. I used to plan mine to be an accident so the family would not know and the insurance would be no problem. Presently I am at a low point but nothing near despair. Life deals tough blows, even to successful people. I am always lost and confused to understand someone famous and successful i,e, Robin Williams.
Anyway I'm rambling... But thanks again have a blessed Sunday.... We are wet here in Wildwood for now. Wink
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2/13/22 9:17 am


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This is really sad. What can we do to identify and to help people like that before they get to that stage?

Of course, I do not think anyone should intentionally kill himself or herself unless it's one of those heroic type situations, jumping in front of the bullet to block your wife or the president or something like that.

I remember something I heard from the missionary's wife who said that her husband said if he were diagnosed with cancer, he said get him a bag of Bibles and an airplane. He wanted to skydive out of a plane over Mecca. I wonder if one did want to end it all and you did that or went to North Sentinel Island to preach, but suspecting it would end in death, if God would count that the same as conventional suicides.
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3/9/22 8:15 pm


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