Opinion

Reflections on faith and suicide

h pray candle

After Live Action News re-printed Sarah Terzo’s piece from Secular Pro-Life Perspectives, I felt compelled to share my own thoughts. Sarah writes often for both sites, and it certainly was brave of her to share as much as she did, and selfless as well.

Well I can thankfully not speak to having a suicide attempt, I have struggled with anxiety and depression, and even when not driven to taking my own life, life can still feel pretty difficult.

Even when suicide is just a glimmer of a thought, it is pretty easy to feel hopeless and scared. And a lot of it may have to do with how you feel about yourself.

While I realize that this may not apply to everyone, I do believe in God and the saving power of His son, Jesus Christ. I believe that God has a plan for me and that should I let Him, and Jesus, fight for me, all will turn out well.

And I regard suicide as such a bad thing, which hurts God, not because I think those who commit, attempt or even just think about it will go to Hell. I don’t think that. I had a conversation with the monsignor (someone higher-up in the church clergy) of a Catholic Church and we agreed that to be suicidal claims that we think we know better than God.

The conversation was not all lecture, however. Some psalms pointed out to me really helped my self-esteem. Psalm 103 is perhaps one of my favorites and Psalm 102 is another good one. Psalm 143 is also particularly helpful for those who may feel like they are wrestling with demons or “the enemy.”

Another issue with suicide is that it hurts not just yourself, but other people. Someone else will have to find your body. Your loved ones will be tasked with informing others about your death and prepare your funeral service.

In a way, suicide is selfish then. If you’re going to be selfish, do so in a way that helps yourself! I wrote a New Year’s Resolution article about being pro-life for myself. Put dramatically but simply, this means that I shouldn’t even ever think about my own life, especially while I advocate for protecting unborn children from death by abortion.

While I was talking to that same monsignor, I let him know that as a pro-life advocate, I worried that to have suicidal thoughts would make me a hypocrite. He could see that reasoning. After all, God made each and every one of us, including the ones not yet born but still worthy of life. The living are just as worthy of life, including me and including you. Suicide is an unnatural death just as abortion is.

The death of Robin Williams was quite sad and tragic. No matter that he may have lived many years, he was still gone too soon. Upon hearing of his death and seeing reactions to it, I felt as if God was sending a very clear cut message. This applies to everyone else who may be suffering at times. If anything, the death of a beloved actor, at his own hand, reminds the rest of us just how much suicide isn’t worth it. We are all beloved my someone.

Despite it being tragic though, Williams’ death at least gives us the chance to discuss and talk about such feelings, to let everyone know that they are not alone. As Sarah’s piece goes through with such helpful detail, there is help, and from a variety of options. Perhaps the most important take away of all from Williams’ death is to make sure that someone else and their family are spared the tragedy of suicide.

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