Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Out of the depths, I call unto thee

Death where is thy sting? It is here, very present and very real. A friend committed suicide last night and I am reeling. I can't say he was the closest of friends by any means, but I knew him and his family. I spent several hours last night with his parents, just holding them as they screamed and cried. It is unfair, unreal, unimaginable.

His name was Jack. Please pray that he will now find peace he could not seem to find in this life. Pray that he will know companionship and intimacy with God that he could not seem to find with others. He must have been in a deep blackness that seemed impenetrable. Now we will never know. I hate this.

I was at his wedding, the baptism of his child, the intervention that moved him to seek treatment for alcohol and drugs. Counseled with him and his wife in their separation. Those are all things that I sometimes do in connection with my job, but my commitment to them as a family is not just a "job" thing. It always goes deeper.

My best friend from college and graduate school did the same thing. I've written about him before. Suicide always hits me so close to home. And it hurts.

There are no answers. None. No explanations that are worth anything. This is as close to living with an open, painful wound as there is. It's the worst.

I have had my own very deep darkness over the years. I have contemplated "ending it all." Sometimes the pain seems so deep and prolonged. There is no light. No warmth. No one with whom you can keep company. Or so it seems.

But, from the death of my friend years ago, and now from Jack's death, I learn again that suicide is no answer. For my family, my children, my friends . . . I could never do so much to hurt them as this. Maybe his pain is over. Ours is just beginning.


A Troll At Sea said...

"Maybe his pain is over. Ours is just beginning."


I am so sorry to hear of your friend's death; I am still mourning the suicide of my friend Jane thirty years later.

When she killed herself, one of my best friends in the world, whose first husband had committed suicide years before, said that there was no doubt that the best way to cause pain to people you love is to kill yourself.

There are no answers. There is only the awareness that mystery has many faces, and some of them are dark indeed.

I wish you well.

Lemuel said...

De profundis... the depths are real. the darkness is real. such a death is a call for all of us to be sensitive to the signals, to the cries for help that others give us in their abject loneliness and inner pain.

My sympathy and prayers to you and to your friend's family in this time of grief.

Jeremiah Andrews said...

Eternal Rest grant him and may perpetual light shine upon him, May God forgive him and soothe the pain that took him from us and may God have mercy on him and may God be with his family.

I know this subject all too well, having lived through this myself.

Suicide is never a pretty picture and it leaves more questions for those who remain - they say that suicide is the most selfish of acts that someone can do against God.

You must be strong and remember that he must have been in great difficulty if he believed that suicide was his only way out of suffering.

There are always other ways out of suffering, pray you never meet this end yourself. Know that I will offer my prayers to you and your friend and his family, I know how difficult the next few months will be.

Stand tall and support your friends and we shall support you here. You are in my thoughts, I am very sprry for your loss...


publius100 said...

As unfathomable as is God's wisdom in taking someone from us, more so is an individual's decision to do the same.

Bill said...

Be well, and remember that your recovery must come first. Otherwise you have nothing to offer others. When I was in the depths, I too had thoughts of suicide. I allowed the thoughts, but made sure I went beyond the thoughts of doing it to considering what the impact it would have on my loved ones. Ultimately, this is what made me decide that, for me, this would be a completely selfish act.

Anonymous said...

Just sorry for the pain you are in. My aunt says this life is a 'veil of tears' and its for sure a gift like no other, but so full of heartbreak too.

john said...

I will keep Jack in my prayers, and all those healing in the wake of this tragedy.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

So sorry Joe to hear about your friend's death. Any death of someone we know well throws us into a tailspin but this only adds to the sorrow. A friend of my Dad did the same thing this summer, it left us all angry with him as well as sad. Peace to you and his family.


Ur-spo said...

in times like these there no words; all are lame and useless.
i too wish i was there to hold and let you scream some.
i am sorry for your loss.

Creative Thinker said...

Hi -- I'm the guy from Memphis. I am reading this post on 10-30 and I just had an accquaintance commit suicide this weekend. This is not something that has touched my life a lot over the years so it is hard to come to terms with it. I didn't know this lady very well - she owned the house next door to me and rented it out. It is hard -- every time I walk out of my house and look at that house, I can't help but think of her and the pain she must have been in. I can't imagine how hard this is when it happens to someone you are close to. Hang in there... Shel