On October 5th, it will have been one year since my friend Ed lost his battle with cancer. At that I time, I could have only imagined that I would lose other people from my life by the effects of age or accident or disease. I was wrong. Since that day last October, three people that I have known have taken their own lives.
I know of no comforting words for time like these. “I’m so sorry for your loss,” is true, but the enormity of such a tragedy leaves those words hollow in my ears. There are words to share in anger over the bitterness of accident or disease, but when the deceased are also the means of their demise, those same words only strike deeper into the heart of the bereaved. I am so sorry for your loss.
I have stood on the brink of suicide, before. I know the promise that such an action offers. To end one’s own life is final act of self-control. It is a promise that I am still in charge of my destiny. Whatever outside forces that are acting on me mean nothing, because I am the Master of my Life and I say when I leave this life. I say, “No More!”
While I understand the lure of suicide, it does not change the pain of loss. It does not mend the families broken by these acts. Understanding does not help when the wound is fresh and the pain is bright and bitter. Understanding will only bring some measure of peace, when the grief begins to wane and we can forgive those who took themselves from us.
When we can forgive those who left us behind and ourselves for not stopping them from leaving, then we can begin to mend. We can begin to heal. We can make the loss a bit less and we can breathe deep of life once again.