Thursday, May 29, 2008

Suicide part 2…

Today was Uncle Charlie’s funeral. To say that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house would be putting it extremely mild. People were sobbing like babies. Charlie had a way of touching your heart, making you laugh, making you feel at home. Every time I saw Charlie he would come up to me hug, and kiss me, and ask, “How you doin’ baby?” If there was a stranger in the room Charlie would seek them out and talk to them, he always made every one feel welcome.

I’ll be honest; today I was very conflicted about the way I felt about him committing suicide. My father was a manic depressive, we found him sitting in the basement with a gun in his mouth crying like a baby more than once. He told my mother one time that if he didn’t fear going to hell for killing himself, he would have already done it. (My father eventually died in his sleep December 1989). We were raised in a very strict Baptist Church; we were always taught that if you committed suicide, you had committed a mortal sin for which there was no forgiveness. But within my heart that just did not make sense to me, because we were also taught that when you accepted Christ into your heart that he forgave you of ALL your sins, past, present, and future.

Rick had an associate at work that overheard his conversation about Charlie yesterday; and he asked Rick how could he even justify going to a funeral service for someone that had killed himself? Rick asked him if he had ever lost a cousin, father, brother, or mother to suicide? Of course he answered no. Rick told him then you wouldn’t know.

After the service today I googled suicide and the Bible; there were a lot of articles that I found helpful. I found a quote from that fits our very situation;

Suicide is a grievous sin that seriously hurts both the heart of God, and those who loved the deceased. The pain of losing a loved one who took their own life is not easily healed, and often isn't fully healed until Heaven. Whether you are contemplating suicide or know someone who killed themselves, God wants you to know there is hope and life for you. He is the great Healer and Restorer of what has been lost or stolen.

I fully believe that is so very true.

This morning when the showing first started some of the relatives started arguing and fighting, and they were going to call the police. When an unexpected person stood up and told everyone that this was not the place or the time (the main culprit was his own mother). It was Rick’s cousin Mark, who by all accounts has been in and out of trouble all of his life, but today he finally took a stand and did the right thing. I was really proud of him.

All of this fighting between the family started when Judy (Rick’s mother) died, this was the first time that they all were under the same roof in almost two years. Rick’s other cousin by marriage stood up to talk about Charlie during his service today, and towards the end of her speech she told them that they needed to come together and forgive one another. While I was researching what the Bible says about suicide I found some passages about depression (which can lead up to suicide) and it just fit our situation as well:

Depression is often anger, and a host of other emotions that have turned inward and become frozen. If you are carrying anger, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, frustration, jealousy, despair, worthlessness, hopelessness, fearfulness, vengeance and/or self-pity in your heart, you can turn these things over to God and begin to receive your healing right now, in faith. If you don't know how to let them go, confess it to God and ask for His help in releasing it to Him. No one can overcome these things by themselves. We all need the power of God to set us free from sinful and hopeless ways of thinking. That is why the Bible tells us that we must be "transformed, by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2)." The Holy Spirit is the only One who can help us break free and be healed of these deadly emotions.

So if you have family out there that you have not spoken to in awhile, you may not even remember what you were arguing about in the first place. Please consider how you would feel if you lost that person unexpectedly, and you did not work things out between one another, and forgive each other. When it would just take a simple “I’m sorry” or a phone call just to see how they have been. It would release you from that inner struggle, even if they didn’t return the gesture.

My husband was so angry the night we found out about Charlie, because we all saw where Charlie was headed with the drugs and the alcohol abuse. Rick was really beating himself up over the fact that he never said anything to Charlie that everybody just accepted it as “that’s just the way it is.” He says that he really wishes that he would have said something to him about what he was doing and who he was hurting while doing what he did. If you have a family member who is struggling with an addiction please say something to them, before you run out of time. Don’t live with the “What if’s”.

Rest in Peace Uncle Charlie, we are going to really miss you.

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