In my relatively short life at not quite a quarter of a century, I have known a lot of people from many different walks of life.
I’ve known people who were single for life, married for more than sixty years, divorced. I’m friends with people who are and associate with gay, lesbian, transsexual lifestyles. I have met people of many different professions from many different countries all over the world. I’ve known the poor, the rich, the middle class. I’ve met brilliant thinkers and simple-minded artists. I’ve met people who were blind, deaf, paralyzed, suffering from illness since birth. I have known people, one being my wonderful fiance, who almost didn’t make it into this world – but God has given us the miracle of their being.
Many of these people have lifestyles based on choices. Choices make up the foundation of who we are, with exception to those with illness or naturally-occurring circumstances.
In short, I’ve seen a lot in the time I’ve been alive.
Death is something I’ve known quite frequently. Mostly family, but many family friends and distant acquaintances and politicians and celebrities have passed away in the time I’ve been alive.
However, whenever death is purposefully brought upon a person too soon, it’s not a part of the natural flow of life. It’s not how God intended for death to occur. When choice and death are combined, they are unnatural and they tear the world apart.
Suicide starts by being about one person, but the shock wave of it spreads to everyone involved… anyone who has ever known them.
I shook their hand, I embraced them. We shared meals, we shared words, we shared time.
And just like that, they are gone.
In my life, I’ve had at least three people who I have personally known, a couple better than others, who have committed suicide. Just a few days ago, a distant acquaintance I met while in college. While I know emotional and mental factors play into why this final, heartbreaking choice is made, I will never understand why that conclusion is an option to so many. Especially for Christians, I can’t figure out how they can worship a merciful, loving God and still submit to their own crushing depression and cut off the gift he has given them. But every time it happens, it sends ripples through the circles of people in their life. Even though we only met once, we ALL feel it.
I pray for the family dealing with this tragedy. I pray for his wife of less than two years. While I didn’t know him well and I don’t understand why, I can feel the weight of loss and my heart goes out to those nearer who feel it so much more.
Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,
animas omnium fidelium defunctorum
ab omni vinculo delictorum
et gratia tua illis succurente
mereantur evadere iudicium ultionis,
et lucis æternae beatitudine perfrui.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord.Forgive, O Lord,
the souls of all the faithful departed
from all the chains of their sins
and by the aid to them of your grace
may they deserve to avoid the judgment of revenge,
and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.