Losing a child is the greatest loss a parent can face. How the child dies can make the loss even more unbearable. The loss of a child through suicide is even a greater loss. Many parents need emotional and professional support in dealing with such a loss.
The article, “How do you live after your child commits suicide & you never saw it coming? A grieving parent reflects” by Linda Collins explores this painful grief. She recounts from a book about such sad tales.
“Victoria was their only child. Three years after the incident occurred, Collins recounts her 17-year-old daughter’s suicide in this book, weaving in her daughter’s diary entries, personal memories and accounts from the people in her life.”
The article offers an excellent book for others to investigate and read. If you would like to read the entire article, please click here
Suicide for the longest time was considered only to be a sin of despair. It was a stigma and received more condemnation than care. Today, individuals who attempt suicide are treated more like victims fortunately. Family is also given the care and love they deserve from a pastoral perspective.
The article, “SUICIDE: MOVING BEYOND CONDEMNATION TO CARE” by Elizabeth Evans states,
“Numerous faith traditions have a history of criticising suicide as a sin – and one that leads to damnation. But some faith leaders are now working not only to offer those facing despair help in addressing the root causes of suicide but to remove the stigma that keeps so many suffering families quiet after the death of a loved one.”
Suicide is a messy thing. It is filled with multiple emotions of loss and despair, but what modern science teaches is that is most of the time an illness. Someone does not simply wish to end his or her life with a clear head. It is because of this and many other factors that cloud judgement that many churches have removed the stigma of suicide itself. Suicide while a horrible thing must not be shelved away but discussed in the open and understood a decision based upon mental illness. If so, we as a society can move forward and deal with suicide survivors, as well as family survivors of a successful suicide of a loved one.
The article, “Opinion: Talk about suicide, end the stigma” by Natalie Sept looks closer at suicide and how it can no longer be seen simply as a rational choice but more so as a decision based in intense emotional instability. It is time to stop treating it as a stigma and face it head on and recognize the surrounding demons of it. The article states,
“When I received the news recently of his suicide, there was something in me that knew it would end this way. Jay struggled with addiction. Our family watched nervously as his jovial disposition became clouded with the pall of substance abuse that eventually pulled him into an irreversible decision.”