Suicide does not take one life; instead, it impacts the lives of all the people surrounding the one who loses the fight. The ones impacted the most are family and friends, but the ripple effect continues outward to co-workers, classmates, the faith community, service providers, friends of the family, friends of friends and so on. While there are different levels of grief felt by individuals throughout, when someone dies by suicide the loss is experienced by the entire community.
For those who knew
When we know that a loved one or even acquaintance is struggling with mental health, his or her death brings questions. We start to wonder what we could have done different. “Was it a word in passing that triggered a downward spiral? Am I in some way responsible or could I have prevented this from happening if I had only … ?”
Suicide is void of closure.
Suicide is not selfish, but it does hurt others
A study conducted in 2016 discovered that depression and anxiety symptoms were higher in individuals who had experienced loss by suicide (the closer someone was to the individual the more the odds increased). Those who had been exposed to suicide were more likely to report suicide ideation and post-traumatic stress.
Let’s be clear: Those who lose their fight to suicide are not being selfish. Suicide ideation is a mental health issue and needs the care of trained physicians and a network of support. The best way that we as Christ followers can step up and help is to work alongside health professionals, eradicate stigmas within the church, and begin to really listen to the stories of those struggling with suicide ideation and the people who love them. Start here with Eric’s and Steve’s stories. Discover how their suicides had a ripple effect on those who love them and the communities they were a part of. Watch as Dave and Stacey Chamberlain share the pain of saying goodbye to their daughter and the hope they have that they will see her again. These stories have sad endings, but yours does not have to. There is hope.
There are times when death feels like a viable option; in those dark moments it is easy to think that death is the best solution, but those are moments and seasons. You have to do everything you can to fight through those moments. Your story matters and can bring healing and life to others. Your death isn’t the answer; it hurts those you love the most. Death, my friend, is not the answer. Hope is. Jesus, even in your darkest moments, sees you and the power of God within you.
Join us on Unfiltered Radio as we explore the historical Jesus and the power He gives us to live through the storms.