Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Some thoughts on suicide

Recently a relative of mine died by his own hand. No one saw it coming. Yet he is the second member of his family who did so. We don’t like this subject, and many times we don’t talk about it to protect privacy or children. But some things need to be said. IF EVER you feel deep depression, strange or suicidal thoughts, do not ignore this; seek help! You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255). I am not an expert in these matters, but I will gladly talk to anyone and try to get you to the help you need.

Sometimes people get the idea – especially from entertainment or the Internet – that there’s something romantic or poetic or whatever about suicide. As a priest, I’ve had to deal with this several times in an up-close-and-personal way. There is nothing romantic or “cool” about it. It is horrible, particularly for those who are left behind. Obviously this is a grave sin; yet we don’t know the state of mind of people who take this drastic step, so we can’t know how God judges the matter. People who have survived such attempts say they immediately regretted it, and that repentance can make all the difference because God is always ready to forgive. When we pray for people, our prayers transcend time, so they can help people in the future, in the present, and yes, even in the past.

Originally appeared in Saint Remy Bulletin, August 4, AD 2019.

No comments: