Hi, I read your article about contemplating suicide and I recently lost my brother to suicide this past July. He was only 36 and I wish he had of come to us and told us what he was feeling so that we would have been able to help him deal with his problems. I am having a hard time dealing with this and trying to understand what he was going through. I have my good days and my bad days, but I am so overwhelmed with guilt cause I knew he was an alcoholic and was a drug abuser, but I never confronted him because I didn't want to embarrass him. Now that he is gone, I am so ridden with guilt and I wish I had of stepped in to show him that I loved him and wanted to help him through it. It is to late now, he is gone, but I want to try to understand what he was going through. I know that is not possible, because the only one to answer that question is him and he is gone. He was a wonderful, caring person, but he just had so many demons, and regardless of all of that, he was my brother and I did and will always love him, no matter what faults he had.
My response is in Green:
This letter is the reality of suicide. All too often people refuse to confront someone who is living a destructive life. We are afraid to embarrass them or afraid that they might get mad at us. This unfortunately is the alternative.
This person was gracious enough to allow me to post this message so that maybe others would be encouraged to speak out, to confront and to show their loved ones that they do love them before it is too late.
I lost a dear friend about 10 years ago. Not to suicide but to MS. I was in the service and he had been over seas and we lost touch. Then one day I heard that he had gotten shipped back to the states because he was diagnoses with MS. I got his phone number and called him. I could tell that he was scared. We had been friends for a long time and he knew the old me. The person who would go get drunk and do crazy things. He did not know the new me, the one who had been set free by Jesus Christ.
I spoke to him and he told me that he was going for some new experimental treatment. I knew I should talk to him about his soul. I should tell him that God loved him and that he needed to get right with God, but I just couldn't. I was afraid that he would laugh at me or get mad at me. I did manage to blurt out that I would pray for him. Instead of laughing or getting mad he thanked me.
I hung up the phone that evening knowing that I did not do what God wanted me to do. I felt terrible, I knew that I had to talk to Bill and tell him the truth before it was too late. I decided that I would call him again in a week. I planned on calling him on Friday evening, but on Thursday evening I received a call that he had died of complications that afternoon.
There is no guarantee of tomorrow. The Bible says to come to God while it is called Today. If you are a Christian and you have a loved one who is living a destructive life or who is ill and does not know Jesus Christ, you need to speak out. There is no guarantee that there will be a tomorrow only a today. So what if they laugh at you? So what if they get mad at you? Isn't there eternal destiny worth the risk? I know that now, I hope that you won't find out too late.
Don't know what to say? Well try this:
We will all have to answer to God someday for the wrong things we have done. These are called sins and we have all done some of them. God is holy and demands death for anyone who sins. (Ezekiel 18:4 NIV) For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son--both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.
That is the bad news, we are all under a death sentence from a Holy God, who can't stand sin and we have all sinned. Now for the good news. God loves us and does not want us to go to hell to be punished for our sins. Because He is Holy He can't just forgive and forget our sins, His Holy nature demands that some one pays for those sins. (John 3:16 NIV) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Here is more good news: (Romans 5:8 NIV) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
So what does this mean to us? It means that if we die without getting right with God we will go to hell for eternity and suffer in punishment for our sins. However, if we will believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for our sins, and if we confess our sins (admit them to God) and ask Him to forgive us He will. And if we believe that after He died God the Father raised Him back to life then we will be saved and if we die we will go to be with God. (Romans 10:9 NIV) That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
E-Mail Ralph (Whose comments are in green)