I attended a funeral yesterday of someone I didn’t know. My husband and I know his parents, and when we heard their son of twenty three passed away, we went to his “Celebration of Life.”
It was a beautiful service and as his friends got up and told his story, I felt as if I was getting to know him a little better. The described his great faith in God and his infectious laugh. That he was amazingly kind and a great golfer. He was finishing his degree at Colorado State University and it was in a field I majored in as well; Biological Science.
I found out throughout the service that he had taken his own life. I felt very sad about this, but then discovered that he was in great pain. He suffered from a disorder he did not understand nor could cope with. He felt that if he ended his life he would be with our Lord.
I know that if he was Catholic, they probably wouldn’t feel that way. People that take their own lives in the Catholic church are in a way , “condemned.” They are often called “chickens” and are sent straight to a place called, “Purgatory.” Many times the Catholic church won’t even allow them to have a funeral in their church because suicide is thought of as a sin.
I gave that a lot of thought while I was sitting at this young man’s “celebration.” It dawned on me that Jesus gave His own life for all of our sins. I believe that was a type of “suicide” as well. Who are we to judge that what Jesus did and what this young man did were any different? I agree that God gave us our lives, and we should not take our lives for granted. I don’t believe that the ultimate “slap in God’s face, ” is to commit suicide. I feel in my heart, that this young man who was here last Thursday, walking among us, is now with our Lord in heaven. I didn’t know God either. I have never really met Him, but I feel as if I know Him. The Catholics would like you to believe this young man is not in heaven.
I still consider myself Catholic and was born into the faith as what everyone calls “A cradle Catholic,” but I am often ashamed at how judgmental they are. We are supposed to love one another, not JUDGE one another.
The young man who I came to know yesterday must have been in great pain to take his own life. He had everything to look forward to, yet his chose this for himself. It was his life to do with what he wanted. It was his body, his thoughts, and his pain.
All I can say is, that when I saw the doves flying overhead that were released in his memory, I felt he was there. He was finally gone and free. He was a beautiful dove, flying up to heaven to be with the Lord that he loved so much.