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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.

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5 thoughts on “I Didn’t Know Him

  1. When a person dies of cancer, we do not blame them for suffering from cancer, yet when a person suffers from a mental health problem, such as bipolar disease, if that results in suicide, we should recognize that neither of those two types of sufferers chose to have either disease.

    • Yes, separating the “whys” doesn’t quite answer anything. When someone’s pain is too great, whether it is emotional or physical, they often choose this avenue. Even though it doesn’t offer a solution to “us,” it may not be wrong for “them.”

  2. I have pondered this same question, and came to the same conclusion. I am not aware of a scripture pertaining directly to suicide? I know the word speaks of murder, but how can we know the “state of mind” of someone when they reach this point? Depression can be a horrible darkness that people get lost in, and perhaps someone else finally takes over? Drugs that are supposed to help us, sometimes cause more depression. People don’t even leave notes most of the time, as if they are just so swallowed by the depression that they don’t even think of anything else any more. If the depression has taken over, is it really them making the decision? Only God knows. If the pain is too great, who are we to judge? It is certainly a path not to be recommended, but in our God I believe there is still much hope! This subject is one we don’t talk about much, because it is so unknown in many ways, but it is something we probably all question in our own heart, and probably should be talked about more. I had a friend, whom I believe was Christian, but made some mistakes, and got very depressed. One day he came home after work, (where he was having much difficulties), as well as family problems at home. He came home from work and had a last meal with his family. They say he seemed perfectly fine at the time, but then he got up from the table, went upstairs to the bathroom, and then they heard a gunshot. He was gone. No notes. No last remarks. Nothing. I’m glad I’m not the judge, and I hope my friend made it. I must admit the years of struggle had changed him, and we were no longer close, but I still wonder just where the depression had taken him? And who was in control that day? It did not sound like the person I once knew.

    • I have heard very similar stories concerning the people that chose that this life is too unbearable. I’m not even sure if they are aware that their act is so final when they commit it. I am so sorry for your loss of a friend you knew. I enjoyed reading your comment though because it gave me more insight of how the people who love them aren’t even made aware. So often we blame ourselves in the event of this tragedy, and we simply can’t as often there are no signs. Even if you had stayed close to your friend, you most like would not have prevented his death. I once heard of the lady who cleaned her whole house, then sat in her bath tub so she wouldn’t make a mess while committing her one final act. Poor thing. But as a woman, I can relate to that. Cleaning my home is really important and I wouldn’t want to leave anything for anyone that made them “work” while I was gone. Strange, I know. It is a mysterious part of life, and most likely why it is interesting.

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