Dealing with a loved one’s suicide
Matthew 12:20 NIVUK
When a loved one dies from sickness, accident, violence, or advanced age, our grief, according to counsellors, is labelled ‘uncomplicated’ or ‘simple’. However, when they die by suicide our recovery process becomes ‘complicated’, fraught with often unanswerable questions. We experience guilt, even anger. ‘Was I not there for them? Should I have done more? Could I have helped prevent it? How could they do this to us? They were being purely selfish. They thought about nobody but themselves!’ These feelings will take time and God’s grace to resolve. Friends and families of suicides often ask the following questions, the biblical answers to which can help in dealing with our grief. Is suicide murder? Scripture nowhere equates suicide with murder. Biblically, murder is an act committed against another. How does God feel about people who commit suicide? While God can’t be said to support suicide, nobody understands better than He the despair that drives someone to escape from their unbearable suffering. At our lowest moment, our Father cannot deny His compassion for us. ‘A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out.’ Are suicides saved or lost? 1) There is only one ‘unpardonable sin’ (see Matthew 12:31-32), and it’s not suicide! 2) ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons … nor anything else … will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:38-39 NIV 1984 Edition). Not even suicide can quench God’s love or cancel the salvation that love bought for us!