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Suicide

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  • Suicide

    My youngest brother (age 78) committed suicide about a week ago, but my other younger brother (age 83) did not find his body until two days ago.

    I spent most of the day yesterday trying and failing to log into TWeb to start this thread.

    (By the way, the login system at TWeb is way far from user friendly.)

    The purpose of this thread is to explore the subject of suicide from a Christian perspective.

    I have health related chores and needs to tend to at the moment, though, and will return to this thread as I may be able.

  • #2
    I am glad to hear from you again John, but sad it is under these circumstances.

    My views on suicide in relation to Christianity has varied over the years. I really don't know. I think each case is different and God takes all into consideration. Most suicides are due to overwhelming pain or depression and I don't think God would hold that against anyone. They are not in their right minds.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sparko View Post
      I am glad to hear from you again John, but sad it is under these circumstances.

      My views on suicide in relation to Christianity has varied over the years. I really don't know. I think each case is different and God takes all into consideration. Most suicides are due to overwhelming pain or depression and I don't think God would hold that against anyone. They are not in their right minds.
      Thank you, Sparko.

      This is what my younger daughter wrote when I informed her of her uncle's suicide: "I was trying to find the words to say to make you feel better but so much gets lost in this kind of communication. It may not come out the way I want it to. I just know he was a good man. I know life doesnít end at death it just begins and we are more connected than we realize so Iím sending him love. All of the religions that add more than God says still allow some understanding for a personís mental state at the time. He may have been on some medication too and that can influence your mental state. All I know is he lived a good life."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
        I am glad to hear from you again John, but sad it is under these circumstances.

        My views on suicide in relation to Christianity has varied over the years. I really don't know. I think each case is different and God takes all into consideration. Most suicides are due to overwhelming pain or depression and I don't think God would hold that against anyone. They are not in their right minds.
        It's not an easy topic. As C. S. Lewis observed, "the gates of hell are locked from the inside." I'd think that anyone who commits suicide has to be in pretty severe mental anguish; if, as we believe, consciousness is not lost with death, it seems to me that the anguish would continue with no sensory input to serve as a distraction from it. Can the person who commits suicide forgive themselves for doing so? Seems like it would be a monumentally difficult task. Prayer for them may help.
        Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. Ė St. John Chrysostom

        Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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        I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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        • #5
          Originally posted by John Reece View Post
          My youngest brother (age 78) committed suicide about a week ago, but my other younger brother (age 83) did not find his body until two days ago.

          I spent most of the day yesterday trying and failing to log into TWeb to start this thread.

          (By the way, the login system at TWeb is way far from user friendly.)

          The purpose of this thread is to explore the subject of suicide from a Christian perspective.

          I have health related chores and needs to tend to at the moment, though, and will return to this thread as I may be able.
          As the pirate said:

          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
          I am glad to hear from you again John, but sad it is under these circumstances.

          I'm always still in trouble again

          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
            It's not an easy topic. As C. S. Lewis observed, "the gates of hell are locked from the inside." I'd think that anyone who commits suicide has to be in pretty severe mental anguish; if, as we believe, consciousness is not lost with death, it seems to me that the anguish would continue with no sensory input to serve as a distraction from it. Can the person who commits suicide forgive themselves for doing so? Seems like it would be a monumentally difficult task. Prayer for them may help.
            Thanks OBP.

            Comment


            • #7
              John, I have been where you are. My brother took his own life at the age of 34, in 1993. He was a recovering alcoholic, and my family has a history of depression and anxiety.

              I struggled with this for many years. He never made a profession of faith. But no one knows whether God reached him in his last moments. And no one knows whether God reached your brother in his last moments. My brother, and yours, from what you told me in our email exchange, knew the way of salvation.

              It has taken me years to realize and reconcile myself to the idea that my brother is where he ultimately chose to be, whether in God's presence or outside of God's presence.

              God is sovereign. His justice is perfect. We cannot understand this fully this side of eternity. But I take great comfort in knowing this about our Lord.

              John, you and your family are in my prayers.

              And I am so glad we finally got you logged in.


              Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

              Comment


              • #8
                This post will be devoted to the story of how my brother, Jerry, planned his suicide so that his body would be found by my other brother, Paul.

                Paul is a successful businessman whose retirement has enabled him to own a home in the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC, as well as a farm at Banco VA. Two days ago Paul got a phone call from a neighbor of his Banco farm informing him that for several days there had been a pickup truck parked behind a barn on Paul's property, so Paul drove down to Banco to investigate. The truck was Jerry's. It was locked up so that Paul had to call a company that specializes in breaking into locked up vehicles to gain access to the cab of the truck. In the truck he discovered a suicide note from Jerry addressed to him, saying that Jerry was "sorry for doing this to you". Paul took the note to the local Police department which sent a 6 man team to find Jerry's body, which they located about 100 yards into a woodland area. The police would not allow Paul to see the body.
                Last edited by John Reece; 06-21-2019, 10:16 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                  John, I have been where you are. My brother took his own life at the age of 34, in 1993. He was a recovering alcoholic, and my family has a history of depression and anxiety.

                  I struggled with this for many years. He never made a profession of faith. But no one knows whether God reached him in his last moments. And no one knows whether God reached your brother in his last moments. My brother, and yours, from what you told me in our email exchange, knew the way of salvation.

                  It has taken me years to realize and reconcile myself to the idea that my brother is where he ultimately chose to be, whether in God's presence or outside of God's presence.

                  God is sovereign. His justice is perfect. We cannot understand this fully this side of eternity. But I take great comfort in knowing this about our Lord.

                  John, you and your family are in my prayers.

                  And I am so glad we finally got you logged in.
                  Thanks, mossrose, especially for your perseverance, without which I would have given up without getting logged in.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by John Reece View Post
                    Thanks, mossrose, especially for your perseverance, without which I would have given up without getting logged in.


                    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi John! It's great to see you here again...but as Sparko said, under such sad circumstances. I know I speak for all of us when I say thank you for trusting us and turning to your friends here at TWEB for some comfort and understanding.

                      Of course, none of us know your brother Jerry, but, one thing I think all of us can agree on is that we serve a Wonderful, merciful, gracious, loving God...and I believe that the God we serve, would move Heaven and Earth to try to save your brother, both physically and spiritually. Unfortunately, we know the answer to the first part...but, we cannot know in this world if God was successful or not on the second part. All we can do is trust in Him and hope that God was able to perform that miracle.

                      Bless you my brother John! You and your family are in our prayers!
                      "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                      "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jerry was a phenomenal person. He built an entire custom automobile when he was a teenager. He built entire houses all his adult life. He was a "do it yourself" guy.

                        Near the time both my parents (in their 90's) were in need of being put into a nursing home or having full-time care in their own home, certain things happened in Jerry's life that revealed something of his character.

                        One night he was driving (one of his custom made pickup trucks, by the way) in the wee hours of the morning going from a date with a friend in southern Virginia to his home in northern Virginia. He was traveling the back roads, avoiding the interstate highway, when he fell asleep and crashed into a tree. By the time a rescue team got to him he was nearly without any blood, the top of his head "scalped", with multiple severe internal injuries. He was told that when he was admitted to the hospital he was as near dead as possible without passing over into death.

                        I heard about his accident and called him while he was still in the hospital. He told me that he knew his life had been "spared for a purpose" and that "I do not know what that purpose is, but I am going to find out."

                        To be continued...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
                          Hi John! It's great to see you here again...but as Sparko said, under such sad circumstances. I know I speak for all of us when I say thank you for trusting us and turning to your friends here at TWEB for some comfort and understanding.

                          Of course, none of us know your brother Jerry, but, one thing I think all of us can agree on is that we serve a Wonderful, merciful, gracious, loving God...and I believe that the God we serve, would move Heaven and Earth to try to save your brother, both physically and spiritually. Unfortunately, we know the answer to the first part...but, we cannot know in this world if God was successful or not on the second part. All we can do is trust in Him and hope that God was able to perform that miracle.

                          Bless you my brother John! You and your family are in our prayers!
                          Thank you, Little Joe.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by John Reece View Post
                            Jerry was a phenomenal person. He built an entire custom automobile when he was a teenager. He built entire houses all his adult life. He was a "do it yourself" guy.

                            Near the time both my parents (in their 90's) were in need of being put into a nursing home or having full-time care in their own home, certain things happened in Jerry's life that revealed something of his character.

                            One night he was driving (one of his custom made pickup trucks, by the way) in the wee hours of the morning going from a date with a friend in southern Virginia to his home in northern Virginia. He was traveling the back roads, avoiding the interstate highway, when he fell asleep and crashed into a tree. By the time a rescue team got to him he was nearly without any blood, the top of his head "scalped", with multiple severe internal injuries. He was told that when he was admitted to the hospital he was as near dead as possible without passing over into death.

                            I heard about his accident and called him while he was still in the hospital. He told me that he knew his life had been "spared for a purpose" and that "I do not know what that purpose is, but I am going to find out."

                            To be continued...
                            Continued from the post above...

                            Some time after Jerry was discharged from the hospital and was staying in the home of my 90+year old parents, I got a telephone call from my older sister who lives in Pennsylvania who said to me something like, "John, you won't believe what Jerry is doing." Betty had driven down from Pennsylvania to our parents home in northern Virginia for a visit and was astonished to find that Jerry had shut down his business as a building inspector to become a 24/7 caretaker for our parents. She said he had gone to an appliance store and asked for "the best carpet cleaner available" with which to clean the carpets that our incontinent father messed on multiple times a day. After every such event, Jerry would put Dad in the shower, clean him up, then clean the carpeting and bedding, and put Dad back to bed. Dad could not feed himself, so Jerry had built a special chair like a child's high chair, with a combination cloth cover that could be tied around Dad's neck as a bib that extended to a tray that lay on the dinner table.

                            After hearing that from Betty, I called Jerry and said, "Betty told me what you are doing." Jerry's only response was, "I'm sure Betty must have been exaggerating". During subsequent conversation Jerry told me that with regard to his comment that I quoted at the end of the paragraph I quoted above, that he had come to believe that the reason his life was spared when he nearly died was to take care of our parents until they both died. So he committed his life 100% to that task and persevered all the way to the fulfillment of it.

                            I think he must have become depressed when both parents were gone and he was alone with no wife or children or anyone else to live with, because (according to my older sister who continued to visit him and to keep me updated re his status) he moved to Winchester VA to build a new house and did not send me his new phone number. All I had was his email address, and he never responded to my messages to him.

                            When my brother Paul called me re Jerry's suicide, he said that Jerry had been experiencing symptoms of early stage Alzheimer's disease, and that a female friend who was dear to him had recently died.

                            My impression is that Jerry's suicide was the consequence of depression following the loss of both parents and his dear friend, and of his "I can fix anything by myself" mindset. There was no one else in his life that he could take care of, and he could not accept a destiny of needing someone else to take care of him. From his perspective, it was the only rational thing to do.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              God help me, this is a hard topic to respond to. I wish no one ever had to deal with the consequences of suicide.

                              I know historically, that suicide has been viewed as a one-way, direct ticket to Hell. Unfortunately, I still see this view on occasion. The despair, and I admit I have been closer to it than is comfortable, that one must have to commit suicide is hard to deal with. And unfortunately, it tends to cut one off from society. One really feels like they don't belong - maybe not even human anymore.

                              At this point, I fall on God's mercy. He knows all and will make a righteous decision about the person. This is our consolation, God is merciful. For me, 1st John 3:20 speaks to this: "If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything."

                              May God minister to everyone in this situation.
                              "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                              "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

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