I have had more than my fair share of death and tragedy………starting at a very tender age, death became known to me, and revisited my childhood often. I know of people who got all the way through their 30’s and 40’s without a single major or devastating death. They were the lucky few whose childhoods remained innocent on that score. I know that there are other things that can rob a child of their innocence, as my foster children can attest, but death is the final blow that cannot be undone except in Heaven. Edna St. Vincent Millay summed it up best:
Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age
The child is grown, and puts away childish things.
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.
However, death is natural, it happens……and at some point, everyone must face this fact and deal with it’s harsh blows. I would like to think that every human being on this planet turns to their Heavenly Father in the face of such anguish, but after seeing many crumple in it’s wake, I know this is not always the case. What’s worse, there are those troubled souls who cannot turn to Him in their darkest hour of all, nor do they feel that they can turn to those around them who love them the most……and they fall where we cannot reach them.
Suicide should never be the way out, but for some, it is the only way out. I cannot presume to know what goes through the mind of someone who successfully completes this type of departure, but I have to believe that they snap. Within their brain, there is a mental breakdown that refuses to let in light, and hope, and restraint. Otherwise, why would seemingly ordinary and happy people do such a thing to themselves, and to those who are left behind?
Many years ago, I watched helplessly as my father went through the pain and despair of losing his mother this way. My Grandmother was a woman who walked her entire life with Christ, who valued her family above all else, and endured countless tragedy and suffering with a steely determination. Yet, in the end, why did she turn her back on it all? Why did she leave us all wondering what we could have done, how we could have helped, and with tears that will never be wiped away? For her, it was dealing with a Bipolar disorder, in a time that did not know how to effectively treat it.
This week, it has happened again…….and I am just broken over it. My sister called me frantic, as we both knew this woman to be a dedicated mother and friend. Always a smile, always a laugh, and always an extended hand to help others. How could she not reach out for a hand herself, when there would have been so many there to catch her fall? What desperate thoughts invaded her mind that she could not see clearly the utter destruction that her actions would cause her two teenage children? Was she also dealing with a disorder that proved too much for her to fight? I am sick to my stomach, just thinking of the damage that has been done to those precious babies that only God Himself can repair…….Oh, Lord…..hear our prayer for comfort and hold that boy and girl right next to your heart!
I know that God heals all things…….that we must turn to Him when we are beyond our own understanding. I can only acknowledge that there is a limit to how much pain I can process, and when it gets to be too much, I can simply fall to my knees and let God handle it. This is one of those times, and I am resting in Him.
- Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- Psalm 88:9 – my eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, LORD, every day; I spread out my hands to you.
Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.