I’m going to tell you a story. It’s not an original one, nor is it mine alone. Tens of thousands of fathers out there have lived through what I’m about to tell you. Actually what my family and I have gone through is reaching epidemic proportions in our nation and it scares me to think of how many more families may have to endure the pain, heartache and grief brought on by a child committing suicide.
In The Lord of the Rings books; King Théoden’s son dies at the hands of Orcs because of Sauramon’s treachery. Standing beside Theodred’s grave he tells Gandalf, “No parent should have to bury their child.” Having buried my youngest son six years ago, I also share the pain of which Tolkien wrote.
Suicide is an insidious tool of evil. It’s been glorified in song and cinema as an act which can take away the pain a person is enduring. Now it is not my intention to make light of anyone who is in pain, but taking your own life does not end the pain, it actually causes more. While I’m sure at the time, my son Noah thought his decision was the best possible solution to what he was feeling, his death brought more pain than he could have ever imagined. The really sad thing is, had he waited a few more hours he would have felt differently.
In my title I state my son was a coward, which he was. And please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here; I love my son dearly and miss him daily. I actually turned his bedroom into my office from where I am writing this blog. I did this in an effort to remain close to his memory; keeping some of his things here as well. But I say he was a coward because he chose the easy way out; easy for him, but difficult for the rest of us.
Until you’ve performed CPR on your child’s dead body please don’t judge me for calling Noah a coward. Again, I’m not making light of the pain people find themselves in. I have had challenges myself and had thoughts of suicide run through my brain too. Through time I’ve come to realize no matter how difficult life can become; it never lasts and the good times far outweigh any bad ones.
Noah’s cowardly act did cost him his life, but it was those of us left behind who were forced to deal with the pain and grief brought on by his choice. Perhaps you’ve once contemplated or are thinking about suicide; let me just say don’t do it. You will leave the people in your life who love you in ruin. My family is six years down the road from this tragedy and we are still working through the grief and loss.
Not a day goes by we don’t think about Noah and what could have been. He would have been twenty years old a few weeks ago and I spent the day wondering what type of man he would have been. Would he have been married by now? Going to school or still teaching the children in our kid’s classes at church? What would it have been like trying to teach my most stubborn child to drive? Would he have had an awesome beard by now?
So many things I wonder about I will never know; all because he chose the cowardly way to deal with the challenges he was facing. As a father who still deals with the grief process after this many years let me say, it is not worth giving up your life because of any pain you might be in at the moment. Talk to someone; a parent, counselor, pastor or friend. Tell them what’s going on and let them help you. The world needs you and more importantly your family needs you.
If you are thinking about suicide, or possibly know someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 or go to their website www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org