We make decisions all the time that we regret.
The one decision no one gets a chance to regret is suicide.
It seems like every day now we hear about someone taking their own life. It’s reached epidemic proportions now among kids.
Just last week two celebrities decided it was time to end their lives. These were people who seemed to have everything going for them; wealth, success, to the rest of the world it appeared that they were living their dreams and had everything anyone could ever want. So what was it they found so lacking in their lives that they deemed those lives not worth living any longer?
Have you ever thought about just ending it all? I’m not sure that even at my darkest moment I’ve ever really considered not facing another day, bleak as they sometimes seemed. I’ve had really bad times. I’ve made some really bad decisions. I’ve had those days when things crashed down on me so hard I could hardly breathe. You know that feeling – when one of those bad decisions catches up with you and bites you in the ass so hard the world seems to stop spinning and your vision goes kind of grey and you can’t even imagine how anything will ever be the same again?
When I was young any reason I would have had to consider suicide would have been because of someone else. Any reasons I would have had after the age of 16 would have been because of myself.
I stopped letting other people effect me pretty young. I had boyfriends and got my “heart broken” and all that but it was never a life-ending event. When I was in junior high I got “bullied”. I put that in quotes because kids have been jerks to other kids since the beginning of time. Being bullied wasn’t anything special. I matured physically a little quicker than most girls and by the time I was in the seventh grade I was pretty well endowed. There was this one kid who used to follow me around, calling out to me, “Hey, Jugs!” I’d forgotten all about that until I got on Facebook and he sent me a “friend request”, probably because we have about a hundred mutual friends. I accepted the request because at first I didn’t even remember that it was him. When I did remember, I unfriended him. I still think of him as that little jerk. He annoyed me in school, he made me feel even more self-conscious than I already felt, but did it make me feel like killing myself? No. I just grew a little thicker skin.
A few years ago the son of an old and dear friend of mine committed suicide. She knew why. There causal events that could be looked back on and it “made sense”. And yet it will never make sense. He was bright and handsome and had people who loved him. But things happened to him that he just couldn’t make peace with. He was a teenager, ill-equipped to deal with things that he had no control over. Frankly, teenagers shouldn’t have to deal with the kind of things he had been going through.
A little over one year ago someone else I know lost their only child, a sixteen year old son to suicide as well. He was a handsome kid, well-liked, got good grades, was a talented athlete and was the center of his parents’ world. He had the very brightest of futures ahead of him. Hundreds, upon hundreds of people attended the wake, and the funeral. I’ve never seen anything like it. He was loved. His note said only, “I’m broken”. How do you get to be broken at that age, with everything going for you? So broken that there’s no hope of things getting fixed? I can’t even imagine. And I’ve tried to imagine. Many times.
I’ve heard that when someone makes the decision to take their life – when they’ve got everything planned out and the details ironed out, that they become…. very calm. Happy, almost, sometimes. Because they know that the end to whatever pain they’re in is coming. I’m not sure they have any comprehension of the wreckage, the sheer devastation that’s going to be left in their wake.
What is the value of a human life? God created you. He created you in His image. He gave you gifts and made you special. He valued you so much before you were even born that He sent His only son to bleed and die on a cross – for you. For them. For me. For each and every one of us.
I didn’t know that when I was young. Why didn’t I know that? Why didn’t anyone explain this to me? Maybe I wouldn’t have believed them, anyway. There’s a lot I don’t understand about my own life, and there are still times when I feel like I’m drowning in confusion, so I can’t presume to really understand what anyone else out there is going through. Not the people who will take their own lives, not the people left behind. Satan loves it when we feel like we’re alone and adrift without so much as a life raft. And that’s how it feels sometimes; like the big, safe boat we were all in together sank and now we’re out there in the dark, in the icy water, treading water and searching for a raft or a life preserver or some piece of debris floating by to cling onto, watching the others around doing the same thing.
It may sound trite, but God has been my life preserver. He’s the one constant; He never changes. He will not leave me, nor forsake me. This is what gets me through bad days, even when those bad days last for months.
The thing is – suicide is a decision that you won’t live to regret. There’s no way to take it back.