Monday, August 18, 2014

All Is Not Lost

A week ago today the news spread that Robin Williams died; he committed suicide, at least partially because he suffered from depression. This was shocking news to many of his fans and has lead to a lot of media coverage and commentaries both on suicide and mental illness. Hopefully, at least some of this coverage may help anyone suffering similarly to know they aren't alone and help them become aware of some of the resources available to help those contemplating taking their own lives.

Those who have had friends and or loved ones that end their own lives know how tragic it is. Death is very difficult to accept, and attempting to understand why our loved one would seek his or her own life makes it even harder to comprehend. Feelings of guilt, questioning why I didn't see it coming or if I could've stopped it often can creep into the minds of those who loved the person the most. It can seem that there is no way out of the emotional pit those left behind have fallen into.

I want to say that all is not lost. Through Christ, all is never lost. It can seem that someone who commits suicide has died in the midst of a terrible sin, and one might be tempted to judge that this person must be lost forever; however, the Church doesn't teach it this way:

It is wrong to take a life, including one’s own. However, a person who commits suicide may not be responsible for his or her acts. Only God can judge such a matter. -The Handbook on Administering the Church
I am grateful for this wise council on an extremely difficult and emotional matter; we might think that because we knew someone so well that we know what was going on in their heads, but we don't. I feel liberated to know that a Loving God can sort out the hearts and minds of those whose burdens are indeed heavy. I know that Christ loves and knows all of us, and my faith tells me that even the most wounded among us may not be beyond His help.

Many things seem like they will never work out - for a time. Many trials feel like they are too heavy to bare - for a time. If anyone is considering ending their own life, please seek immediate help in every way possible; the link I just posted has a 24/7 hotline as well as an option to chat. If anyone is suffering because of a loved one who chose this path, I repeat my thesis: all is not lost. The Atonement is infinite and eternal. Christ, through His sacrifice and selflessness, gained an infinite and eternal ability to help and bless others; He is after the one who suffers in the wilderness.

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