Saturday, May 27, 2023

Processing another Suicide

I attended another funeral today on behalf of my son who's out of the country. One of his friends from high school's younger brother committed suicide. It broke my heart. I was amazed at what a magnificent man he was. For real. His life has moved me. He was buff, very hard working and a very friendly, loving person. He was a good man. His mother and sisters are good people. Very good. So good it was a humbling honor to have met them.

The theme was the celebration of a magnificent life but it was also a reminder to respect mental health struggles. Everyone wishes there was something they could have done. Yet when you look at his life he certainly accomplished far more than most. He moved people and impacted them. His funeral was very well attended. In my family we normally juist have very quiet small graveside services. When that many people show up at a memorial you know they touched a lot of people.

The Pastor pointed out that Psalms 23 is very frequently quoted at funerals. Thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death... He explained that if you put Psalms 23 into perspective, you will see Psalms 22 was his darkest hour. David journalized his grief. The pastor pointed out a key word in Psalms 23 - walk. When David experienced loss and discouragement he didn't stop moving he kept walking. Just like Rocky Balboa. Just like the metaphor of rolling water.

The pastor also pointed out that the younger brother's death was very out of character for him and when you look at his passion for life you can certainly see it. He was an avid rock and ice climber who went on many expeditions around the world. It broke my heart.

The Pastor told the story of a man who went to see his doctor back in the 1900's and asked his doctor to help him commit suicide. The doctor said you mustn't feel that way. You should see the good in life. The circus is in town. Go see that famous clown so you can laugh and be distracted from your problems. The man replied but doctor, I am that famous clown. Very sad. It reminds me of the Movie Patch Adams and the untimely fate of Robin Williams.

It was refreshing to hear of this young man's magnificent life. He will be deeply missed.


  1. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

  2. Suicide merely transfers the pain of the subject to all the loved ones who remain.

    1. Yeah, a lot of people are left hurting. I suppose that would be their regret.

  3. Suicide doesn’t take the pain away, it just passes it on to someone else.
    I found this phrase on the internet a few years back, it stuck with me and I kept a copy. As is those before my post, they too state the same only worded slightly different.
    While part of me understands the person committing suicide (not accidental) because I think we’ve all been in that spot with a tragedy and despair, I think we appreciate the contemplation of suicide but for myself, never been to that tipping point and frankly, the idea of being “found” in that status by another, whether family/friend/neighbour just horrified me from ever going past that boundary. I never know what words of sympathy to offer those left behind from suicide. I am mostly silent, drop my shoulders and offer my standard default, “I’m sorry.” For the family left behind, it is an awful situation. I am deeply sorry.


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