Holding On to Hope When You Want to Die

By Karen O’Connor 

“I am so sorry for the horrible mistakes I made,” said Tony, a man in his early 70s.  His past included an affair that separated him from his wife and daughter, drinking, drugs, and loss of employment. He lived in an abandoned house for a time because he had nowhere to go and no money to start over. “It’s pretty hard to do anything positive when you want to die,” he added. “I started thinking about suicide. I figured no one would miss me.”

But Tony was wrong. Someone would miss him, had missed him for years—his daughter Jane whom he hadn’t seen in ten years. She searched until she found him at a shelter in the city where he’d last lived. They reconnected and Tony became willing to get the help he needed. He went into a recovery program and Jane visited him every day for three months.

“She was my lifeline,” Tony said with tears in his eyes. “I have a long way to go but now I have hope. Jane led me back to church and we’re getting to know each other. I’m learning to focus on what we have, instead of the mess I made.”

Tony admitted that for most of his life he’d been looking for love in all the wrong places.  Now he knows that only God can provide what he needs. “The most important thing to me today,” he said, “is to show my daughter that even though I went to the bottom rung, by God’s grace and her love, I have hope. When you want to die, hope seems like a dream, but when you let God lead you, it’s real.”

Be inspired with this YouTube video, featuring music from Company of Saints, to encourage and give hope when you feel hopeless.


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  1. Sandra Victor says:

    Karen I love your article. What a gift you are to humanity. The song is so beautiful too. I am so thankful that you pour the Lord’s love into your writing. You are such a blessing and I’m thankful that I know you.

  2. God ain’t gonna pay my bills.

    • Hi Jimmy. Thanks for commenting. You’re right, God doesn’t write checks. But he does provide if we ask him to. I was in a similar spot years ago–so desperate over unpaid bills and lack of employment that I went into despair. All I had left was prayer. I begged God (as I understood God at the time) to help my husband and me out of our mess. We listened for clues and then followed them. We asked our church for help and a fund there paid our rent for two months. Friends pitched in for food. A woman donated clothing from her mom’s closet after her mother died, and so on. Little by little by little God showed up through these people. When I stopped looking down and turned my eyes up–God was there. Within one year we had turned around. We both got jobs and paid our bills after curbing expenses. Now over twenty years later we are debt free and saved by the grace of God. I pray, Jimmy, that you will turn to God as you understand Him and ask for direction. He will not disappoint you.

  3. Hope4You says:

    Thanks, Karen. I have found that over the years by asking God for help in financial crises, I’ve given Him the chance to do amazing things that have revealed His presence. But I’ve also found that feeling that pain of not being able to meet bills myself at times has turned me into a better person. I’m more compassionate toward other struggling with finances. I had fun this week giving away items I can no longer use through the online resource, freecycle.org. I loved seeing the excitement on others’ faces as I was able to meet a few needs, and it reminded me of all the ways others have helped me. Jimmy, open yourself to seeing God’s presence in your financial struggles and he may surprise you.

  4. I still think about it. I’ve even made one attempt, and failed. It has now become another option on the list, but at the back burner. Even in thinking about it, I feel my faith in why the Universe has placed me here, and I hold steadfast to it…no matter how much it hurts to hear family members ridicule me about my situation. The pain isn’t so much about wanting to die – it’s at how much it hurts to be around others that misunderstand you, that just don’t seem to get it. Why can’t they see? Why aren’t they hearing me? And that’s what it is. Not being heard or seen by those closest to you. Now it’s become, I am seen and heard by the Unnameable, therefore it’s no longer necessary to seek approval from anyone else, even from your own blood relatives. But why? Why do I have to be around them? That’s why suicide is still a tag along – fruit from the pain of relatives.

    • Thinking About Suicide says:

      Hi Danu,
      I’m so sorry to hear that you feel insignificant around your relatives. But I want you to know that you are not insignificant to the one we can name, God. He loves you with an everlasting love and He wants to see you draw near to Him, so that one day, when it’s your turn to meet Him, you can spend eternity with Him. (But do not rush that day, as He has much to teach you in this life. Do not cut your life short or you might miss the hope He has for you, as well as a deeper relationship with Him.)

      But to get to that point, you have to develope a relationship with Him, then to trust Him through your circumstances. The best way to develope a relationship with Him, is to see who He is, the creator of the universe who absolutely loves you, accepts you, sees you. To learn more about how to start this kind of relationship with Him, go to: http://www.Godtest.com .

      But know it’s not enough to know about Him, He wants you to know Him. Please don’t treat Him as if He’s insignificant, please make an attempt to see Him. After all, you already know what that feels like to be ignored. Do not do that to the One who loves your very soul.

      Once you learn how to come into relationship with Him, you can pray to Him, and ask Him to help you carry your pain, worries, and fears. That’s what I do, and it’s gotten me through so much heartache when my child was critically injured and then into a new ‘normal.’

      And seeking Him and inviting Him to be part of my life has put me into a relationship with the creator, a relationship that’s so loving and real. I hope you can find a way to this kind of relationship with Him as well.

      We are all praying for you, and know that we see you, hear you, and care.

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