Don’t Do It! Save Your Family Heartache from Suicide

Father image by BlueKDesign

Father image by BlueKDesign

Guest Post by Pastor J.K.:

Family heartache from suicide of a loved one can go on for many years. Would you put your own children or siblings through such terrible grief?

The familiar voice of my administrative assistant greeted me on the phone. “Gary is here asking for you.” Her voice then became very soft. “He seems pretty shook-up.”

“Send him in,” I said. I got up and greeted him at my office door.

Gary cut straight to the reason for his visit.

“Preacher, you have 60-seconds to convince me not to blow my brains out.” He pulled a Saturday night special from his jacket pocket, pulled back the hammer and he placed the gun-barrel in his mouth.

I remember immediately praying and claiming James 1:5 (King James Version), “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

I needed God’s help and a miracle. I needed it now.

The words that flowed from my mouth surprised me. I said, “Gary, don’t do it. Why would you want to do this to your momma, grandma, and kids? You know how this town talks. Sure they’ll miss you, but they will be answering questions the rest of their days.”

He took the pistol out his mouth. He said, “I don’t care what people say.”

I replied, “But you love your family. Think about what your girls will be facing.”

“My girls,” he said as he again removed the pistol from his mouth. This time he slowly released the hammer and placed the weapon back in his coat pocket. He sat down in a chair at the table in my office.

“Gary, let me share with you something I’ve never told anyone in this church,” I said.

He looked up at me. The expression was both sadness and curiosity. He nodded giving me permission to continue.

“My wife’s brother killed himself while I was in seminary.”

“How?”

“He used a pistol. It was a single shot through his heart.”

“Oh,” he said. He placed his left hand over his heart.”

“My wife started crying the second she received the news. She cried for hours. She still cries for him from time to time.”

“But you were in seminary years ago …”

“It doesn’t matter. She still grieves. She has two sisters, one older and one younger. They still feel sad as well.”

“What about his parents?” Gary asked.

“Heartbroken. The real tragedy was for his children. His youngest doesn’t remember him. His oldest asks why, researches the police and autopsy records for information, and every birthday, holiday, and special occasion feels cheated by not having her daddy. Plus, he never got to see his grandchildren.”

“Grandchildren?”

“He wasn’t there for graduation or her wedding. I officiated the wedding and know how much she wished he was there.”

Gary handed me his pistol. Later that day he was admitted in a residential treatment program.

After his release he told me thank you. He never thought of the impact it would have on his current and future family including his yet to be born grandchildren.

(Names have been changed for privacy.)