Copycat Suicide

By N.J. Lindquist:

Please don’t allow the suicide of someone you admire or care about to lead you to choose a copycat suicide.

 

Image from Wikipedia of Mindy McCready

Image from Wikipedia

When I read last week about the death of country singer, Mindy McCready, I can’t say I was surprised. I knew that her current boyfriend (the father of her 10-month-old son) had died only a few weeks earlier, and that his death was being looked on as a probable suicide. I have to admit that when I first heard of his death, I had a feeling in my gut that hers would be next.

As a fan of country music, I’ve long been aware of Mindy, and really enjoyed some of her songs, especially “Guys Do It All the Time.” But I was also aware of the roller-coaster life she’s led, including her upbringing and connection to a Pentecostal church; her graduation from high school at age 16; her move to Nashville to pursue her dream; and her relationship with married baseball pitcher, Roger Clemons (when she was 18 and possibly younger).

I was also aware of her parents’ divorces and remarriages; her various relationships with men; her two children, her battle with addictions and her earlier attempts at suicide. It almost seemed as if an early death would be the inevitable conclusion.

I feel so sorry for Mindy and her family, and in particular for her two young sons. But my greatest concern is that no one else will copy what she did.

I remember years ago meeting with a teenager I’ll call Debbie who had been cutting herself regularly for a long time, but had recently made several attempts to commit suicide. As we talked about Debbie’s life and her frustrations, she began to cry and whispered the name of a male singer who had recently died from what was being called suicide. Apparently Debbie was a huge fan, to that point that she idolized him, and she was feeling the need to follow him, even in this.

The fact that Debbie’s attempts at suicide hadn’t been successful told me that she probably didn’t really want to kill herself. But that doesn’t mean she couldn’t have succeeded. She was fortunate that her mother had been in the house each time and found her before it was too late.

As I believe was the case with Mindy, there were things in Debbie’s past that made her hate herself and her life—things that were at the root of the cutting and the spiral her life was in—things she couldn’t just push into a dark corner of her mind and ignore. But at this point, the impetus for her suicide attempts wasn’t as much about her personal issues as it was about the very real fact that her idol had done it.

The idea of killing yourself may not come from a celebrity; it might be because a partner or friend does it, as in Mindy’s case; or a family member.

If you’re thinking about committing suicide because someone else has done it, consider this: Your life is too important to become a footnote to someone else’s life.

What you can do:

  • Don’t keep your dark thoughts to yourself. Find someone you can talk to about how you’re feeling and why you feel a strong connection to the person who has died.
  • Look for positive things you could do to help the person’s family and friends deal with the pain suicide leaves behind.
  • Make a list of things you could do to help preserve the memory of the person who has committed suicide so that others will remember the good times and not just focus on the circumstances of the death.
  • If you continue having suicidal thoughts, see a doctor or a counselor and tell them exactly what is troubling you.

 

Hope When Marriage Separation Made Me Think: I Want to Die

By Linda W. Rooks:

Hope for those who feel suicidal after a marriage separation.

When my marriage fell apart, I felt like an old shoe thrown in the trash, unwanted by the person who was supposed to love me the most.  The man who chose me as his wife no longer wanted me.

Often I sat before the TV and saw sad stories of someone dying of cancer or someone who’d been killed in a car crash whose loved ones were in mourning.   Why couldn’t that be me?  I’d think.  They want to live, and I want to die. They’re dying and I’m alive. It doesn’t seem fair.  My marriage separation was just too painful.

And then I’d cry out, “God, why don’t you just let me die?”

I felt like part of the living dead.  My depression was so deep and the pain was so real, I felt like I was being ripped in two.

A few weeks into our separation, the typically unassertive woman who cut my hair, heard my story and challenged me with great passion not to let my husband get the best of me.  “Focus on God,” she said.  “Think about what God wants you to do, and think about your kids and what’s best for them.”

After our conversation, her words rang in my ears for the next few days. As I focused on what she’d said, I experienced a supernatural peace.  I felt somehow suspended above the circumstances of my marriage separation for a time.  And I began to take steps to get beyond my depression.

I typed scriptures and hung them up around the house—on my mirror, on my refrigerator, on the walls—so that everywhere I looked, God’s Word could encourage me.  I turned on my radio or TV and listened to Christian teachers as often as possible.  Throughout the day I listened to praise songs to lift me up emotionally.  I did everything I could to fill my mind with positive thoughts about God. These things helped me get through each day of my marriage separation until I finally began to experience God’s peace on a more regular basis.

My husband and I were separated for three years.  After God did His work in our lives, we reconciled and got back together.

It was a painful time, but today we have a strong, happy marriage, and I’m so thankful God didn’t grant my desperate cry when I told him that because of my marriage separation, “I want to die”.  Now I have experienced the truth of Psalm 30:5:

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

While the length of your anguish might not last for a literal night and day, your pain will come to an end in God’s timing when you place it in God’s hands and allow Him to work in your life.

I’m so thankful God didn’t grant my desperate cry when I told him I wanted to die in the midst of those difficult three years. If you are suffering through a marriage separation, I invite you to visit my website at brokenheartonhold.com.  There you can find scriptures to download and suggested praise music to salve your spirit, along with many other helps.

Finding Hope After Thinking About Suicide

by Liz Cowen Furman

I had lost all hope.

I was laying on my bed in a fetal position; my tears spent. I felt things could never get better because of all the lies being told about me, and those I loved believed them.  Worse still, this was a problem I’d helped create. I was desperately depressed and I felt guilty, angry and SAD.

I found myself thinking about suicide. That would show them, I thought.

I contemplated ways I could die, but each idea met with the fear that my attempt would backfire, leaving me maimed, ill, or paralyzed.  Paralyzed?

I couldn’t think of any other options. I stared into space, breathing shallow. My mind was fuzzy, befuddled, but in a desperate last effort I whispered to GOD.

Please GOD, What is the point here? I can’t face this. I can’t do this anymore. Bring me home. I love you, I need you, I’ve blown it so badly You might not want me anymore, but I am asking You to come near to me and help me. Please don’t leave me here alone. I don’t want to be alone. I am not brave enough to commit suicide. No one on earth cares about me any more. Can’t I just come home now?”

As I lay there wishing for Him to let me die, the oddest thing happened. A scripture I hadn’t thought of in years began running through my head; Joshua 1:5:

 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Then came Isaiah 43:1-4

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; 
I have summoned you by name; you are mine…

In that moment, I had the oddest sensation that I was being cradled in someone’s lap. I began to think, I am NOT thinking about suicide anymore. I will not let them win. I will just hold my head up and teach them that I am not that easily killed. I had no idea where the new courage came from. I still dreaded facing what was ahead, but a glimmer of hope began to burn and where there is hope, there is a way.

And now 26 years later, I am so thankful GOD didn’t grant my request to die.

If you are thinking about suicide, and you don’t go through with it, I suspect in a few years, months, or even days, you’ll be grateful to be alive too.

If you are thinking about suicide check out this video of a great song that JESUS often calls to my mind at the very moment I need it most.

 In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.  Psalm 18:6.