Will it End? Depression from Loss of a Son

Janet suffered great anguish and depression from loss — the great loss of her teen son.

Would that feeling of despair ever leave?

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Janet Perez Eckles:

Dear God,

This wound tore my life apart. The darkness of pain is too overwhelming. When  will the torment that mocks each sleepless night end?

The murder of my son, the tragic end of his life at only 19 years old was unfair. Why did you allow this to happen? You could’ve saved him. You could’ve performed a miracle. You did so many times before when you walked on this earth.

When will   your silence end? Why didn’t you rescue my son? Was I that bad? Did I deserve that kind of punishment?

Why me, God? The loss sears. And now the man responsible for his violent death is set free. The laws are unjust, the laws are a mockery. And the  devastating injustice is eating me alive.

Although I wondered when would it all end, I didn’t sign that letter. I didn’t simply because after pouring my heart to God, a hint of hope sparked.  I remembered how Jesus was also in the same agonizing pain when He was crucified. And I also remembered the glory He knew. That’s when hope came in like a tiny shimmer of light. The more I focused on Christ, the more that  spark grew. And now I walk in that light to dispel the darkness of heartache.

When the pain is too deep, hope is real. When anguish is too profound, God’s grace is powerful. And when the future seems too dark, His love is clear.

Now,  the horizon is brighter, the heartache has turned to a scar and the anticipation for complete healing shines in me.

Filling the Void When My Son Died

By Janet Perez Eckles:

A mother’s grief knows no bounds with the loss of a child, especially to murder. Only God’s love can bring true healing and fill that terrible void.

 

Image: stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looking back at the night in that emergency room when the doctors walked in and asked, “Are you the parents of Joe Eckles?”

I jumped to my feet. “Yes, where is he? How is he? When can we take him home?”

Those questions carried my fear that something awful had happened when we received the call that he was wounded. But nothing, nothing, no amount of faith, knowledge of bible verses, of years of attending church could have prepared me to receive the doctor’s words that shook my senses.

“Your son has not survived the twenty-three stab wounds.”

Emotions? Feelings? None made sense. No mother can begin to comprehend the horror and grief that slices the heart.

Anguish jabbed at me when my son died: thoughts that I’d never be able to live carrying that pain. I’d never be able to face a world without my Joe. Weeks dragged back with sleepless nights and with days that made no sense.

And one dark afternoon, as I held his football jersey and pressed it against my chest, I realized that the void he left in my heart, my life and in our family was what ached the most.”Lord,” I cried out. “Will you fill this emptiness that sears in me?”

In the midst of my sobs, God’s voice whispered a question, one I’d heard many times before. But now it had a different message for me:

”Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Romans 8:35.

I had experienced the sword of pain. But I lifted my head, wiped one more tear, and looked up. I chose to receive Christ’s love to fill the void the love for my son had left. I embraced Christ’s love to soothe the bleeding wound in my heart. And it would be God’s love that would touch the heartache and begin the healing.

Ten years have gone by since that day when my son died. And  looking back, I think of many who want to know how to commit suicide, how to end it all, how they can go on living when the anguish feels too much to endure, I understand.

But now I also comprehend that God’s healing is found in the love He offers, in the promise He makes, and in the hope that soothes each wound.

See more articles and videos by Janet Perez Eckles HERE, including how she not only lost her son, but also faced her husband’s unfaithfulness and the loss of her sight. Janet continues to rest in God’s arms and rejoice in Him.

Thinking ‘How Do I Commit Suicide?’ But DO Want Life–Without Heartbreak?

By Janet Perez Eckles:

Are you thinking, ‘How do I commit suicide?’ simply because it’s hard for you to imagine a future without  the heartbreak you feel right now?

 

Those were thoughts Sandy had.

Her husband walked in one night and said he found the woman of his dreams. No warning before dropping that bomb in her heart. No clue he had been unhappy. No idea he could ever betray her.

“Maybe I could understand if he seemed unhappy,” she sobbed, “but he never showed any signs. How stupid I had been.”

I was there, in her shoes and shedding those same tears. Life crumbles, dreams shatter and the future seems to end.

Sandy thought about ending it. Ending her anguish and ending the heartache she couldn’t mend.  She even thought, “How Do I Commit Suicide?” Yet she really did want to live, just not in pain.

That was the real torment. Her days were dark, but she still longed to restore her marriage. She longed to live for that hope.

Sandy and I had the same situation. We both wanted to live. It was the heartache we wanted to end. But God came into her life and mine. His power that pierced through the anguish—how could you end your life, when I have the beginning of a new one? The life that shines with meaning, confidence and security.

I had dried my last tear. Gave my last sob and chose to believe.

My husband had betrayed me, but God was faithful. My husband had taken his love somewhere else. But God poured his love to soothe my wounds.

The question changed: How can one commit suicide when the healing is in God’s hands, and the future clearly etched in His plans?

I trusted, and no matter what disappointments, big or small, I will look up and repeat over and over again: I want to live because tomorrow is in His hands. I will receive the richness of His love and exchange my pain for joy. Nights will bring back sleep because He’s by my side. I will overcome because He said I could. And He will heal me because He promised He would.

Are you one who is thinking ‘How do I commit suicide’, yet deep in your broken heart simply want to live without pain?  Find out more about God, the master healer of broken hearts, at GodTest.com.

Also read more stories of hope here at our Thinking About Suicide site by clicking on our categories or using our Search box. Do you know that Janet, the author of this article, not only lost her sight, but also lost a son to murder? There truly is hope in all terrible circumstances.

How Do I find Meaning?

How do I find meaning for my life? Janet desperately wondered that when told she would never see again.

By Janet Perez Eckles:

I resented it, I really did. Words from friends and family directed to me, ones that held no meaning.  In my world, I saw no answers, solutions and no hope. I was given the sentence that I’d never be able to see for the rest of my life.

In vain, folks try to say the right thing. They wanted to help and lift my spirits.

Have you been there? You’re at your lowest and inside, negative emotions are about to explode. Words from others seem empty and meaningless.

That’s why, as I wrote this, I wondered if I would be able to make a difference in your life. My words might lack encouragement and my insights hold no meaning.  But I decided that I’d try anyway:

Please know that if you:

  • hang on one more day.
  • look to one more good thing in your life.
  • think of that person who would be destroyed if something happened to you—then my words would hold some meaning for you.

I have been where you are. And when my heart echoed that I’d never be productive again, I found meaning for life in God’s Word who said to me– yes I believed it was to me–that he promised there would be triumph after the tragedy.

I believed that promise; I embraced it as my own. Then I gave one last sob, and meaning became clear. The significance that my life—with its darkness and valleys—had a purpose.

And now…well, God fulfilled His promise because I’m writing, traveling, speaking, working. And  holding on to the white cane of faith, I take one step at a time.

He said there will be peace after pain and I found His Word to be true, for me and it will be for you.

Tomorrow will look differently if you choose to see your circumstance through God’s eyes. I did. And after hope came back, the scenery never looked more beautiful.

Janet has overcome more tragedy than facing blindness. She also had to cope with the murder of her son, yet her faith has sustained her and God has helped her through her pain. See her other posts:

How to Make it Through the Night

Overcome Shame

Depressed and Blind: Why Go On Living?

Finding Hope When You Think “I Want to End My Life”

If you are feeling desperate–wondering How do I find meaning?–you may not hear perfect words from friends or family. But you will find words of hope in The Bible, and comfort and new meaning for life through Christ.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 

(Hear these words of encouragement read to you aloud! Click  HERE, then click the microphone icon.)

Have more questions? Visit GodTest.com.

Overcome Shame

With God’s help, you can overcome feelings of shame about circumstances in your past or present.

By Janet Perez Eckles:

Image by pixatwan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Instead of your road ahead being paved reminders of past shameful circumstances, it can be paved with hope.

So what happened in your past? A friend was asked. A bit put out, she kept silent. The past was painful, the scars still raw and the reminders alive.

What is it about shame that has the power to drape a veil covering our chance for joy? At 31, blindness put me in the category of a “disabled” person. It placed me in the “not-normal” category.

And was I sad? Down? No. It was shame that marked my attitude. Shame of living my life as a person whom I didn’t want to be.

Have you been there? Suddenly you’re thrown into an identity that was never in your plans, and the road ahead was paved with taunting reminders of what was. What you had. And how much better it all used to be.

Those reminders are just part of the shame that wears various attires: Shame of what we’ve become. Shame for what we’ve done. Shame because of what we carry in the secret boxes of our heart.

We carry all and drag it into today’s circumstances. When setbacks pop up, the hidden shame darkens the view even more. Insecurities are more dramatic and tough moments turn to tragedies.

Who’s to blame? We are– for letting shame grip our heart. But when the hold is given to God, Almighty and capable He erases destructive attitudes. He exchanges shame for significance.  And ushers courage to blot out regret.

Secure in His love, we walk with firm steps, high held high and heart shining with passion. God’ works out His power. Shame is erased, false desires are removed. And longing for what we don’t have vanishes. And perhaps for the first time, sweet freedom smiles.

Being physically blind with no shame displayed radiant hope for me to see the beauty of His hand at work. I saw the details of the brush strokes as He painted a new life, rich with purpose, defined plans, and all detailed on the canvas of His grace.

How to Make it Through the Night

By Janet Perez Eckles:


Image by bulldogza / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 I tossed in bed. Those long nights, those awful nights that echoed what I lost. “If I could only make it through the night,” I thought between sobs.

But when morning light shimmered through the window, the reminder of my loss closed the drapes and to my dismay, sadness, deep sadness visited again.

Is that what people do when a child is gone? Is that what life will be from now on?

All those moments of grief plagued my days.  My family saw a Mom who dragged her feet, not walked with joy anymore. I had turned to a wife that sighed rather than laugh. And I saw myself like a discarded piece of garment in the closet of life.

But when the day came and God nudged, lifted my chin and whispered I wasn’t alone, I gave a long sigh, wiped my face, and brushed the self-pity from my heart. That was what I longed for—for company, for someone to walk with me, stay with me and give me encouragement. But the encouragement I thirst for was more than words. I wanted promises I could count on, that were solid and lasting.

And it was those promises through Jesus, which I let sink into my heart. I believed in the promise that He would provide the strength and energy to take that next step. They gave me the wisdom to know how to express my feelings and the grace to make it through the night into the next day.

Looking back, the fear I was alone in my pain was what brought added darkness to my grief. But when God’s promises danced in the sun rays coming from the window, my world changed.

The sun that shone was warm with God’s Word, His true Word that reassured He would be enough. His guarantee that He would not let me sink, let me drown in sorrow, nor stay down.

Instead, He would lift me up, and in a gentle voice, repeat what my soul hungered for—“you will never be alone.”

Fresh morning of freedom—His promises that prevailed brought down powers that pressed me down. And His constant companionship, counseled me with comfort. New confidence marked my days– joy trickled through, peace settled in, and laughter visited again.

For another article about Janet and the loss of her teen son (including a video) see Finding God in Grief When My Son Died.

Depressed and Blind: Why Go On Living?

By Janet Perez Eckles:

Why go on living? Does life have meaning anymore? Yes.

 


Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I resented it, I really did. Words from friends and family directed to me, words that held no meaning. They didn’t because in my world, I saw no answers, solutions and no hope. I was given the sentence that I’d never be able to see the rest of my life, and wondered: How do I find meaning? Why go on living?

In vain, folks try to say the right thing, they want to help and lift my spirits.

Have you been there? You’re at your lowest and inside, negative emotions are about to explode. Words from others seem empty and meaningless.

That’s why, as I wrote this, I wondered if I would be able to make a difference in your life. My words might lack encouragement and my insights hold no meaning for you.

But I decided that I’d try anyway. And let you know that if you hang on one more day, look to one more good thing in your life, think of that person who would be destroyed if something happened to you—then my words may hold some meaning for you.

I’ve been where you are. And when my heart echoed that I’d never be productive again due to my blindness, I found meaning for life in God’s Word. He repeated His promise that there will be triumph after the tragedy.

I believed that promise; I embraced it as my own. Then I gave one last sob and meaning became clear. The significance that my life—with its darkness and valleys—had a purpose.

And now…well, God fulfilled His promise because I’m writing, traveling, speaking, working. And  holding on to the white cane of faith, I take one step at a time.

He said there will be peace after pain. I found His Word to be true, for me and it will be for you.

Tomorrow will look differently, if you choose to see your circumstance through God’s eyes. I did. And after hope came back, the scenery never looked more beautiful.

See Janet Perez Eckles, originally from Bolivia, in this TV interview describing her hardships and how she overcame them.

From about 5:00 to 17:00 in the video is Janet’s description of how she devastated she was when became blind and nearly lost her husband as well. Yet her life was changed, with God’s help.

Why go on living? Because God is with you, and He has a purpose for your life.

Do you know that Janet also suffered the grief of having her teen son killed? Is it possible to bear this much grief? See her article at Finding God Daily: Finding God in Grief When My Son Died and also her story  Forgiveness Brings Peace, at the Christian Record. You can also videos of Janet’s testimonies in SPANISH (Español)  HERE.

Janet Perez’ testimony, in Spanish: Te invito a escuchar una porción de mi testimonio:

Finding Hope When You Think “I Want to End My Life”

By Janet Perez Eckles:

When someone says, “I want to end my life,” how do you help her?

 

I swallowed hard. Her despair was evident. The sudden death of her son had been all over the news. And the fact she reached out to me put me on my knees for wisdom.

“How do you live,” she paused, then exhaled a long breath. “I mean, how do you go on with life after this pain?”

Her distress was so familiar to me. I had lost my own son just months prior. The perpetrator who had murdered my son was set free. At first, sorrow and rage had threatened to consume me.

I met with her to offer what help I could, and hugged her. “I know. I know your heartache.” I said. Gulping the lump in my throat, I handed her a tissue. “The only one who helped me was Jesus. In fact, He’s the only one who helps me now. . . moment by moment.”

“Don’t know,” she said between sobs. “Sometimes I want to end my life, but don’t know how.”

I suppressed a gasp. Ending her life would begin a life of sorrow and anguish for her other children, her family and loved ones. Her grief had blinded her from seeing the purpose, the value and treasure she was in God’s eyes.

Since I had seen first-hand the other side of heartache, I knew thoughts like “I want to end my life” were never the answer. In fact, nothing seems to be the answer, to be enough or sufficient. But God says in the Bible, when we’re weak with pain:

My grace is sufficient for you…” 2 Corinthians 12:9.

“Think of your other children,” I said. I detailed my journey of how I believed In God’s promise. To let go. To release that pain and anguish directly to Him.

I assured her that God understands when we’re angry, when we’re mad at Him, even when we question His Word. Still, He’s still faithful. He’s still loving and He’s still powerful enough to heal that heartache.  And if you exchange your thoughts of I want to end my life” for “I want to begin with Jesus,” it will open the door to a new start, a new perspective, and a desire to receive the peace only He can give.

Here’s a video which I hope offers you additional encouragement:

 

Blindness and Thoughts of Suicide

By Janet Perez Eckles

He turns your thoughts of suicide to a song.

“I hate my life,” I cried out to God.“ I sobbed. “I don’t deserve to be blind. Why me?”

My clamors to God filled my sleepless nights. I was only 31; my sons at the time were 3, 5 and 7. They needed me and I needed someone to help me deal with my intense fear and anguish.

Doctors didn’t have a cure, treatments didn’t work, and even those painful acupuncture needles around my eyes didn’t help. I was desperate and would tried anything so I could to regain my eyesight.

“Are you okay, honey?” my mom asked.

“I’m fine,” I lied. The retinal disease I inherited from my father wasn’t anyone’s fault. But accepting my blindness was beyond me.

Some have thoughts of suicide, others turn angry and I was sinking in self-pity.

Then a friend invited me to her Christian church. I heaved a long sigh of hope. And thought I’d try to see if that secret miracle I longed for would be waiting for me there. But sadly, there was no miracle, no healing. But one day, unexpectedly, like a warm injection to my soul, a verse filled me:

 “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33.

I committed to make Him first. Regaining my sight came second. I drew closer to Him, and farther from my pain. My despair subsided. I believed in that promise. I put aside my anguish and invited His strength.

Eventually, step by step he changed those thoughts of suicide I could’ve had to a song as you can see in the YouTube video below:

My new song plays a melody of hope, a marked beat of His reassurance and, a symphony   of joy for my soul.