My Son Was Suicidal

By S. Osborn:

If you feel overwhelmed and suicidal, consider how taking your life would hurt people who love you. Instead, communicate with them.

 

PrayingBecause my son was suicidal at one point when he was in high school, my heart goes out to other mothers who have experienced a suicidal teen. Fortunately my story has a happy ending, so I hope those who experience suicidal thoughts will read this story, see the effect that act would have on those left behind, and will reconsider.

I watched my eldest son race down the stairs, shoving his younger brother out of the way. He had a wild look in his eyes that scared me. I had never seen him behave like that before. As he brushed past me on the way to the front door, I saw a buck knife in his hand. By the time I reached the door, he had jumped in my car and was driving away.

My other son and I stared at each other for a moment, then he turned and walked slowly back up the stairs. Moments later, he cried, “Mom, you’d better come look at this.”

I ran up the stairs and grabbed the paper he held out to me. It read, “I can’t go on any longer. Please forgive me.”

Sinking down on my eldest son’s bed, I began to cry, with my other boy’s arms around me.

“I had no idea he was depressed. Did you?”

“No, Mom. I know his girlfriend broke up with him, but that’s happened before.”

I added, “And you made the varsity water polo team, and he didn’t. That had to be hard for him.” He was the only one on varsity. His older brother was still playing on junior varsity.

We joined hands and prayed, “Lord, please bring him safely home to us.” Throughout the next few hours, I prayed that prayer over and over. I felt so stressed I couldn’t get beyond that one sentence.

My husband was on a business trip, so I called the hotel where he said he was staying. The clerk said no one was registered by that name. We were struggling in our marriage, so I wasn’t surprised my husband wasn’t where he said he would be. The tension in our home had been hard on the boys, too. I realized that, but didn’t know what to do about it.

I sat at my dining room table, praying and staring off into space. Finally, about four in the morning, the front door opened, and in walked my firstborn, head down, knife at his side.

He put the knife on the table and said, “I couldn’t do it, Mom. I couldn’t take my own life. God wouldn’t let me.”

I stood up and wrapped my arms around him. I silently prayed, Thank you, Lord.

My husband and I divorced shortly thereafter. I never did figure out where he was that terrible night, but somehow my son had found out his father was cheating on me. So for over a year he carried around that burden, as well as the problems he had at school.

We talked for several hours that scary morning, and it helped us both to realize how important communication is in a family. After that, when my son was struggling with an issue, he would come to me and we would talk. Today, 28 years later, we still share that closeness.

My prayer is that if you are struggling with issues and feeling suicidal that you will find someone to talk to, perhaps a family member, a friend, a teacher, or a pastor. Or you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

You can also dial the following National Suicide Prevention Hotline numbers operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services:

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

1-888-SUICIDE (1-888-784-2433)

1-877-SUICIDA (1-877-784-2432) (Spanish).

This story was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

 

Comfort for Grieving Counselors and Parents: You Came!

By Jeenie Gordon:

It is devastating for a high school counselor to lose a student to suicide, as it is for that teen’s parents. Thankfully God offers comfort for grieving counselors and parents.

 

Stock photo with teen model, by anitapatterson.

Joe was an extremely emotionally troubled student, who often came to my high school counseling office.  He quietly waited until I was available.  Over several years we spent many hours together as he poured out his heart. I listened.

When a week went by and I hadn’t seen him, I called his home to check on him. I was told he had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital ward.

Within two weeks, he was released and was again sitting outside my office. I looked into his vacant eyes. Having counseled three years in a psychiatric hospital, I immediately recognized the look of a very disturbed teenager. Why in the world did they release him? I thought. It is obvious this young man needs long-term psychiatric treatment.

“Hi, Joe. It’s good to see you. I’ve missed you,” I softly said. This time our talk was disjointed. Joe was in no shape to deal with reality nor capable of receiving encouragement. His mind was apparently in mass confusion. I felt at a loss as to how to help him

Two days later my secretary said, “Joe’s mother is on the phone and said it’s urgent.” Sadly, Joe had taken his life.

Tears streamed down my face as I related the news to my secretary, then headed to the principal’s office. He hugged and consoled me when I needed it so badly.

My mind screamed, What could I have said to stop him? What did I do wrong? O God, why, why?

That afternoon I drove to his parents’ home, a simple humble abode that was clean as a whistle. It reminded me of my home growing up.

“Oh, Mrs. Gordon, you came. You came!” Over and over Joe’s mother cried as I held her in my arms, our tears mingling.

A few days later, I felt the intense presence of God and His sweet Holy Spirit comforting me as I sat at the funeral mass. Even though it was in Spanish, my heart was in tune. As the casket was carried down the aisle following the service, the congregation broke out in praise songs to Jesus – a cappella. Without a doubt, I had the assurance Joe’s mind was no longer clouded, and he was finally set free.

This time, Jesus came.

For families of suicide victims, sorrow and emotional pain is beyond description. It leaves a destructive mark on those left. Suicide is never an acceptable path for the current pain of the person contemplating a way out.

For those left, the questions are enormous – ones which have no logical answers. Self-blame is common. Seeking out a professional counselor, speaking to a pastor, confiding in close family and friends, and possibly temporary medication can be helpful.

This excerpt was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors, and used by permission from New Hope Publishers. ©Jeenie Gordon with Susan Titus Osborn and Karen L. Kosman. (See:  Our Team.)

Hope for Teens Thinking About Suicide

Maggie was one of many teens thinking about suicide.  She was tired of living with her depression and believed she could never get better.  But she was wrong.  She says, “Know that help is available and help works.”

Watch as she tells her story and how a white ribbon assignment from her therapist helped her find peace and hope.  Maggie points out, “Some people might battle depression forever, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live a mostly happy life.”

If you are a teen thinking about suicide, take Maggie’s advice and reach out by calling the suicide hotline below:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 273-8255

Or download a free suicide prevention iPhone App today, ASK !

Search under suicide prevention in App Store to get the ASK! about suicide App to save a life with warning signs, how to ask and hotlines.

Why Should I Live?

Feeling sad, like there’s no hope for your life or future and you’re even  wondering, “Why should I live?”

One teen, Cassie, felt that way too.  Her mother had already committed suicide and Cassie herself was addicted to drugs.

Cassie has put on her frownie face, and wants to tell you  her story in the video below, which you may have to click through to YouTube to watch.  But when you’re done, please return because there’s another video you’ll want you to see in response to what Cassie shared.

 

Cassie is  not the only teen who wondered why should I live?  So did Tatum who responded with a video of her own:
If you are wondering if God really loves you or how to reach out to  God, please take our test, click HERE.
If you need to talk to someone about why you should live, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

 

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you.
To see more scriptures on encouragement, click HERE.

The Effect Suicide Has On Loved Ones

By Susan Titus Osborn:

Rosen Georgiev / FreeDigitalPhotos.netIf you are depressed and considering taking your own life, please stop for a moment and think of the effect suicide has on loved ones, your loved ones, who are left behind.

The following poem, To Our Sister by Gary Sumner, sums up the feelings of a brother and the effect his sister’s suicide had on him.

We hate that thing you did.

It did not solve one thing.

We doubt you thought it through.

How could you plan such pain?

 

Your life was not just yours—

A part of it was ours.

The ones you left behind

Cruel emptiness now know.

 

We’d plans and hopes and dreams

Of times with you, dear one.

Events need not be grand—

Your presence was enough.

 

A future filled with joy

And days of happiness,

With loved ones all around

Were always wished for you.

 

Now do you hear the tears,

That come to us unbidden?

We ache to think of such

A future swept away.

 

This poem was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

If you are depressed and contemplating suicide, there aren’t number of resources available as near as your telephone. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

You can also dial the following National Suicide Prevention Hotline numbers operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services:

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

1-888-SUICIDE (1-888-784-2433)

1-877-SUICIDA (1-877-784-2432) (Spanish).

Here’s a video that takes a look at the heartbreaking effect suicide has on loved ones.

 

Susan Titus Osborn is the director of the Christian Communicator Manuscript Critique Service. She has authored 30 books, her latest being Wounded by Words and Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors, co-authored by Jeenie Gordon and Karen Kosman. Books may be ordered from New Hope Publishers.

 

 

FreeStyle Rapper Raps to Combat Teenage Suicides

By Linda Evans Shepherd

Believin Stephen raps to combat teen suicides

Freestyle rapper Believin Stephen has taken his fight to combat teenage suicides to rap as he explains on one of his YouTube pages, “Suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 Americans every year. An average of one person dies by suicide every 16.2 minutes. On top of that, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-old Americans!”

Stephen has become one of the few rappers to talk about this topic, deciding to tell his own story of his struggles as a young teen with suicidal thoughts in his single ‘Suicide’ from his album “The Suffering Servant” which he created with musicians and rappers Japhia Life and Leah Smith.

In this rap, this musical trio take  a sympathetic look at those who wrestle with feeling of worthlessness and suicide. In addition to that, Japhia Life passionately delivers his sorrow and regret at seeing one of his best childhood friends take his own life. Japhia raps his wish that his friend had lived so that he would have found the better tomorrow that Japhia himself has found.

To watch these musicians rap to combat teenage suicides (suicide video) check out:

To see Stephen’s thoughts behind this album, watch:

To see more about Stephen, go to check out his Blog Spot. http://www.believinstephen.blogspot.com/

In regards to teenage suicides, if you are suicidal know that God hears your cries.  Please don’t act on your impulse to die, because the enemy (Satan) wants the sacrifice of your very life to stop you from fulfilling all the wonderful plans God has for you.  You will never realize the hope of your future if you don’t hold on.  Call out to God and he will give you strength.

“Help me God, give me the strength to live!  I put my trust in Jesus – to forgive my sins, and to live as you, Lord, give me hope and a future.”