Review: How to Survive Your Child’s Suicide

Review by Martha Bolton

REVIEW: How to Survive Your Child’s Suicide:  Steps to Heal the Hurt is available as a Kindle book, click HERE.

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As a mother who experienced the grief of her son’s suicide, Louisa Lanford shares her heart, her hurt, and her journey toward healing in her new ebook, How to Survive Your Child’s Suicide (Right to the Heart Publishers, 2013). In this moving account of her own experience,  Louisa Lanford provides hope for other hurting parents.

Healing is often found in forgiveness, but real forgiveness comes after first looking at the truth of a situation and then opting to forgive.  Louisa had a lot of truths to consider.  Her hurting son had chosen a path that may have, in his mind, ended his pain, but that unfortunate decision opened a world of hurt for those who loved him.  She needed to forgive her son.  Louisa found that she also needed to forgive her daughter-in-law who may or may not have inadvertently suggested that “he go ahead and do it.”  She needed to forgive her because if her daughter-in-law had said that, she would be dealing with unbelievable pain and guilt.  If she hadn’t said that, then she would be suffering from the pain of being misjudged.  And finally, Louisa needed to forgive herself and others around her son who sadly missed important signs of his escalating suicidal thoughts.

Needless to say, the path to forgiveness wasn’t an easy one for Louisa.

But she was determined that her son’s story wouldn’t end at his death. This author of How to Survive Your Child’s Suicide has taken her family’s painful tragedy and turned it around to help others on their own journey through grief, guilt and forgiveness.  She also wanted to send a wake up call to all of us to be keenly aware of the very real need to intervene when someone is so desperately hurting.

If you or someone you know has lost a loved one to suicide, or if you or someone you know is presently in the jaws of despair, this book will encourage you to do more than sit on the sidelines.

Or if you are the one who’s depressed, don’t sit on the sidelines of your own life.  Reach out and ask for help.  Call a pastor, friend,  or counselor, but let someone know how desperately you’re hurting.  You can get through these moments of despair.  Listen to the reasonable, caring voices in your life that don’t negate your past hurts or remind you of wrong choices you may have made in the past.  They won’t bully you into believing untruths about yourself.  Instead, they will encourage you to look beyond yesterday and today, and see your future.

To download the ebook, how to survive your child’s suicide, click HERE.

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.

Why Am I Here?

By Martha Bolton:

Do you have days when you wonder, “Why am I here?”

 

Why by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos net

Do you ever wonder why? Why are you reading this right now? Why did that person say an encouraging word to you today? Or send you a card, or smile at you as you passed them on the street?

Why did you decide to remember the people who love you? Why did you pick up that phone and start to call a friend?

There’s a reason. There’s a reason you’re reading this. There’s a reason someone reached out to you, or is praying for you right now. You may not even know their name, but there’s a reason God put your name on their heart.

So why? What is the reason?

To remind you that whatever you’re going through, you’re going to make it.  It may not seem like it right now, but there is hope. There is a lifeline–all you have to do is reach for it.

Talk to anyone you know and ask them this one question: “What was the darkest moment of your life?”

I guarantee you they can tell you. They can tell you in great detail, I’m sure, because most people have been there, right where you are right now. They, too, have been blindsided by some unforeseen pain, devastated by an unwanted loss, bullied by heartless people who may or may not realize the damage their hurtful words and actions have caused. But they survived it all. And you can too.

There are many lifelines that you can reach for. Talk to a parent, friend, pastor, get professional counseling, read books filled with life-changing advice and encouragement, read the Bible, and pray. But be pro-active in your recovery.

There’s a reason you’re reading this right now. It’s not an accident. The world needs to benefit from the gifts that you have been given. It needs to learn from the experiences you’ve had. And someone out there needs YOU to keep going until you find hope again, and then have you share it with them.

See more helpful articles by Martha Bolton here at Thinking About Suicide to offer you hope and encouragement.

Depression in Parenting an Autistic Child

By Rhonda Leverett:

In my depression in parenting an autistic child, I began thinking about suicide.

 

Then I found hope.

 

Stock photo by David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Stock photo by David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In 1988, my youngest child, Caleb, was diagnosed with autism. I had no idea what autism was, but it looked like this: blank stares; fear of unfamiliar people and surroundings; books, crayons, shoes, and other items stacked in odd-shaped mountains from corner to corner of our house. It sounded like high-pitched squeals, crying, or silence.

I was exhausted, and consumed by fear of the unknown.

My marriage soon soured as well. Too overwhelmed to engage, I could think of nothing so extraneous as my adult relationship. This was survival mode, dysfunction at its finest.

Still, I prayed. The weakest prayers known to womankind maybe, but I knew God loved us, and I prayed.

Fast forward seven years, no marriage counseling, and many autism therapies later—Caleb was not better, but dramatically worse. Everything was worse.

My daughter and her stepfather fought constantly. She, fourteen, and my oldest son, Cliff, eleven, had become my assistants in curtailing Caleb’s now dangerous behaviors—and in cleaning up messes like broken eggs, broken glass, and smashed food. The understanding that they had not experienced childhood themselves bore heavy on me day and night, but I had no alternative to offer.

My daughter announced she intended to live with my parents, and ran away to prove it. Her grandparents supported her desire, due to my unwillingness to leave my husband. There had been separations, but I always came home because it seemed impossible to find anyone willing to take us in due to the challenges of autism.

Determined to escape what had become an intolerable situation, I called a shelter for help. Although hauntingly destructive, emotional trauma was not shelter criteria.

I moved into my daughter’s room and shut out the world, even my boys. I watched the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” every night, all night, for three weeks, and slept during daylight hours.

Thinking About Suicide

I had drawn the conclusion that life was not worth living.

One bleak afternoon, I sunk down on the bathroom floor and contemplated taking my life, even considering a suicide plan.

I heard Caleb then…but in reality, the house was silent. My husband had taken the boys somewhere. Nevertheless, I heard my son in my heart. He cooed as when he was a baby. I saw him reaching for me. My suffocated mind received the oxygen needed to remember this Truth—my life had purpose.

My children needed me. I remembered this just in time.

I stood up, put everything away, and washed my face.

I would live, because I am a mother—and because I am a daughter, God’s own daughter. I live because I was rescued by Jesus Christ long ago, on a cross.

He died to save you, too. If you cry out to Him, He will meet you wherever you are.

He will remind you of your purpose, and that you are loved.

If you turn to Him, He will save your life.

Read an update by Rhonda Leverett about her son (now-grown) and her own joyful life at rhondaleverett.com. 

One Christian resource for parents of autistic children is Autism’s Hidden Blessings, by Kelly Langston. You can read an excerpt at kellylangston.com.

Moms of special needs children may be encouraged by this video from Kelly Langston:

Refocus Thoughts When Thinking About Suicide

By PeggySue Wells:

When unhealthy thoughts persist, including thinking about suicide, refocusing can help.

 

U.S. Navy Seawolf Submarine, Thinking About Suicide

When a friend’s thoughts dive deep into wrong places,  including thinking about suicide, can you help them periscope up and refocus? Wisdom from the Bible helps.

 

Mary’s husband was the captain of a nuclear submarine. Deployed, the sub would be under the water for six months at a stretch. Their only communication was an occasional message he could receive via transmission when the ship surfaced.

Much like current Twitter counts, the captain’s wife was allowed a limited number of characters for the brief one-way communication she could send.

While Mary carefully considered how to spend each character, this particular opportunity weighed heavy on her heart. During her morning quiet time, she prayed that God would guide as she constructed her communication. Then she wrote:

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7a KJV).

Months later the ship docked and the couple were reunited. Adding her husband’s clothes to the laundry, she discovered a worn and tired slip of paper in a pocket. It was the verse she had wired those months ago.

“I kept it with me for a long time,” he explained. “I had made a decision I was not feeling good about. The more I thought on it, and mentally beat myself up, the more depressed I got. Daily, those words reminded me to choose different thought patterns.”

Do you have someone in your life that seems to focus conversation toward the negative? Is the trail leading them to thinking about suicide? Here are some tips:

1)   De-escalate. Move the conversation to be more about something they want to work on, or improve. Help them find and list the positives in their life.

2)    Give tangible suggestions and encourage your friend to try them. For example, how about journaling, writing out scripture, and volunteering in the community.

3)    Help them focus on one thing, rather than grouping all the problems into an overwhelming tsunami. What is the one aspect that is the most concerning?

4)    How can your friend help others in a similar situation?

The truth is that life looks plenty dark under the shadow of regret, sorrow, grief, and an overpowering number of problems. It is also true that God is greater than our griefs and cares.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Like Mary did for her husband, we can help those who are struggling to channel their thoughts in a healthy direction.

PeggySue Wells is an author books helpful to those who are struggling, including What To Do When You Don’t Want to Go to Church, What to Do When You’re Scared to Death, and Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After.

Look Here For Hope

help me God, suicide, the suicidal, help, facts, prevention, your problems, survivor’s guilt, survivor stories, and the loss of a loved one — as well as info for anyone thinking about suicide, suicde.Welcome to our search engine which includes helps, statistics, and hope concerning suicide and the suicidal. You will find facts, survivor stories, suicide prevention tips as well as answers to your survivor’s guilt after the loss of a loved one. You will also find helps and info if you are thinking about suicide.

Be sure to use our powerful search tool at the upper right hand  corner of this page to search our many topics and resources.  You can also check out our arcticle categories on the upper, white tool bar or on the lower right side of this page.  You can also scroll down to see a sampling or our articles.

If you are contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). We will try to answer comments, but if you need a timely response, please call the phone number above.  (Also, see our disclaimer.)

How to Stop Cyberbullying

 How can parents help stop cyberbullying before it starts? If you’re a teen, how can you prevent this dangerous virus from spreading?

 

 

Cyberbullying is like a virus that spreads from one person to another though comments, photos or videos texted on a cell phone, or by hurtful messages entered into a social media outlet. This virus needs a cure because as it spreads from host to victim – it causes not only depression, but can lead to suicide. You can help stop cyberbullying!

I’ve listed a few cures for this deadly virus below.

Parents Can Stop Cyberbullying:

 

If you’re a parent, talk to your kids about the dangers of cyberbullying others because there’s a 50 percent chance that your child has participated. I know this may be hard to believe, but even sweet, wonderful kids have been known to cyberbully, especially when they are caught up in peer pressure. So even if you think your kids don’t participate in cyberbullying, talk to them. Let them know that cyberbullying is wrong and that it can cause permanent harm or death to the one being bullied.  Discuss Psalms 19:14:

 May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and and redeemer.

One concerned youth group in Oklahoma took this message to heart and created thumb bands to wear that read WWJTXT?  (What would Jesus text?)  Consider getting one of these thumb bands for your child, his class, or youth group. For more information on these bands, go to:  wwjtxt.com

Another thing to discuss is that bullies can reap more than a few penalties. For example, criminal charges can incur, phone companies can void phone contracts, online privileges can be terminated by providers, and worse yet, if sexting is involved, your child can be permanently labeled as a sex offender.

Consider getting your child or youth group a graphic help, to make them think before they post something that might hurt others.

Pray: 

Dear Lord, show me the truth in this matter when it comes to my kids, break any lies off of them, whether they are bullying or whether they are being bullied, in the power and authority of the name and the blood of Jesus.  Protect my child and grant them peace, grace and favor, in Jesus’s name.

Also, when you talk to your child, find out if your child is being bullied because there’s also a 50 percent chance this has or could happen. Read  the recommendations below so you’ll know what to do if you find out this is happening to your child.

Pray:

Dear Lord, please don’t let evil words or images stick to my child and become their identity.  In fact, I cancel any of these lies, the cyberbullying, as well as depression, or spirit of suicide, off my child in the power and authority of the name and blood of Jesus.  Lord, I ask that you replace these things, with your love, joy, peace and favor, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

How Those Who Participate in  Cyberbullying can Stop:

A lot of children are involved in cyberbullying because of (1.) peer pressure or (2.) because they don’t realize the harm they are doing.  But then again, maybe they need a few ideas on how to stop:

  1. If you write a mean message, don’t hit send.
  2. Better yet, don’t write the mean message to start with.
  3. Don’t spread the cyberbullying virus by participating in a bully attack, even if all  of your best friends are involved.
  4. Ask God to give you guidance on how to avoid these situations and to give you a way out.
  5. Memorize Psalm Psalms 19:14, see above.
  6. Get the wwjtxt? thumb band to remind you to be careful what you text or post.
  7. Pray this:

Dear Lord, Forgive me for being mean. I now block and cancel the hate, harm, and lies that I have spread in the power and authority of the name and the blood of Jesus.  I block and cancel the fear as well as any retaliation I may get for taking this stand to stop.  Please give me your strength to stand strong, Lord.  In Jesus name, Amen.

 

If you are being bullied, please refer to our article about what to do: Click HERE.

Watch this great video as a serious example of the virus Cyber Bullying and it’s disease-like effect below:

Max Lucado Shares Words of Hope to Depressed and Suicidal

Max Lucado Shares Words of Hope with Readers of Thinking About Suicide

Max Lucado shares words of hope to depressed and suicidal

When I told pastor and bestselling author, Max Lucado about our website, Thinking About Suicide, I asked him if had any words of hope to the depressed and suicidal.  He replied, “The message of grace is so important for those who are in tough times because it takes the burden off of the person and places the burden on God. Grace says that salvation and strength is God based, God given, God driven. Every other religion and philosophy in the world says that it’s up to us to get God’s attention or to win God’s favor—but grace says, ‘No! You already have God’s attention. You already have God’s favor.’

“Those who are passing thought times of despair feel as though they can relate to the orphan because they feel like nobody really cares. But the theme of grace is that God does not just pat us on the back, he gives us a place at his table. He gives us his name, he brings us into his family because he has adopted us. His act of adopting us once and for all declares–I must be worth something. I must have hope and a future.”

I asked, “How can we learn to trust that God’s grace is for us?”

Max Lucado's Grace, More than we Deserve Greater than we Imagine, Due out September 2012, Thomas Nelson

Max replied, “First of all, we have to understand, Linda, what grace means and how it’s articulated in the Bible. We have to wrestle with this whole economy that we are sinners, we need a savior, and that we have one in Jesus Christ who is sufficient to cover our eternal needs.”

“Then, what’s the best way a person can experience God’s grace in their everyday life?”

“I think that one of the underutilized disciplines of faith is confession. After 30 years as a pastor, I believe most people carry around unresolved guilt; a regret, a stumble, a failure—and they’ve never talked to God about it. Satan uses this guilt, Linda, because the commodity of Satan is condemnation. Satan wakes up every day wanting to figure out a way to make us feel guilty. The Bible calls him the accuser and his goal is to condemn us and to create within us a feeling of condemnation.”

“So what’s the solution, Max?”

“If we could learn to quickly confess, ‘Lord, I’m sorry for what I did. I accept your grace,’ then we would live in a state of confession, not in a state of guilt.  To live in a state of receiving this forgiveness of God, all you have to say is, ‘Lord, I’m sorry, please forgive me.’ “Then, confess specifically what you did; ‘I looked at a woman in the wrong way, I spoke out of turn.’”

Max explained, “On the days I really apply this, I find myself practicing dozens of confessions of hour. But it’s not a sense in which I’m just beating myself up, it’s a nonstop conversation that takes place in the back of my mind, between God and me and it’s so liberating!

“Then there’s the issue of these deep seated bad choices,” Max continued, “choices that we made years ago that have never been dealt with.  Many people need to go back and have a good talk to God about that. About the night or the time in the back seat of a car, or with the drugs or the abortion. Some of these major issues that we’ve never really let God forgive.”

It’s time to receive God’s forgiveness.  Watch Max tell an illustrated story about how to let God forgive as he shares words of hope to the depressed and suicidal:

You may also be interested in Max’s books, including the one that led to my interview with him;  Grace, More than we Deserve    Greater than we Imagine, coming September, 2012.

I Am Getting Bullied

Perhaps you’ve one of thousands of people who  typed, “I am getting bullied’ into your search engine these last 30 days because you’re tired of the name calling, the abuse, and you don’t think you can take it another day.  I understand how you feel,  and I want you to know there is hope for those who are being bullied.
First of all, not everyone hates you.  I don’t hate you (which is why I wrote you this note) and neither does God hate you, plus there are many people in your life who really do care about you.  Secondly, those names you’ve been called do not belong to you.  For instance, if I took a sticky note and stuck the word  ‘CAT’ onto a dog’s forehead –would that word turn the dog into a cat?  Of course not. 
So what should you do if someone called you a name and now you start to believe you are that name?  Don’t own it.  Those names do not describe who you are at all.  In fact, I  have a BIG ERASER named love and I’m erasing that name(s) off of you right now.  And do you know what I see beneath those false labels?  I see you–a real and wonderful person. That’s why those labels cannot stick.  Would you be interested to know that God has other labels or words to describe you?
God’s labels for you are
precious, loved, beautiful, smart, full of promise, a miracle, and wonderful.
Seriously! That’s how God sees you, and that’s how I see you too.   ; )
I’m so sorry you are being bullied, and it hurts my heart to think that people have been cruel to you and know that I believe they were WRONG to do that to you.   But maybe it would cheer you up to read a few more things God has said about you:
  • You are my child.
  • I love you.
  • My son Jesus died on the cross  for you so you could have a relationship with me.
  • You are forgiven.
  • I am with you.
  • I will help carry your pain if you let me.  Just ask for my help!
  • Cast your burdens on me.
  • I will get you through this.  Just follow me, one step, one day at a time!
To learn more about how to have a closer relationship with God, click HERE.

Help Me I’m Being Bullied Song

Also watch this GREAT YouTube.  It’s a song called Who I Am by Katie Belle Atkin that tells what happened to her.
If the video won’t play, click HERE.
I love you!  And so do many others, even if you can’t ‘feel’ that love right at this moment or even if you believe that those terrible words spoken about you are true.  (THEY ARE NOT!)  However, if you are in danger of harming yourself, DON’T!  Don’t let the bullies win.
You are stronger than you know and you will get through this period of your life and you will find happiness and have friendships with people who are not bullies. You have hope and a future and I know God has a special plan for your life.  In fact, Jeremiah 29:11 says (from God to you,)  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)
If you need to talk to someone, call  please the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
I am glad you searched I Am Getting Bullied because it led you here.  I want you to know that we are praying for you and know that things WILL get better.  If I were sitting there with you, I would wrap you in my mom-arms, and tell you how much I care.
Here’s a prayer to break lying words off of you:
Dear Lord,
I break the lying words that people are saying about me off of me in the power and authority of the name and blood of Jesus.  I ask that you replace those words with the loving words you use to describe me; precious, loved, beautiful, smart, full of promise, a miracle, and wonderful.  Give me your power, strength and truth to believe your words instead of the lies.  Please block and cancel the lying words and thought of suicide off of me – in the power and authority of the name and blood of Jesus. Thank you for giving me a hope and a future.  In Jesus name, Amen.

In the mean time, please read the story of Liz – and how she found hope when she was being bullied.  Click HERE.

Help When a Loved One Has Died: Depression in Funeral Planning

By Liz Cowen Furman:

 Feeling grief and depression while funeral planning when a loved one has died?

 

As a writer, I am keenly aware that most of the people reading this will have recently experienced a profound loss. Let me first say I am so sorry for your loss. Times of loss have been some of the greatest tests of my faith. If  depression after the loss of a loved one has you thinking about suicide, please read on.

Remember that whatever you are feeling is exactly what you are supposed to be feeling. Nothing surprises GOD. No expression of pain, anger or despair you could muster is bigger than He can handle. So be honest with the One who has the power to heal your broken heart. Tell Him how you feel. Give Him permission to come in and heal what is broken and restore your heart to a healthy place once again.

Expressions of the grieving process are as varied as the people who are hurting. I encourage you to not let any person tell you how you should feel, even if you are thinking about suicide. Just know that although losing someone we love is painful, I discovered it won’t kill us.

Get help if you are having suicidal thoughts. (1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline).

Be patient with yourself. Take time to process the pain your heart is experiencing. That pain sometimes even manifests itself in the physical. Don’t rush the process. After experiencing significant loss it can take a couple years before you start to feel “normal.” Depending on the loss you may never go back to “normal” but you will heal and live in your “new normal.”

Even though you may be thinking about suicide now, if you can hold on and not let yourself go there, eventually you can find beauty from the ashes that currently haunt you.

If you can get outside in the sunshine, go for a walk, get some fresh air, even if you have to force yourself out the door the first time. Getting out into the light and moving can really help; has been proven to help, according to an article at health.harvard.edu. on exercise and depression.

For more suggestions of things that may help, read the grief chapters in my book How to Plan a Funeral and Other Things You Need to Know When a Loved One Dies While writing it I experienced more than one significant loss and did two years of research on the grieving process. I found many great books and ideas of things to do that helped me in my grief, many are included in the book.

Jesus said, Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28, NASB Bible.

In a time of grieving it is His strength that can see us through. Check out this song that so aptly puts it…