The aftermath of suicide is a never ending kind of suffering. I have heard two sermons this past week about suffering and how we who are Christians are supposed to “endure” and “persevere.” Those two words hurt me all over again because it is quite obvious that my son did neither. In a reckless moment of unyielding passion he was said to have taken his own life. My pain is a motherly pain that wishes she could have saved her child from a wife who was wrapped up in herself, who was empty and void of any kind of love for others especially her husband……how could love have left him behind? He who was so loving and kind. While I believe that Brandon most certainly went to his heavenly home, I am still stuck in this world wondering about so many things. And while my son’s suffering has ended, I don’t want to “endure” and “persevere” anymore this kind of unbearableness. This terrible heartache of loss….devastating loss. Can anyone of you tell me just what it means not to do this?
There is always the before and the after in any kind of tragedy. People change. Mothers can never be the same once they have lost any or all of her children. There are some who endure quietly, some who boldly persevere, some who withdraw, some who go insane, some whose voices rise up when once they could not, some who are angry…some who have lost their passion, the list seems endless…..and I seem to have all of these after traits at different times. I am enduring only because I breathe and because I call on Jesus to help me through. Yes, the very Savior who will wipe away every tear is present. I still have questions about all that has happened. It is senseless to keep asking but my mind won’t rest. It is still a part of me. Like my soul. It is always asking, always wondering, always crying. I love my child and he died a way that leaves me angry and hurt. I can and can’t endure. What if my last breath is while I am not persevering so well? My whole personality has somewhat changed. I may be the only one who has noticed. Inside I am hiding. I am ashamed that I can’t live up to this “endurance and perseverance” expectation.
Before I seemed so sure of my faith….my son’s faith. This suicide has brought so many questions about God, questions that never crossed my mind let alone my lips before. I never dared to be irreverent with my own selfish assumptions. My faith was intact. I thought. I don’t know if I would have felt differently had Brandon died any other way. In my life before, suicide was an act…an intentional behavior…a sin like no other. I never had to know why! Now my quest has not only been for my son but for myself. I need to know just where I stand with God. What if I am not persevering as I am supposed to? When I break down into convulsive sobs in the middle of the night because the living nightmare of it all won’t let me rest….what about that? What does that say about my endurance? What if I go over the edge? All the while expecting to land in Heaven. Because how much faith does it take to get to Heaven if all it takes is belief and trust? What about Brandon? Do I have this all wrong? Am I leaning too much to my own understanding….or misunderstanding?
I know this is spiritual warfare of the dirtiest. I know that I am being jerked around by the devil and his demons. I am being tortured. I don’t want God to be disappointed in me. I want to live a purposeful life. I need to feel again other than this suffering pain. In those sermons I referred to, they both were about our sufferings and how Jesus suffered. We are intertwined with the sufferings of this world and the holy sufferings that set us apart. I just wish I knew how to do both well but I feel as though that my child and I have been unable to endure. I want to find permanent joy…cheer, as those who do have hope. I want to do just as Christ wants me to…..but the human heart sometimes cannot endure. While I am here ….my son is not, what does it all mean?
James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.