When Someone Takes His/Her Life
By Norman Vincent Peale/Bonnie Swade
“Our friend died on their own battlefield. They were killed in action fighting a civil war. They fought against adversaries that were as real to them as their casket is to us. They were powerful adversaries. They took toll of their energies and endurance.
They exhausted the last vestiges of courage and strength. At last, these adversaries overwhelmed them. And it appeared that they lost the war. But did they? There is a host of victories they won.
For one thing -they have won our admiration-because even if they lost the war, we give them credit for bravery on the battlefield. And we give them credit for the courage, pride, and hope that they used as weapons as long as they could. We shall remember not their death, but the daily victories gained through their kindness and thoughtfulness, through their love for family and friends, for animals, books, and music, for all things beautiful, lovely, and honorable. We shall remember the many days they were victorious over overwhelming odds. We shall remember not the years we thought they had left, but the intensity with which they lived the years they had!
Only God knows what they suffered in silent skirmishes that took place in their soul. But our consolation is that God does know and understands.
So, some people feel that suicide is a selfish act. I think the reaction should be one of love not condemnation. We often heard they were not thinking clearly in those final moments.
Perhaps, they were not thinking at all. Sad but understandable. We all have times when we may feel that nothing is right. We may lose control of ourselves and display anger, irritation, and selfishness. All of us have a breaking point. For some people life is harder and doesn’t seem fair.
Don’t get stuck in the what ifs. You never know how many times they were thinking about it. What you said or what you did caused them to put that feeling of death away.
Know that if love could have saved them, we would have no suicides. Keep in mind they are at peace. For that, I am thankful.