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Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Suicide of Matthew Warren

The news tells it...

Son of Pastor Rick Warren Commits Suicide.
The death of a loved one, through old age, accident or murder, is an extremely difficult thing to experience, taking all that you are to just barely pass through it. But what of living through a loved one's suicide? 

My heart both breaks and rejoices in the tragedy of the suicide of Rick Warrens son. My heart weeps for the loss that the family and friends feel at this time. Perhaps feeling responsible, helpless or not good enough. They mourn for the death of someone they cared for, a death that was purposeful not by the hands of another, but by the very hands of the one they loved so dearly. Can anything else be so shaking to our very foundations? 

Why might I rejoice? Well, it is bitter sweet. I have been in a place where suicide is an extremely viable option, in fact it at times seems to be the only option. The suicidal do not relish the thought, no they are terrified of it. We all seek happiness and we all have different ways of going about getting this happiness. Even the suicidal seek happiness and this is why suicide becomes the only option. So in a sense I rejoice for the soul that is finally at rest from the hell they endured. 

Rick Warren recalls a conversation that his son had with him after another failed approach of help,
Dad, I know I'm going to heaven. Why can't I just die and end this pain?

Now, before anyone think of how selfish that may be for one to commit such an act... remember that no one escapes this pursuit unequally, we all selfishly seek the same thing no matter how we do it.


With suicide rates increasing within our societies, we must become aware of the hurting and seek to understand. One must try with all that they are to grasp how hurt or distraught one is in order to consider the suicidal thought. If you think that one can just snap out of it or think that the devil must have got a hold of them, then you do not understand and you do not have the heart to approach the suicidal. No, you must be or have been broken in order to comfort those who carry such heavy a burden of thought. In fact it is often those who have experienced such similar thoughts and feelings that are so quick to help others. 

Rick's son was one of these, 


You who watched Matthew grow up knew he was an incredibly kind, gentle, and compassionate man. He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was most in pain or most uncomfortable in a room. He'd then make a bee-line to that person to engage and encourage them.

Warren shares that, 
 ...only those closest knew that he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts. In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided. 
To the Warren family and friends, I am truly sorry for your loss. To all that have experienced such similar events, I am truly sorry. 

The only thing that I can think to say, that may be of some comfort in such a particular situation is, Weep, mourn, gnash your teeth and in the end take comfort that your loved one is now at peace.

I weep alongside you. A loss is a great tragedy, no matter the cause.

9 comments:

Grant said...

Thanks Phil:

My hope is that out of this, because Rick IS a celebrity preacher, that others will accept these truths about depression, and rethink their "Pat Answers", and truly be touched by empathy when it comes to ministering to the many in churches and outside who suffer from any kind of mental illness.

Grant.

CalledToQuestion said...

Grant- You couldn't say it any better! "No Pat Answers" right?

Nyssa said...

for some reason, your posts never show up on my reader. the last one listed was the one with the picture of mother theresa.

This is so sad.
Yet, I also understand the rejoicing.
It's so difficult to explain but you did a wonderful job.

Miriam (Pete) Rashleigh said...

Wow, that's terrible - no explanation can relieve the pain. I've been there, too, and can relate, more often when I was younger. It's hard to see the bigger picture without much life experience, which is maybe why more often the young see it as the only way out of pain.
M.

CalledToQuestion said...

Nyssa- Hmm...I don't know why that is...?

Thanks. It is hard to explain, particularly when there are such negative views of suicide and of the one who does it. It's a shame.

Miriam- You are right, no explanation can relieve the pain, only the companionship of others who share in the pain. Even then, the comfort seems to come later when one can look back and know that they were not alone in what they have gone through. The hurt and loss will always remain, but the measure of its intensity will vary.

Cat said...

amazing a courageous post P...
suicide is a topic close to home...it is heartbreaking and so misunderstood
thank you for your words

love and light

Kmarie said...

Well my darling... Even though the last two years have been a struggle to see you deal with this we have compassionately learned a lot. My favourite part was this:
Now, before anyone think of how selfish that may be for one to commit such an act... remember that no one escapes this pursuit unequally, we all selfishly seek the same thing no matter how we do it.

With suicide rates increasing within our societies, we must become aware of the hurting and seek to understand. One must try with all that they are to grasp how hurt or distraught one is in order to consider the suicidal thought. If you think that one can just snap out of it or think that the devil must have got a hold of them, then you do not understand and you do not have the heart to approach the suicidal. No, you must be or have been broken in order to comfort those who carry such heavy a burden of thought. In fact it is often those who have experienced such similar thoughts and feelings that are so quick to help others.

Very wise. Very true. Others think they are helping with guilt or verses or " just believe in God more because God is hope" and they do not realize that drives a person more to despair because they are not stupid... They are struggling. I love how you passionately and vulnerably wrote this. Takes guts.

Cat said...

I so agree with you lovely wife!

love and light

CalledToQuestion said...

Cat- You are welcome! I agree with my wife too...at least I had better:).

Kmarie- Thanks for your kind words. I learn from the best:).