Monday, October 17, 2011

out of the darkness




In April, a kid I knew from church committed suicide. He was 21, in college, brilliant, well liked, and apparently extremely lonely, sad, disturbed, and so much more.

He was never taught to seek help.

He was never taught to share the really hard stuff with others.

He was not old enough to have lived through really tough things to see that there usually is a light at the other end of the tunnel.

He was not old enough to have experienced the suicide of a loved one.

He was not thinking clearly enough to consider how hard every thing would be for his mama afterward.

He was not thinking clearly enough to consider how hard every thing would be for his daddy afterward.

He was not thinking clearly enough to consider the old folks at the nursing home he used to play music for, or the guys in prison he used to mentor, or the friends who counted on him for company.

He was not at a point in his life where he felt close enough to Jesus or anyone here on earth to feel the need to stay here.

Suicide is a scary answer. It terrifies those who are left behind.

Suicide is a sad answer. It induces weeping for months and years afterwards.

Suicide is a permanent answer to what are often temporary problems.

Though I did not know this kid well, his death has impacted me on a level that I have a hard time explaining.

Some days I feel as though I have been selected to be a prayer warrior for his mama. I had been feeling that way for a few weeks, remembering his mama to God, asking God to help her feel accompanied through these monthttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhs of adjustment, these months of inconsolable forays into the world that no longer contains the kid who made up her days for 21 years. Though I don't know the mama very well, either, I have felt a real sense of need to pray for her.

Sweet hubby and I were sitting at lunch on Sunday when we received a text message from our Godmom about the Out of the Darkness walk going on that afternoon.

There was no hesitation. Of course I could skip an afternoon nap to walk with his mama.

And God was all over that invitation.

His mama had prepared lanyards for us to wear, not knowing how many people would show up to walk with her in her son's memory.

She did not have any extras.

She had prepared exactly the right number.

She had thought she would walk alone, but prepared to be accompanied.

Twelve of us walked together in a sea of people remembering their loved ones, all touched in a terrible way by suicide.

And while I'm sure it was good for that sweet mama to know that she is not the only one to suffer through this, she was present enough to recognize how awful it is that so many people have had to suffer through what she is suffering through now.

If you have a minute, please say a prayer for Elaine. She needs the extra strength. She needs the comfort that only Jesus can offer her, whether she is able to ask Jesus herself right now or not.

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