(Thoughts from a victims perspective).
The concept of choice is not complicated. "People" make it complicated.
The truth is it’s really quite simple: My mother had a life and with it was given choice. I have a life and with it I have also been given choice. My mother chose to take her own life, and unfortunately that had some pretty massive implications for me. As a child, I was at the mercy of her decisions. But the moment I became an adult, two things happened:
1. I had to take responsibility for my own choices, and
2. She became fully free to do with her life as she wished.
What she did with her own life from that point onward was not my responsibility, and it certainly was not my choice - although it did still impact and influence me greatly.
The thing about choice is that it never just affects you. Your choices will ALWAYS impact on others, one way or another. You will never really know just how much you influence the future by the choices you make today.
Even though God gave us each the gift of choice, it was never designed to be an isolated experience. Whatever road we choose is the one we must walk - and it is never alone. This is especially true when it comes to suicide. The people left behind drown in guilt and are left with the burden of YOUR choice. They're not even around to walk it out with you, which is why some people believe suicide is a painful act of cowardice. Cowardly AND contagious. I have personally reserved judgement, as I intimately understand how someone can be brought to that point. But what I do know is that Suicide has a contagious spirit that hooks into the torn pieces of peoples lives and infects them with hopelessness. And that is why suicide is like an avalanche. The fallout grows with each life destroyed by the consequence of one person's choice.
This is where peoples perspective of choice is lost. The lines get blurred and people start functioning in victim mode.
BUT the truth remains the same regardless of how blurry those lines seem. The truth will always be: Everyone has a choice. And the choices other people make are not our burdens to bear. We may have suffered at the hand of someone else's choices, but even so - we can still choose to rise above. That is the gift. It is the gift I received when my mother chose a path that could have destroyed my life. I particularly like Floyd McClung’s insight into this train of thought;
“Your heavenly Father was there when you first walked as a child. He was there through hurts and disappointments. He is present now at this moment. You were briefly loaned to human parents who, for a few years, were supposed to have showered you with love like His love. The love and security of a good home and family were intended by God to prepare you for his love. If our parents failed us then we must recognise that fact, forgive them, and go on to open our hearts to God’s love.”
Suicide is the most destructive act of human selfishness - in my opinion anyway. That’s not just because I have been through it, and are in some way advocating for its hierarchical position in “trauma-ville”. But because of all the ways to die, it is possibly the most offensive to our Creator. Life may be hard, but it’s still a gift – one that should be treasured and honored as such. When God decides He wants you to come home, then that’s that. But when a human takes that decision into their own hands; it’s like playing God. If my Mum chose to violate the greatest gift we as humans are given, then just imagine how the gift-giver feels. God never stopped being her Father and it would have broken his heart to see his child do that to herself. I don't say these things to be uncaring or insensitive, especially to those who are struggling with this right now. My heart still twists and aches when I think of what my Mum would have been going through in those final moments. I understand the level of pain she was in, and I know intimately how difficult it is to come out of those depths. My writings on Depression may help you see this. But as the old saying goes...The truth does indeed hurt and my heart also goes out to those who are often forgotten - those who are left behind.
Do I think God understands why His children take their own lives? Of course He understands. He has a father’s heart, and knows exactly what we face on this earth. He even has a record of our tears!
But just because He understands it, doesn't mean He accepts it......
Which begs the next question: Does God forgive those who take their own life? I've thought a lot about this over the years and I honestly cannot answer that on His behalf. What I do know is that God continuously forgave our stupidity even before He sent His one and only son to die for US. He is quite simply amazing! He has the biggest, most forgiving heart - especially for US. Mother included.
“I’m sorry Rebecca, your Mum took her own life. She committed suicide”. At that point my legs gave way. Thankfully the couch broke my fall as I sat there shaking my head while tears erupted all around me. My face remained stone cold and dry. All I could think of was that damn answering machine."
"There is a reason why the word of God clearly tells us to honor our fathers and mothers – minus any conditions attached. It may not be easy but God requires it of us. We don't have to agree with what they have done or how they may have treated us. Honour and Forgiveness are principles that bring YOU into a position of freedom. Its not a fluffy feel good exercise, although this can be a bi-product of activating truth."
"I would hear Him stating rather matter of factly, that appreciation was required in order for me to make sense of things. I left that place with a God gifted answer, painstakingly bubble wrapped with divine sticky tape, so that no attack could possibly harm my new found revelation."