Sometimes, there are just no words to explain the “now.”
This was the week of the horrid earthquake in Haiti. No words…
And it was also the week that a vibrant, intelligent 24 year old grad student who was a member of my church shot herself to death. There…are …no… words.
Damn if it isn’t painful enough on its own. This young woman left no note to anyone, said nothing about what she was about to do. In fact, she appeared to be doing well. She had plans to do things with friends later in the week.
I have heard that when a person is serious about committing suicide, he or she says nothing. They have crossed a line, and seldom go back. Once they have decided that things are so bad, that their pain is so deep that nobody can really understand and help, they say nothing. They become living Nike mottoes: they just do it.
And so, my member left her house early Wednesday morning, said to her partner she’d see her later, and left. I don’t know where else she went that day, but she wound up at a local shooting range, to learn how to use a gun.
She learned … and then she turned in on herself and shot herself in the chest.
Goodness mercy! There are no words, and the lump will not leave my throat, nor will my heart come up from the depths of hell. I am asking myself where I failed her, but I am not alone. All who loved her are asking the same thing. There are no words. There are no answers.
The only thing I can do is try to be “the good pastor” and help my members, the people left behind, deal with this loss. I can do that. Maybe that will help lessen the weight of this burden.
My mother used to say that suicide is selfish. I was mad at her for saying that because the statement seemed devoid of compassion.
But if “selfish” means that one is concerned only with one’s self, my mother was right. It is the people who are left behind who are left wandering in a wilderness of confusion, pain and loss.
But maybe this wilderness experience could have been avoided had we done more, seen more, reached out more, …something.
I don’t know.
There are no words.
A candid observation, for sure.