Today I attend the funeral services for a husband, father, brother, son who tragically took his own life at the age of just 46, leaving behind a young son and a grieving wife, among others. Death is never easy for those of us left behind and, as humans, we tend to compare. What’s better? Quick and painless? Knowing they’re going so we can say goodbye? Suicide has got to be the most difficult death to grieve. We are left wondering. Could have done something. Should we have known something? What is the fate of our loved one? Is he still suffering? Will God judge him?
As I have studied the afterlife, I have come to a few conclusions. Not everyone is in agreement on everything, but on some things nearly all agree. This however is universal. There is no judgement as in God sitting on a throne with a “You’re in.” or a “You’re out.” Life is not a pass/fail test. There is no mortal sin that can seal your damnation for all eternity. The only judgment is us judging ourselves. The fact that some churches teach that someone who has been in so much pain he only sees one way out and then God condemns him to eternal torture for that one act is one of the worst teachings among many damnable teachings.
Among those who have studied the afterlife and what we know about our purpose on Earth there is some disagreement on suicide. Some say that everything we do here is part of a plan, part of our plan, but they go on to say suicide is never part of the plan. I don’t know that I agree with that. I wonder if we’re getting back to teaching what makes us comfortable or what we think people should hear for their own benefit. How do we know it is never part of the plan? Suicide is taboo. We don’t want to encourage it. After all, if we teach the afterlife is blissful and all we have to do is take our own lives to go, wouldn’t people just start killing themselves to get there? Well, actually no. First of all, we have a built in survival mechanism. We want to live. Suicide is not easy to do. And suicide is not painless, in spite of the theme from M*A*S*H*, which us old folks will remember. Back when I contemplated suicide that line seemed to beckon to me. Suicide is painless, it brings so many changes. But it’s a lie.
Through early morning fog I see
Visions of the things to be
The pains that are withheld for me
I realise that I can see
That suicide is painless
It brings so many changes
And I can take or leave them if I please
The game of life is hard to play
I’m gonna lose it anyway
The losing card of some delay
So this is all I have to say
Suicide leaves behind a wake of pain. At best it transfers the pain you are suffering onto others. I believe that many who commit suicide expecting to sleep forever are very surprised when they simply step outside of their bodies. Those who suffer from mental illness will find relief I believe. But, from what I understand all of our issues aren’t magically taken away when we transition. We are still basically the same people we were when we were here. We will review our actions and we will have to forgive others for what they have done to us. More importantly and more difficult, in my understanding, is we will have to forgive ourselves. People who suffer from disorders like bipolar disorder I believe will find immediate relief from those disorders just like the blind will see and the deaf will hear. Brain chemistry issues are gone with no brain. But, they will still be themselves and I have to believe most will regret their actions. I heard an interview with a medium who knew a young man who was bipolar, had committed suicide and left behind a small child and a wife. His spirit kept returning to her looking sad, like a little rain cloud, not much light emanating from it. He was scared to go to the light to transition because of the guilt he felt concerning taking his life and his religious teachings taught him he would be judged when he went toward the light. Finally, after several weeks (Earth time) he made his transition, found peace and returned to show her he was whole. He was s shining beautiful light being. He found his peace, but it was not immediate. He had to accept what he had done.
Can suicide ever be part of the plan? Does anything good ever come from suicide? I think probably yes. That doesn’t mean it’s an option for me and it certainly seems like a less than desirable path for any number of reasons. However, I am not about to judge anyone who goes that way. We cannot fathom each others’ pain. People who commit suicide are not taking the easy way out. For some reason, they are at the point where they see no other option. Jesus said as we judge others so will we be judged and He’s right (of course). What many don’t realize though is He’s right because we will be judging ourselves. Learn now to be an easy judge. Practice compassion and non-judgement now so you have it for yourself later.
If you know someone who has committed suicide, rest in the knowing you did the best you could do with what you knew. We all do. And none of us are responsible for anyone else’s actions. And rest knowing that God does not condemn him for what he did. God knows him better than we do, better than he knows himself. There is no need to seek forgiveness from God for that act. My belief is that death is not a immediate ticket into paradise. I think some will still have work to do on the other side, but they will never be left alone. There will be someone there to guide them. God’s love is inescapable. They will find peace.