I have many friends and parishioners who have tried to take their own lives; and/or who have had someone close to them try (and sometimes – sadly – succeed). And, I’ve officiated at the funeral of a young man who took his own life. (A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post that reflects on what I learned from that experience.)
A friend and former co-worker (and fellow student in Seminary) Karen Leslie Hernandez, recently felt led to write of her own personal suicide attempt at age 19. I reblog it here without further comment: I am a Suicide Attempt Survivor by Karen Leslie Hernandez.
Karen and I both want you to hear and believe this message: you are not alone, even though it feels like that is the truth. There are many, many, people out there who have gone through what you are going through, and want to help. All you need to do is ask – ask friends, ask clergy, ask school counsellors. If you don’t find the help you need at first, keep on asking, and you will find a way back from the abyss. There can be hope again, and you do have choices that will not afflict those you love with that deeply hidden and never-ending pain and sense of loss and guilt that you would be leaving behind.
If you don’t know where to begin in helping yourself or one whom you love, start with the suicide prevention hotline’s website (http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org), or call them at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Trained counsellors in your local area are available (through this phone number) 24 hours a day.
Choose life – most especially for you, but also for those you love.
– Pastor Allen