CHRISTINE SCHELLER: In the Valley of the Shadow of Suicide:
Gabe, like nearly half of all college students, became depressed when he left home. Intermittently I had urged him to take advantage of the school’s counseling services. In hindsight, I wish we had issued an ultimatum: “Get help or come home.”
This article contains so much more, but that particular bit caught my eye – and my heart. And this:
He patiently assured us that Gabriel’s death was not our fault, and gently but firmly insisted that the death would never make sense: suicide is inherently an irrational act.
I think this was not easy to publish at a place like ChristianityToday.com:
In Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman writes,
Beyond the issues of shame and doubt, traumatized people struggle to arrive at a fair and reasonable assessment of their conduct, finding a balance between unrealistic guilt and denial of all moral responsibility. In coming to terms with issues of guilt, the survivor needs the help of others who are willing to recognize that a traumatic event has occurred, to suspend their preconceived judgments, and simply to bear witness to her tale. When others can listen without ascribing blame, the survivor can accept her own failure to live up to ideal standards at the moment of extremity. Ultimately, she can come to a realistic judgment of her conduct and a fair attribution of responsibility.
Survivors need time and space to come to a realistic self-assessment. I trust that for me, the crucible will forge a better person, and lead to peace.
I’m grateful to Christine for writing this article.