Loss of a loved one to Suicide

Worldwide Suicide Prevention day, September 10th 2012

Prayer for Those Who Have Committed Suicide
Bless, O God of eternal life,
all who have died
by their own hand.
Grant them peace
from their inner turmoil
and the compassion of your love.
Comfort those who mourn
their loved ones.
Strengthen them to face the questions of pain,
the guilt and anger,
the irreparable loss.
Help us to reach out in love
to others who prefer death
to the choices of life
and to their families who grieve.
Amen.
-BeliefNet.com


The loss of a loved one for any reason is difficult to bear. Grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide can feel particularly complicated, especially for those of Christian faith who may be struggling with their own religious stance against suicide. If you have lost a loved one to suicide, it is important to remember that our God is a merciful God. He loves all his children. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NIV)


The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in section 2238 that, "We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives." This is to say that regardless of our beliefs and worries about the soul of loved ones lost to suicide, it is God who make the final judgment. Marta, of Faithleap.org, states: "We cannot stand as the judge of a person's soul. We do not know their final thoughts, desires, regrets, or prayers. As a church we offer funeral masses for the diseased, as prayers for their souls, and let God be the judge. We condemn the sin, but minister to the person who committed the sin. It is a reality that in doing so we are helping the family cope with a situation that is totally out of their control." -FaithLeap.org


According to The Mayo Clinic article, "Suicide Grief: Healing After a Loved One's Suicide," families bereaved by suicide may experience the following emotions:
• Shock. Disbelief and emotional numbness might set in. You might think that your loved one's suicide couldn't possibly be real.
• Anger. You might be angry with your loved one for abandoning you or leaving you with a legacy of grief — or angry with yourself or others for missing clues about suicidal intentions.
• Guilt. You might replay "what if" and "if only" scenarios in your mind, blaming yourself for your loved one's death.
• Despair. You might be gripped by sadness, loneliness or helplessness. You might have a physical collapse or even consider suicide yourself.
-The Mayo Clinic


If you have lost a loved one to suicide, it is important to remember that the circumstances surrounding your loved ones' death in no way negate your feelings of loss, or your right to those feelings. It is also important to remember that you are not alone, and your loved one is not forgotten.
In addition to your local church community, families who are bereaved by suicide can find support online in forums such as Suicide Grief which can be found at http://www.suicidegrief.com/, or through local support groups such as those offered by The Compassionate Friends at http://www.compassionatefriends.org/home.aspx
September 10th is Worldwide Suicide Prevention day. For information about the prevention of suicide, and to find links to other suicide resources, please visit The International Association for Suicide Prevention's website at http://www.iasp.info/wspd/.

Let's pray.
Dear Lord Jesus,
We pray for____.
Lord, you know his/her soul, you made them, they are Yours.
Lord, in a moment of desperation blinded by despair they departed from us.
Please, Lord by the merit of Your cross and resurrection, humbly we ask for Your mercy.
Have mercy on their soul, and help their family and friends.
Heal them from this deep wound and sorrow.
Only You, the Healer, can restore them and make them whole again.
Amen.
-FaithLeap.org


References:
"Suicide Grief: Healing After a Loved One's Suicide" http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/suicide/MH00048

"Prayer For Those Who Have Committed Suicide"
http://www.beliefnet.com/Prayers/Christian/Death/Prayer-For-Those-Who-Have-Committed-Suicide.aspx

http://faithleap.org/suicide.htm

http://www.iasp.info/wspd/

Kristin Binder

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