Saturday, May 15, 2010

Loss: The Initial Shock

Two years ago, I came home from a movie that I had been waiting to see for months.  I Am Legend.  I was fifteen years old and a freshman in high school.  As I burst through the door to my room, I turned on my computer, eager to discuss the movie with my friends.

As I pulled open my MySpace page, a public bulletin caught my eye.  It said, "Who knows about Gatlin?!?!?!  I need to know DETAILS!!!!!!!!!!"  Afraid that some false rumor had begun to spread like a wildfire, I messaged the kid back, asking what he was talking about, and ready to shut the rumor down immediately in defense of my friend.  Gatlin and I were good friends in middle school, and our friendship had continued into high school.  The kid's response to my message sent my heart crashing down to my feet.  "Well, if you haven't heard, he killed himself.  Sorry if you knew him!"

My heart pounded in my head.  My thoughts were spinning.  It couldn't be true.  I stumbled downstairs into my parents' bedroom.  I could hardly get the words out.  "Gatlin... killed himself."  And I collapsed onto their bed, crying with fear.  In a frenzy, my parents made a few calls and then sadly confirmed the news.  Gatlin had taken his own life a few hours before.

I spent that night in torment.  The only emotions I felt were horror, numbness, and shame.  I wasn't sure how, but I knew that this was somehow my fault.


You or someone you know may have gone through a similar situation.  The loss of a loved one to suicide is a difficult and painful experience.  When a friend or relative commits suicide, loved ones often search desperately for a cause behind the terrible action.  When no reason can be found, it is common to start searching out blame in yourself.

The act of suicide often seems incomprehensible... taking a life, albeit your own, is a horrifying thing. After Gatlin died, a million and one questions ran through my mind.  "Why did he finally give in?"  "What could have been bad enough to make him snap like that?"  "Why wasn't he thinking about the people who loved him?"  "Why wasn't I there for him when I was supposed to be his friend?"

One of the biggest questions in my heart filled me with torment.  As a Christian, I was afraid to ask this question... and afraid of the answer I might receive.  The question: "Where was God in this?"

My human mind could not understand how God would allow one of His children- a Christian- to pull a trigger and take his own life.  How was this God's will?  Where was His love?  How did this bring Him glory?  Anger and betrayal filled my heart, but I suppressed my feelings within myself, sure that I could never let God know how I truly felt.

You may have lost a friend or relative to suicide or to an unfortunate tragedy.  You may be feeling similar emotions to the things that I felt as a grieving Christian.  Once a week for the next few weeks, I will be expanding on the issue of loss and how to heal from grief within your relationship with God.

If you have a loved one who is suffering from the loss of a friend or family member, then this next blog series can help you know how to comfort them and find the right words to say.  Your friend needs you to be there for them and encourage them through this difficult time.

If you are considering suicide as an alternative for life, then I'm going to ask you to hold on for a few more weeks.  I'm pleading with you to hang on for just a little bit longer and listen to what I have to say.  I want to give you a glimpse into what it is like for the people who lose a loved one to suicide.  I want you to face how your action will affect those around you.  If you are contemplating suicide, then don't let yourself feel this way any longer.  There is hope.  Please search out help... find someone to talk to about what you are feeling.  Talk to someone you know and trust or go to

If you have a personal story of healing (or helping a friend to heal) from the loss of a loved one, then comment below.


  1. =( your story made me cry.

    God bless you
    keep up the good posts

  2. Wow, this is so sad. Your songs about him on youtube made me want to cry.

  3. i had a person from my school commitee suicide and i can kind of
    experience what you felt. your songs are ahmazing, keep writing..your storyy made me cry too. :( keep posting.