Tag Archive | suicide

The Challenge of Unspoken or Hidden Grief

Some of the most difficult grief experiences to heal from are those that are unspoken.

The reason unspoken grief experiences are so difficult to heal from, is because of the nature of the grief – and the choice to isolate oneself.

As I was helping an anonymous young lady on an online grief forum last week, my heart sure did go out to her. She – unknown to her parents, family, church family, and friends – had gotten pregnant and miscarried her first child 8 weeks into the pregnancy. Fearing judgment, she didn’t feel comfortable telling anyone except for the father of her child. For three years, she’s walked the road of grief all on her own. 

Isolated. Heartbroken. Alone.

With unspoken grief, some grief events have happened recently, while some happened decades ago.

Some may have believed that time would heal their wounds, only to find that time hasn’t healed anything.

There are many grief experiences that are “unspoken” or “unknown”…experiences someone may not feel comfortable sharing with others:

  • Unplanned pregnancies that end in miscarriage, secret adoptions, or abortion
  • A sexual assault 
  • Medical diagnosis such as HIV
  • Mental health diagnosis 
  • Adultery
  • Family or marital issues
  • Abuse
  • Conflict with adult children or other family members
  • Addictions
  • Mistreatment of others or conflict that you never had the chance to make right
  • Church conflict/church abuse
  • Suicide issues that remaining loved ones have to go through
  • Suicide attempt survivors

There are many life challenges people go through. With unspoken grief, they’re just not at a place they feel comfortable sharing with others the tremendous heartache they’ve been through. 

Unspoken grief presents a big challenge for the person going through it: if they keep their grief concealed, they may never find the help or healing their heart needs.

So how do you heal from unspoken grief experiences?

Please realize God never intended for us to walk through grief alone. Community, as well as the many resources available, are very powerful gifts when going through heartache, challenges, and grief.

There are many confidential options for finding help and healing when going through an unspoken grief experience:

  • Seek out confidential help with a trusted pastor, grief counselor, or therapist
  • Find encouragement through a local grief group (GriefShare, The Compassionate Friends, local funeral homes who offer grief seminars, Grief Bites conferences, etc.). Many grievers do not realize their grief situations can remain completely anonymous at these meetings, conferences, and seminars. Outside of introducing yourself, you don’t even have to talk if you don’t wish.
  • Utilize online grief resources (blogs, YouVersion’s grief related reading plans, grief related Facebook pages, GriefShare daily emails, The Compassionate Friends private groups, Grief Bites blog, etc.)
  • Talk to a trusted family member or friend…keyword: trusted. When choosing who to confide in, always realize that two listening ears are also attached to a talking mouth – meaning, they can share what you confide in them, so be very selective in who you choose to trust!
  • Go to your local bookstore or favorite online bookseller and purchase books on grief. 
  • The best place to go with your broken heart is to God. He is always there 24/7, He cares deeply for you, and He has the power to heal your heart and spirit.

If you are going through an unspoken grief experience, please know there is hope. You can find relief and healing. Seek out the help you need today so your heart has the opportunity to truly and fully heal.

May God bless and encourage your heart!

Gratitude & blessings,
Kim

©2017 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:⭐️

❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617 

❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

❤️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

7 Things To Realize About Someone Who Is Going Through A Hard Time

We all know someone who is going through a hard time or a time of grief. It may even be someone in our own family (or our own self) who is going through a tough season in life.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to know what to say to those who are experiencing a tough time or who are battling depression or grief…so what happens (many times) is these special people end up being displaced or ignored.

If you know of someone who has gone through the death of a loved one, a major breakup or divorce, a suicide attempt, an illness, or another situation of great hurt, please consider this list and reach out to them. You truly have the power to make an incredible difference by offering encouragement, support, and love!

7 Things To Realize About Someone Who Is Going Through A Hard Time:

1. Realize they are hurting deeply. Life as they knew it has been abruptly shattered. They may be forgetful, be in a “fog,” or not answer phone calls or text messages.
Sometimes their pain runs so deep that they seem to lose their way.
They may act uncharacteristically and say or do things they normally wouldn’t. Grief and loss changes people. They most likely will go through a time of needing to figure out who they are as they rebuild their life.

2. They may not reach out for help…or they may not yet be open to receiving help. They may feel as though they are in a dark miry pit with no knowledge of how to climb out. They may even be too depressed to even think about getting help. Be there for them. Offer your help. Ask if they specifically need anything. Be a good family member or friend and let them know they have your unconditional love and support.
Ask, in a supportive and kind way, “How can I help you?” or, “How may I help you through this?”
Whatever you do, don’t lecture them, try to “fix” them, make them feel guilty or badly for how they feel, or make them feel like they’re your “feel good” project of the day. Just be real..and just be you.

3. It will take time for them to heal. Anytime a heart is broken, it takes time, comfort, self-work, and encouragement to level out.
They’re not going to just “snap out of it” or “be their old self.” Don’t become frustrated with them. Believe me, they are just as frustrated as you may become after they aren’t able to shut off their heartache or grief. Don’t heap additional guilt onto them by placing unfair expectations on them. They can, and most likely will, emerge from their situation better…but it will take time.

4. They can seem fine one minute and then be completely down the next. Feelings can be sporadic and totally unpredictable during times of grief and loss. Allow them to feel what they need to feel…be patient with them.
There are so many ups and downs a person will go through when going through situations of heartache. Reminders of their loss can also spring up out of nowhere, at any given time, which also create ups and downs for a griever. Please allow them the freedom to go through all of these ups and downs without reacting to them. They’re not meaning to be hurtful–or irritated–on purpose towards others…it is not meant to be personal…they’re merely trying to get through their pain on a day to day (and sometimes an hour by hour) basis.

5. Don’t assume other people are encouraging them or being there for them. More times than not, they can feel isolated and alone. Even if they don’t ask for it, they need love and encouragement. Show compassionate concern for them. Do NOT ignore them or act as though their grief experience didn’t happen. Don’t drop out of their life. They need loving and loyal support more than ever!
They WILL remember who was there for them…and who was not.

6. They truly hate when family and friends attempt to minimize or downplay their pain…or worse, try to make them artificially feel better. Many times, when someone is hurting, their loved ones are desperate to make the one who is hurting feel better. Many times, they want to help but do not understand how to help their loved one, so they fumble around and say whatever awkwardly comes to mind. Most people also try to avoid talking about the uncomfortable topic of grief…so they try to cheer the person up (out of good intentions) by changing the topic or being awkwardly cheerful around the hurting person.
Be honest and tell the hurting person, “I have no idea what to say or do to help you, but please know that I care and I’m here and I’m willing to help you in any way that I can.”
Majority of the time, words fall empty and fail but letting them know you care doesn’t.
Also, if they lost a loved one, don’t be afraid to mention their deceased loved one’s name. Don’t worry about bringing their deceased loved one up in conversation…they’re on their mind and in their heart every single day.

7. They want family and friends to be genuine and sincere when they reach out to them. They most likely have already heard a ton of well-intentioned cliches, such as, “You’ll find another girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse,” or, “They’re in a better place,” or, “You can always have another baby,” or, “God must’ve needed an angel,” or, “Life isn’t always fair,” and everyone’s seemingly favorite: “I’m praying for you” (absolutely nothing wrong with prayer…just if you say it, please actually do it and continue to pray for your loved one).
Keep in mind to be helpful by infusing them with hope just by being present, inviting them out for coffee or a movie, or letting them know that although they are in horrible pain, it won’t always be like this. Better days WILL come…in time.
Some may not want to talk, so empathetically follow their lead.
If you’re not sure, ask if they’d like to talk, ask how you can specifically pray for them, offer to do a specific errand or chore for them, tell them you would like to bring them dinner, or offer them a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant that they can use at a future date.
The more sincere, heartfelt, and compassionate you can be, the better.
Actions always trump words when it comes to helping people through life’s hurts and disappointments.

In ending this post, it’s important to know that each person is different.
Some may welcome an opportunity to talk or would love to be invited to do something to take their mind off of their heartache, while some may feel a strong need to isolate themselves and be alone. Some may need to talk about the event that broke their heart, while others may not want to talk about it at all.

When all else fails, simply show up, reach out (and keep reaching out), allow the person to grieve, LISTEN, and simply care.

Everybody needs people who care about them. Please consider these 7 ideas and offer your hurting family and friends HOPE, encouragement, and genuine love today!

©2014 by Kim Niles/Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!❤️

For more encouragement:

Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617 

FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️

8 Things I Wish People Understood About Suicide

When a family member or close friend attempts or succeeds at suicide, the remaining and affected loved ones are left with the broken fragments of their loved one’s fragile, hurting life. They’re also left with heartache, confusion, grief, guilt, regrets, depression, sometimes anger, and many other emotions and questions.

Suicide is an issue that is very close to my heart. I’ve lost several loved ones to suicide and have had people close to me attempt and (very thankfully) not succeed.

Suicide is one of those taboo, uncomfortable topics that most do not want to talk about…but did you know that everybody at some point in their lives will be affected by it?

Here’s some startling, heart wrenching statistics:

  • 80% will contemplate suicide at some point during their lifetime
  • 50% of all students have thought about suicide 
  • 15-18% have seriously contemplated suicide with an actual plan to do so
  • 8% will actually go through with it

With statistics like these, it becomes imperative to talk about…so why are people so hesitant to do so? 

I think suicide is an extremely uncomfortable topic because everybody wants to fancifully believe they and their loved ones are exempt.

Suicide isn’t a respecter of anybody though. It tempts the rich and the poor…the young and the old…the successful and the less ambitious…the beautiful and the more ordinary…the super spiritual and those with absolutely no faith affiliation…male and female…and all races. It doesn’t differentiate…all are affected.

It can affect anybody and everybody.

Many people don’t want to talk about it to someone who unsuccessfully attempted suicide, because most feel if they bring the topic up, the person may attempt suicide again. Also, if someone lost a loved one to suicide, there are no words to bring comfort—and that truly scares people so they do the worst thing possible…they ignore the person impacted by the suicide. 

Yet, there are so many individuals and families who are wearing the emotional scars that suicide have inflicted on them and they are hurting very, very badly!

I think knowledge is key. The more people know better, they’ll do better. The more they understand what to do and say, the more they’ll better understand how to comfort others, too!

With that said, here’s what I wish people understood about suicide:

1. Suicide is not primarily meant to be a selfish act-

When a hurting person attempts suicide, they truly are not trying to be selfish. They’re not considering who their actions are about to hurt or devastate…they may even falsely believe they’re making life better for those left behind. They could have ALL the love in the world for their loved ones (and from their loved ones) they are about to leave behind…but their pain just happens to win out. Life has finally become too much for them to cope with and they just want to escape their incredible pain or the painful consequences (of their own self or brought on by others) of whatever they are experiencing or dealing with in life. 

They aren’t in their right mind and they aren’t thinking about all of the new crop of problems they’ll be leaving for their family and friends to deal with…so they choose a permanent solution without fully realizing there may be solutions they have not yet thought of…but they genuinely are not trying to do a selfish last act. It can completely seem as though suicide is a most selfish act, but for majority who consider it, they’re not thinking about anything or anyone (including their own self), their focus is just on their own pain.

Think of it this way: if you were thrown out to sea, you would most likely tread water. Even if the waves got choppy, it’d become more challenging but you’d still continue to tread water. Eventually, you’d become weary and feel beat down…but you’d still keep treading water. But, what if it suddenly began to horrifically storm and the waves were engulfing you, forcing you down into the depths of the raging sea…and you kept trying to tread water, but no matter what you tried, nothing seemed to help. Maybe you’d even try to float on your back for awhile but the waves keep pounding you down with no relief? You’re left broken down with no feeling of hope. That’s how life is every single day for someone who is hurting…they just can’t seem to ever catch their breath…so in an incredibly weak moment, they randomly decide to quit on life.

I don’t believe they intentionally mean to quit on their loved ones…they instead feel they are simply quitting on their painful existence that they call life.

Truly, they are NOT trying to hurt anyone and they genuinely are not trying to be selfish…their focus is completely condensed into focusing only on their personal drowning pain.

It just became too much.

2. The loved ones left behind (from either an attempt or a succeeded suicide) are hurting incredibly but are often ignored, displaced, neglected or left to themselves

Most people, after attempting suicide, are completely ignored. Family and friends have mixed emotions: some do not know what to say…some are angry the person didn’t reach out to them…some falsely believe the person was selfish or just “trying to get attention”…some are fearful they’ll eventually lose the person to another attempt so they retreat…some are laden with guilt and don’t understand how to apologize or how to make things right or better…so they choose not to talk to the person who attempted or to the family of the one who succeeded.

It is VITAL for people to reach out to those who have attempted suicide, and if the person succeeded, to reach out to the deceased person’s remaining family! 

If a person failed at the attempt, not only are they left with the original hurt that drove them to their attempt, they now have to deal with the fact that everybody knows about their attempt. They now may feel foolish, embarrassed, and/or regretful.

If the person was successful, their family and closest friends are writhing in pain and regrets.

Please do not ignore those impacted by suicide. They need your love and encouragement more than ever! If you’re not sure what to say or do, take a step back and think if it were you or your family member in the same situation…how would you hope others would treat you? What would you want for others to say or do? Empathy goes a long way when dealing with others who are hurting.

Majority of the time, those affected by suicide…or any type of grief for that matter…really just need for people to show up and just be there. No words required or needed.

3. After a loved one unsuccessfully attempts suicide, their family & closest friends will go through extreme heartache, worry, and fear for months…maybe even years…to come

When a family member or close friend attempts suicide, they unknowingly—and unmeaningly—unleash a multitude of fear and hard emotions onto those closest to them.

They now know what it feels like to almost lose their treasured loved one, so for many months, they will worry and may be fearful that their loved one may attempt suicide again. Each morning, they awake with the all too real understanding that they may get a phone call to say their loved one did something foolish throughout the night. They feel as though they need to be on guard 24/7…and they also probably feel totally helpless.

If they are the ones who found their loved one, the image can haunt their mind daily. They may even experience PTSD from the incident, depending on how bad the scene was.

Also, their loved one who attempted suicide may not be open to talking about what happened and may not be open to receiving help…which can further amplify their bad feelings and experience.

If you know someone who is going through any of this, please contact them. Let them know you’re here for them to talk to. Be a trustworthy friend to them…do NOT betray their trust. They’re already going through so much that they do not need to deal with further gossip or harm. Allow them to feel what they need to feel, free from judgment. They are beyond over-the-moon thankful their loved one is still here, but they will have some emotions (sadness, gratefulness, fear, worry, numbness, etc) they’ll need to talk about and work out. They may even need to speak to a trusted pastor or therapist who can help them through this tough time.

4. Suicide prevention needs to start in homes, churches, and schools…in that order…and suicide awareness needs to begin early 

A person will learn how to be kind and compassionate from three primary places: home, church, and school settings.

Suicide prevention truly originates, begins, and continues at each of these places so we must get better at teaching children—at age appropriate levels—the value of their own life as well as the value of others lives. We have got to start with the purest prevention which is to teach others how to treat one another and also how to get through trials in life.

So many times, we start to educate people on suicide too late when they’re in high school school. I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to start educating on character qualities and coping skills at the youngest age possible, growing their character education and coping skills each year after that, and then teach suicide prevention (again, at age appropriate levels with age appropriate information) in addition to the character qualities and coping skills starting in middle school.

Something has to change because the current strategies are not completely effective. There are strides though, and I believe people truly want to do better. People genuinely do care! They may just not know how to best go about suicide awareness or prevention within their community or with their loved ones.

I’m so grateful for organizations such as To Write Love On Her Arms and Celebrate Recovery (and other organizations I’ve listed at the end of this post) for doing so much more than the status quo. I’m thoroughly impressed how they are creating dialogue and sparking communication about self-harm, grief, depression, and suicide awareness so people will better understand. Again, when people know better, they can begin to do better.

People, whether in home settings, churches, or schools, need to teach children to understand that their words and actions truly affect others…for the good and also for the bad. We have got to teach children while they are young the character qualities of mercy, kindness, compassion, and consideration…and give them plenty of opportunities to practice these qualities. We also need to teach them solid coping skills so they can understand how to truly navigate through life no matter what happens to them through an unexpected grief experience.

It all begins in our homes, churches, and schools—and must continue and be built on each and every year.

5. Suicide isn’t always a mental illness issue

Sometimes, suicide is very much a mental health issue and at times, it is an isolated moment. Other times, it is an extended grief issue. When people understand which type of issue suicide stems from, they’re much better able to serve and help the person who is hurting.

I think some who are hurting do not reach out for help because they don’t want others to perceive them as mentally ill or “crazy.”

I also think that some who are hurting have been through an isolated incident (such as abuse, rape, or something similar) and they don’t reach out for help because they don’t want to reveal what has happened in their life.

Other times, I think some who are hurting have not effectively received help for a past or recent grief issue, so their sadness and grief extends itself, overwhelming them.

Wherever their depression or thoughts of suicide originated from, in a weakened emotional moment, they choose to end everything.

It is so important to know where loved ones are at emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and grief-wise so we can know how to most effectively help them.

6. Sometimes, even the best efforts possible can’t prevent a suicide attempt

Even with the best plan…the best suicide prevention implemented…the best family and friends…the best strategy to prevent suicide…sometimes, nothing works.

I’ve met people who have attempted suicide who seemed to “have it all”—an enormous amount of money, family and friends who deeply love them, a great career, great looks/body, great car/home, etc. Yet, their pain catapulted them into thoughts of suicide.

I’ve met families who did everything in their power to help their loved one, got them the best spiritual, psychiatric, and therapeutic help possible, brought incredible love and encouragement into the life of their loved one… yet they could not stop their loved one from committing suicide.

I wish every family member who is kicking and hating themselves could find the peace, comfort, love and grace for their hurting heart and tortured soul they so desperately need. Sometimes, the best efforts in helping simply couldn’t connect to the one who chose to commit suicide.

7. It is incredibly rude, arrogant, and mean spirited to tell a person their loved one is now in hell due to committing suicide, or to talk about how selfish their loved one was for committing suicide

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve had a griever share how someone came up to them and informed them that God sent their loved one to hell for committing suicide or how someone made cutting remarks about how selfish their loved one was. I also can’t tell you how much I find this to be rude, hateful, and inappropriate. 

God is never fond of anyone cutting their life or life purpose short…not at all…but God is also a God of great compassion, love, redemption, mercy, and incredible empathy.

God collects every tear each person cries…records every heartache each person ever goes through…carries each person’s grief experiences in His very own heart…and cares so much about each person that His thoughts of them outnumber the grains of sand on the earth! God is not a God of hatefulness…His love always covers over a multitude of sins. This goes for the ones who chose to end their life, the ones who failed at their attempt, as well as the remaining loved ones who are now battling deep grief.

Please consider how you would feel if you were already going through a horrendous grief experience such as suicide…what would you want someone to say to you? 

Love others how you would want to be loved in a similar situation. Be the mercy and compassion today that you would hope to receive tomorrow.

8. There is HEALING and there is HOPE!

Whether you are someone who failed an attempt at suicide or you are the remaining family and close friends of someone who attempted or succeeded at suicide, I truly hope this blog post has helped you. I also hope you will share it with your family and friends to help them better understand your heartache, anguish, and pain.

When people haven’t personally experienced a devastating grief experience such as suicide, there is so much they simply just don’t understand. They most likely do care, very much so, they just don’t have the knowledge of what to say or do.

There is healing in God’s love, healing within grief communities and grief organizations, healing within the love and safety of family, churches, and close friends… and there is HOPE!

If you are someone who has attempted suicide, or you feel hopeless and are considering an attempt, I wholeheartedly ask you to get the help and encouragement you need. If you had a broken leg or severe allergies, you’d get medical treatment to become happy, healthy, and whole again…how much more precious is your heart, spirit, mind, and soul? There are so many loving people who care about you and are willing to help bring you back to life. Please contact a trusted pastor, therapist, family member, or friend, or the National Suicide Hotline or Focus on the Family. ALL are committed to helping you through this tough time in your life. You have a life purpose that only YOU can do. Without you here, it cannot be accomplished. Your loved ones would be left devastated with an ache in their heart that will never fully heal. Ask them for their help and allow them to fully help, love, and encourage you!

If you are a family member or friend who has lost a loved one to suicide, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss and your devastating heartache, and your ongoing grief and pain. I wholeheartedly encourage you to reach out to a local church, grief organization, or grief support group, as well as trusted family members and friends, so you can begin to heal. 

I am including a resource list at the end of this post with helpful encouraging resources to help anyone who is going through a suicide issue or a grief experience.
Thank you for reading this blog post! I hope it truly encourages and motivates all who are hurting, and hope it serves as a bridge to help connect all who read it to important resources, and truly hope it encourages each to make a difference in their hurting family members and friends lives!

Gratitude & blessings,

Kim

©2015 by Kim Niles/Grief Bites. All rights reserved. 

If what you read was helpful, please feel free to share it❤️

RESOURCES:

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

For more encouragement:

❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617 

❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

❤️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

Suicide…10 TIPS to make a difference

80% of all people have thought about suicide at one time or another.

50% of students feel suicidal right now this very minute.

15-18% will seriously consider suicide as a viable option.

8% will attempt it.

Suicide for me is a topic that hits home.

Several years ago, one of my friends killed herself…a few years later, another friend who attended the same Bible study with me killed himself…in 2007, a friend who changed my life committed suicide…this year, a friend of my husband’s and mine committed suicide…then a treasured loved one attempted suicide.

Yesterday, Robin Williams sadly took his own life.

Suicide is a devastating permanent decision that is made while in the trenches of a personal & temporary emotional hell.

Suicide doesn’t discriminate.

It doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, if you have a genius mind, what nationality you are, if you have a ton of friends or none…it can tempt anyone.

It is carried out by the mentally ill, as well as the mentally fit…it is carried out by people who have very loving parents & families, as well as those who lack familial support & love…it beckons the lonely bullied kids, as well as those who are popular…it has nothing to do with God, as well as everything to do with God.

How many people do each of us know who are silently at the brink of potentially quitting life?

It starts with every person because each one of us has the incredible capacity to make a difference in the lives of others!

I thought of 10 things that may make a difference. This certainly is not an exhaustive list. People hurt for many different reasons. This list is just what I consider helpful.

10 TIPS FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION~it starts with each of us

1. CHOOSE TO BE A NICE PERSON

Be kind to others. You NEVER know what people are dealing with on a day-to-day basis…things that you have no idea about. Your words have the power to uplift someone or to destroy a part of someone’s heart.

You’d be surprised how many people are literally one unkind word away from doing something regretful. “One” thing someone says could very well be the “100th” thing that was said to them during the week or month. Unkindness has a layering affect that eventually builds up. Use your words to be kind.

2. BE A GOOD REFLECTION

If you see that someone is struggling–or they are being bullied, outcasted, or rejected–or if you see someone who is making poor decisions–choose to be the ONE person who makes a difference in their life. Some people have no idea that they have VALUE.

Maybe God wants to use YOU to help uncover their value to where they gain the ability to CLEARLY see it for themselves.

Problems have a way of clouding the way we see ourselves in the daily mirror of life. Be a good solid mirror in the lives of others so that when they talk to you, they see a good reflection. People truly need that. If you see something good in someone, tell them. Give people genuine praise and words of affirmation. You may be the only good “mirror” they will see themselves through until they gain the ability to see the good in their own self.

3. DEVELOP DISCERNMENT & MERCY

Don’t believe everything you hear about people. If you do hear something negative, choose to be the type of person who gives others MERCY & the benefit of the doubt. Everybody has value and everyone has the potential to do great things with their life. EVERYBODY.

Even if something said is true, people can and do change.

Give & be the mercy today that you would hope to receive tomorrow.

Treat others how you would want to be treated in the same situation.

Everybody has the capacity to make a really poor decision. It is never a good idea to be so prideful to think that we are the exception. Please use discernment and give others MERCY.

4. DON’T PLACE BLAME

Don’t blame or judge the parents, spouse, or family of the person who tried to commit suicide or succeeded in commiting suicide. If a person commits suicide, it simply means that they did not like how the circumstances of their life was going, they lost hope, or an event was excruciatingly painful, or the pain in their life became too great to handle. It does NOT (& should NOT) reflect on the family of those left behind.

The family left behind needs your love, support, COMPASSION, & encouragement more than ever. Don’t shun or avoid them and please DO NOT make their situation a topic of gossip. They feel terribly heartbroken and traumatized about it already. Please do not add to their pain.

Don’t blame the person. They were in a lot of pain and they simply got caught up in a very dark moment and felt like the options ran out. They weren’t trying to be selfish, hurtful or unthoughtful…they were in the darkest depths of their life and didn’t know how to swim to the surface. They felt as though they were drowning and got tired of treading the waters of “life”.

If you know of a hurting family member or friend, please don’t judge their pain…please HELP & LOVE THEM!

Many times, outside people do not have all the facts to know the totality of a story of what went on inside the life of the person who committed suicide. Everybody has a story…and not everyone is an open book. Please be compassionate.

5. CHOOSE TO BE A HOPE GIVER & ENCOURAGER

There are some people in life who have a way of infusing hope in the darkest situations of life. CONTINUALLY FIND WAYS TO BE ONE OF THEM! Seek to let everyone you come in contact with know that life is good regardless of any life event they are going through. Encourage those who God has placed around you.

INFUSE HOPE, LOVE, AND ENCOURAGEMENT INTO FAMILY & FRIEND’S LIVES!

Although suicide or attempted suicide can be a source of gossip, don’t be so quick to believe that someone who attempted suicide is merely a depressed mess. 

Many times, after a suicide attempt, a person will learn very deep life lessons. Many will develop compassion towards others who are hurting. Some of the best encouragers I’ve ever met have been those who have been affected by depression or suicide.

After my attempt, I found how to be an encourager. If you want to be a great encourager, think of the struggles you have had in life…then look for others who are going through a same or similar struggle, and encourage them the way you wished someone would have encouraged you.

It can make a big difference!

6. DEVELOP AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE & A LIFE PURPOSE THAT BECOMES GREATER THAN PERSONAL PAIN

It is so important to understand how to have an eternal perspective…and to genuinely understand that EVERY life matters. There is a huge need for people who are able to EFFECTIVELY communicate this truth: Everybody goes through bad situations in life…and every situation in life is redeemable. EVERYBODY has a life purpose that needs to be fulfilled…and ONLY they have the ability to fulfill it.

With so much judgment in the world, it is easy for people to feel constantly discouraged. We need to reverse our judgments and turn them into something that helps others…and find tangible ways of caring for others. When people are down…and there are a lot of situations that can bring people down…who can they trust to help lift them out of the pit? It’s not enough to say, “I care”…everybody cares…our families and friends may need more than that. They may need to know that someone ACTIVELY CARES and are willing to invest in their life. If you see someone struggling…ask how you can help. Let them know they have great value and that there is an Answer to anything and everything in life. PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THAT THEIR LIFE PURPOSE IS GREATER THAN ANY PAIN THEY EXPERIENCE. Pain in life is temporary…a life purpose is eternal. IT HAS AN ONGOING LASTING IMPACT & LEGACY. 

I suffered greatly with depression until I found my life purpose. Everybody has an incredible life purpose…once you find out what your own unique purpose is, it breathes new life into your heart. It truly fills your heart with HOPE!

There is purpose in every pain we all go through and it is often there to develop & refine our life purpose.

To find out your purpose, go to http://www.chazown.com and also http://www.purposedriven.com

I HIGHLY recommend two books:

  • Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For? This book has sold more books than any other nonfiction book except for the Bible. It is an incredible book that has the ability to change lives!
  • Craig Groeschel’s book, Chazown: A Different Way to See Your Life Craig Groeschel is a skilled communicator. You will truly enjoy his style of writing and wit!

7. BE A GOOD EXAMPLE TO YOUR CHILDREN

We, as parents, can fool ourselves into believing that our kids are automatically or naturally born “kind” people.

Character & kindness are CAUGHT, not TAUGHT. We can tell our kids to be kind all we want but if they do not see it in our lives, they aren’t going to buy it.

Here are a few questions each of us should ask ourselves for personal accountability:

(IT STARTS AT HOME!)

Do your kids see you being kind to your spouse, your other children, & others? Do they see you talking bad about other people to your friends? Do they see you maliciously gossiping, belittling, or insulting others? Do they see you actively befriending others or do they see you being overly critcal & picky with whom you choose to befriend? Has someone reached out to you to offer friendship and you snubbed them? Have you been arrogant or exclusive? Have they witnessed you being “two-faced”…nice to people when they are around but talk poorly about them later?

Parents are children’s main blueprint & role models for how to treat others. I think sometimes, we can all minimize or forget that.

We want to blame others instead of looking in the mirror. We ALL do it…harsh but true.

We want to think that it is always “everyone else” who will fix societal issues. We each need to honestly self-reflect to see if we are truly part of the problem…and how we can be part of the solution.

We, as parents, need to realize that kind parents produce the next kind generation. The hand that rocks the cradle has the power to influence and rock the world. Make sure you do everything in your power to ensure that your children will rock the world with kindness and compassion as adults.

If you’ve made these mistakes (and we ALL have), go to your kids and ask for forgiveness. It is never too late to become a kinder person and to open up important conversation with our kiddos about being kind to others..even if they are now adults. We are all works in progress, none of us are perfect.

When you know better, you then have the ability to do better.

Now that you know, change life up & make kindness a priority. Teach your kids to be kind by example.

8. INFORM OTHERS OF ORGANIZATIONS THAT WANT TO HELP THEM

Post a phone number of a suicide hotline on your facebook page today and tell your facebook friends that they are valuable. You may want to simply say something like, “If you’re feeling depressed or like there’s no reason to live, PLEASE go talk to someone. I care about each and every one of you and want you to continue being in my life.”

People need to tell their family & friends that they are cared about. It DOES make a difference!

By the way, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline‘s phone number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Suicide hotline is 24/7, free, and confidential with a nationwide network of crisis centers.

Another good organization with a free hotline is The Focus on the Family Help Center. Counselors are available to listen and pray with you, as well as provide initial guidance and resources to help. Arrange to speak with a licensed Christian counselor at no cost by calling 1-855-771-HELP (4357) Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (Mountain time).

9. CALL PEOPLE OUT

If you see that a family member or friend has been behaving differently, has made drastic changes to their appearance or lifestyle, has appeared depressed or hopeless, or has mentioned “life sucks” or has said life is “not worth living”, CALL THEM OUT ON IT…ASK if they are okay. Tell them you care about them and that you love them. Let them know that you are always there for them and they can call you anytime…day or night. Better to offend a friend than to have regret.

10. REACH OUT TO YOUR FAMILY & FRIENDS IF YOU ARE HAVING A HARD TIME AND SEEK GOD

If you are feeling depressed, reach out to your loved ones. Society tells everyone that they need to be strong…but we ALL will have times in life where we feel weak or depressed.

Don’t bottle it all in. Seek out a TRUSTED family member or friend and get the help you need.

It helps to get another person’s perspective about situations and hardships in life. It helps to know someone cares.

If you are feeling depressed, make wellness a priority…even if you don’t want to.

Pray, seek God’s heart, eat right, exercise, get enough sleep and rest, and do things in life that you previously enjoyed…especially when you do not feel like doing any of these things.

It takes time to fix what has been broken. It takes time for God to work the details out to make something good come out of the painful event you are experiencing.

Get the help you need today so you have the ability to help others through the situations they are facing tomorrow. YOU are going to be ABSOLUTE JEWEL to someone in the future who will be going through a similar heartache!

I hope all of this was helpful. If it makes a difference in even one person’s life, it was worth writing. Please know that you have VALUE! Life is worth living! 

Yes, 8% will attempt suicide. I pray that those 8% will find the HOPE they are seeking from ONE person. Their life purpose is unfolding. I sure hope someone cares about them today so they have a renewed ability to live out their life purpose tomorrow.

Be the ONE.

Each one of us knows someone who is going through depression or someone who is going through a tough time.

Let’s make the commitment to pick up the phone TODAY & call the people we love and tell them how much they mean to us. If we know someone is down, we need to check on them and make sure they are okay. Encourage family & friends this week!
Compassion is so needed in this world..everyone needs to know they matter.

If you have gone through the heartache of losing a family member or friend to suicide, I am so very sorry. I know that every time suicide is a topic in the news, it can bring intense grief back up to the surface. Praying for every family going through this tonight!

If you are having thoughts of suicide or you are going through deep depression, DO NOT wait to get help. There’s no shame in getting help! If you broke your arm, you’d seek out help. How much more important is your heart & your mind!
Please seek out help for depression…especially if you are having suicidal thoughts!
YOU MATTER!!!!!

http://www.griefbites.com ©2014