A pastor friend of mine shared over dinner that, a number of years ago, his son had committed suicide. He talked openly his loss and the way it had changed him. He recommended Grieving a Suicide, by Albert Y. Hsu where Hsu talks about his father’s suicide and that of many others – Christian and non-Christians. While I have written about a theology of grief and loss, God used this book to enlarge my own heart and challenge me to enter into this very different world.
- Approximately a million people around the world kill themselves each year.
- Every suicide leaves behind at least six survivors, sometimes ten or more. Their level of stress is ranked by the APA as “catastrophic — equivalent to that of a concentration camp experience.”
A spirituality of suffering, grief, and loss is untidy – bottomless. I found, however, this quote by Walter Wangerin a helpful summary of Hsu’s reflections:: “The is the paradox of our faith: joy is forged in sorrow. And death leads to life. And grief is the road between them.” And may God grant us the grace to feel deeply the suffering around us, to wait on Him in the confusing in-between, and to let the old birth the new resurrections He has for us.