Thoughts on Suicide

Those who take their life by suicide… 

  • don’t necessarily want to die. They see no way out and want the pain to end.
  • are not in their right mindset. They are not thinking in their right frame of mind.
  • think others would be better off without them.
  • think they are the problem or a burden to others.
  • still have their choice right up to the last second, even if they are using a substance or suffering from a mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical pain.

What I’ve learned about those who are affected by loved ones (family members or friends) who take their life by suicide…and some additional counsel:

  • Disbelief is normal. We may not want to believe someone killed themselves.
  • Grief takes as long as it takes and sometimes emotions come up when you least expect them to.
  • Survivors often blame themselves. They feel guilt for not noticing the signs beforehand or not doing something to have stopped it. Sometimes they feel guilt or shame for what they did or didn’t do.
  • Regret does not and cannot erase the pain, but regret can make things worse.
  • We should not remember someone for the way they died but the way they lived. We wouldn’t want to be remembered for our last mistakes that came in a moment of weakness either.
  • God is the ultimate Judge. We should not attempt to assign where someone goes after they die, even if it is by their own hand.
  • We should not try to know why someone did what they did. We may never know; they may never know. 

Jeffrey Denning

Jeffrey has written award-winning articles for the Washington Times,, and other publications. He is the author of seven books, including Warrior SOS: Military Veterans’ Stories of Faith, Emotional Survival and Living with PTSD. He teaches courses on peer support, suicide prevention, and other mental wellness and resilience to public safety professionals. If you would like Jeff to speak at your event or training please contact him HERE.

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