Grief and Its Effects

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One thing that you should know about me is my husband died by suicide almost four and a half years ago.  It is possibly the one event that has changed my life more than any other.  If you have been affected by suicide or the death of a spouse, you know that either of these things is traumatic on their own.  But to have both happen simultaneously is a heavy load to bear.

Since then, my mom also passed away and I have done a lot to process through my grief.  I’ve gone to psychologists, taken (and still take) medication to help with anxiety and depression, but probably most importantly, I have continued talking about what has happened to me.  I still talk about my grieving process.  I still talk about suicide and its effects.

It became very apparent to me from the get that we don’t talk about suicide in the church.  I’ve been in church my entire life and I can’t ever remember one sermon or even discussion about it.  When my husband died, I actually kept the details of his death secret because I was ashamed.  Ashamed because I felt like there was something I could have done to prevent it.  Ashamed of what people would think of me…that I should have been a better wife.

I have recently discerned a calling to be a pastor and part of my calling is to make sure that we start talking about these things so that we, as the body of Christ, can start to help those left behind when a family member or friend dies by suicide.

The following is something I wrote in 2014, six months after my husband died.  I started writing back then as a way to process my grief.  If you are grieving, I pray that this somehow helps you navigate through the grieving process.  If you have someone in your life that is grieving, I pray that by reading this you will be able to help someone in their time of grief.

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What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

This question starts getting asked when you’re young enough to understand what it means and continues, albeit with different wording, until you graduate from high school or college.  I work on a college campus and I find myself asking my student workers what they want to do after they graduate.  And now that I’m back in school, people have been asking me the same thing.  And up until about a month ago, I didn’t have an answer for them.  And then everything changed. Continue reading