Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How to talk to someone after a suicide...RevGalBlogPals

Below is a great article on how to talk to someone who has experienced and is living with suicide  With the death of Rick Warren's son this will probably be a hot topic in many circles.  This article does a great job give advice on how to talk, interact, and offer support to those who are dealing with the suicide of a loved one.

In one of my files I have a great sermon that a minister preached at the funeral of one of his church members who died of suicide.  In it he says, "In that moment _________ lost sight of the promise that was made by God at his baptism, but today we can rest assured that God has never forgotten."  That has always stuck with me and if or when I am called upon to do a service like that, I will be quoting that exact phrase.

All pastors should be prepared and ready for when this happens in our congregations.  Chances are it will if it hasn't already.


Erin G said...

Please actually don't ever use that quote in a service. The sentiment is in the right place, and saying something LIKE that would be okay. But people, pastors included, don't EVER get to presume what what might or might not have been thinking/feeling/remembering/forgetting "in that moment."

I know I don't comment much (but I read a lot! I love seeing the pastor you've become!) but this hits super close to home, and I wanted to share that in my experience this type of comment can be really hurtful. Phrased that way, the comment of God never forgetting or loving the deceased almost gets lost. It's a beautiful sentiment that could be better and more thoughtfully/lovingly presented without any assumptions on what must have happened or how it might have felt (see #1 in the referenced post).

I love that you wrote about this and shared a great post about it. These are good words to read in a week when the conversation has been sadly unkind. Thanks for that. :)

Unknown said...

Thank you Erin for sharing and I appreciate the input. I can see where you are coming from. In saying, "______ lost sight of the promise" I would be assuming and that may not be the right thing to say.

If or when I do preach a funeral like this, I will attempt my best to stay away from doing that.

The major part I would convey is that God never forgets and nothing we can do can separate us from the love of God. So many people think that suicide is the "unforgivable" sin and that the person is truly lost forever now. I wanted to makes sure those living after an event like that know that God's love is still with them and their loved one.

Thank you for the input! Glad to know I have a constant reader besides my mom!