Those who don’t have a young mind, are old at ANY age.
The reciprocal is true as well.
Therefore, keep your youth!!!
Those who don’t have a young mind, are old at ANY age.
John, you are so right. Very well stated.
First let me comment in appreciation of the excellent material and thoughtful queries by Matthew Quartey (as always). The philosophical problem of existence, so well examined by Shakespeare (Hamlet) and Camus (above); Moses (Ps.90) and David (Ps. 39), and of course Job and his frenemies, as well as especially the Lord Jesus in the pragmatism of His instructive parables and other salient teaching about both spiritual and mundane realities. Something those with no suicidal ideation do well to ponder: “teach us to number our days.” And as people with Christian “values,” surely we have had occasion to weigh many things.
As one who has contemplated suicide, I think that I have simething to offer on this topic. I am thankful that gone are the days when people who killed themselves were excluded from burial in Christian churchyard cemeteries. And certainly those who have defended themselves in battle and been slain themselves in the conflict are accorded honorable burial.
I am glad also that we no longer strain our intellects adjudicating the matter of whether one will be saved who commits a “sin” the moment before he dies, as the hypothetical driver who utters a profanity as he meets his end in an accident, or more to the point, the one succeeds (if that is how to describe it?) in suicide.
As was mentioned above, God is merciful and just and looks at the arc of our life, rather than a single deed or the decision of a moment, how ever “deliberate.” We may have the confident assurance of God’s friend Abraham, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
(As a comforting song puts it, “Although there were times I stepped out of His will, I’ve never been out of His care.”)
In my opinion, one who has given his heart and his life to our gracious God, is always in a “state of grace.” Unless one actually turns his back on God and makes that a permanent decision (only God is the judge of that)…but even then the loving Father is still seeking him all the rest of his way. “How can I give you up…? My heart recoils within Me.”
My observation is that one who is seriously considering suicide is not in a healthful frame of mind with normal points of reference. As was mentioned above, the person"s focus has narrowed down excessively. A person may think that he has run out of options. His/her cognition is not coping well enough.
Or the opposite–in this case, too much–may be occrring. They may be overburdened, at their wit’s end, under too much strain. Though as a lay person I would not be able to be sure in a clinical way about the following instances, there does seem to be anecdotal evidence connecting them to being overwhelmed. I think of the NYC EMT and the NYC physician who both succumbed to suicide in March, as well as the Italian nurses who, also in the initial phase of COVID19 infection in March committed suicide, all of these apparently in regard to responsibilities having to do with COVID19 care. In some cases, seeing so many patients dying before their eyes in a such short span of time, while they are making all their efforts to save them, can be too much. Another factor pointed out is the caring sensibility of healthcare workers, that perversely in these cases, may seem to work against them.
It is well known that war veterans, for a number of reasons, have a higher rate of suicide. To say, Well, they have PTSD, is to leave out a lot of the story–the difficult adjustment of return to civilian life; for some, family issues because of prolonged absence and anger management problems; run-ins with authorities in regard to drinking and driving, or drugs, or episodes of rage; the difficulty of obtaining adequate healthcare attention; the poverty in their standard of living that so many of them face; and not the least, especially for those who have seen action, trying to cope with the nightmare that they had to live through and the nightmares that they are still suffering.
In other cases there is the let-down and the shadow of loss of esteem and pride, and the injustice of a less-than-honorable discharge because of “mental health” reasons. I would say that it is not the warriors who have the condition but the crazy-making experience they have to live, and the inhuman realities they are exposed to.
Again, as mentioned above by other writers, suicide may be a choice made by the elderly in view of limited options for a rewarding existence; lack of hope because of terminal illness; or exhaustion of caring for one’s spouse as well as oneself when energy is failing.
As for the young, crises are that much more risky to face on their own, many times with a paucity of coping skills due to inexperience.
Consider also the fact they have not had the personal proof of having already faced dauntingly difficult situations and come through on top.
Isolation from others–or isolation in the experience one is being subjected to, a feeling that no one understands or can share what one is going through, is a huge element.
A true friend is worth his weight in gold. And one time as a teenager, when in my despair I was seriously thinking of suicide and how to achieve it, my Mother’s rare and unexpected kiss saved me.
For me it has been God who has always pulled me through, by means of His Word, His Spirit, His Providence, his servants who have ministered to me on His behalf, and my own persevering and proactive efforts toward mental health.
Through no fault of my own, I have BPD, and can be subject to dramatic mood swings–from mountaintop to valley, sometimes on only moments or just hours. Fortunately I do find God on the mountain; and he never has forsaken me in the valleys, either. He is my Rock, and has seen me through much despair and desperation, many occasions of considering suicide, and one attempt. Fortunately I was not successful. What the young do not realize is that death leaves no options in this life, is irrevocable; and if one waits the sun will rise tomorrow.
Like Elijah the best things for me to regain stability are food and drink and rest–and my daily meeting with God on the mountain.
After such a serious post as I just made, I want to balance it out by saying that I read the article “Saved by the Blood of the Damned” and all the suite of insightful comments–and I never knew you guys/gal could be such cut-ups. As you said, it got more and more hilariously weird.
I hope you don’t mind my saying that I was laughing so hard by the end, that I was almost rolling on the floor in laughter–or rolling in the aisles, in keeping with the supernatural tone of the topic being discussed. I took it all in the spirit in which it was intended (oops, there we go with spirits again!), meaning that I appreciated the savvy comments and I respect your erudition and professional experience, while at the same time I couldn’t help LOL at your wit and the ludicrous turn the discussion took.
Laughter therapy–even better than the cocktail of (prescribed) meds I need to go take now before I go to bed. The following may be another apocryphal EGW quote (and I can’t verify it as my indexes are packed away), but doesn’t she say somewhere that Jesus never disapproved of good cheer? (Something like that, but please do not suppose I am or she would be referring to a “happy hour”–there I go with spirits again!) Blessings on you all for the uplifting levity–“noblest mirth” (hymn “Rejoice ye pure in heart”). I just hope one of you reads this, as I missed out on reading the feed and responding in a timely way.
I believe this modality of therapy is often helpful and even necessary. It helps to break the tension in conversations that become too tight, or even toxic. There is nothing more helpful than a good laugh in the middle of “too much seriousness,” or sometimes even “too much craziness.”
I am glad you had some fun (including “almost rolling on the floor.”… ) reading that article and could follow up as “it got more and more hilariously weird.”
Keep enjoying the seriousness of the issues published and the "hilarious ad-ons… )
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