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I've just received a frantic call from my daughter.
A young girl she went to school with committed suicide yesterday. This child was one of my daughter's best friends in school. My daughter just saw her last week and said everything seemed to be fine with her. Tanisha had an 8 year old son, and a 3 yr old--the same age as my grandson.
Unfortunately, my daughter got this terrible news at her job and she is devastated. She was barely able to speak with me, and doesn't know any of the details. All she knows, or cares, is that she has lost another friend. One of many she has had to say goodbye to before she was ready. Most have been due to car accidents--this is the first deliberate death and I know she will be haunted for a long time, thinking that somehow she should have been able to tell that something was wrong.
If you are a regular reader of the obituary's in your paper, I'm wondering if you've noticed, as I have, that the ages of the deceased are getting younger and younger all the time. Used to be that they were mostly older folks.
I don't know all the pressures that our younger generation are facing. I do know that we're living in a fast paced and unkind world. If you don't keep up, you're likely to get left in the dust. I know that the world today is so totally different from the world I grew up in, and the issues our young people face are very difficult to deal with and sort through. Parents don't understand the pressures these kids are facing, so we don't really know how to help. Kids don't listen to any kind of wisdom--they seem to think they have all the answers. Babies are raising babies now. Things that were shocking back then are now commonplace. Eyebrows rarely get raised, and the rod is spared more often than not because we want to be our children's 'friends' rather than their parents.
Perhaps this girl felt the approach of another Christmas where her children wouldn't get presents like the other kids. Perhaps it was just all too hard for her, at 24 years old, trying to raise two young boys and work. Perhaps she had a fight with her boyfriend.
This time of year can be very depressing. Loved ones who are gone are missed. Money that isn't there has to be found anyway. Expectations run high. If you want your kids to have a nice Christmas, you MUST buy them everything they want. If you don't, you're a bad parent! You must smile when you feel like crying, you must deal with people (usually your own family) whom you normally don't really interact with often or positively. You are pressured to 'feel' a certain way or you're just a Scrooge.
Remember those who won't be having a very merry Christmas this year. There are more of them than there are of those who will. Pray for this girl, and her children and family. Obviously, no one will ever really know what drove her to her final act--no one except God. And, if you will, pray for my daughter, who has attended way too many funerals for her peers in her lifetime.
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UPDATE: My daughter has progressed from shock to anger. She's mad at her friend and mad at herself for being mad at her. I advised her to turn to God as He is the only one who knows the true circumstances of this suicide. My daughter is torn just now. I just have a question for you all--do you feel that God takes into account the circumstances of an act such as this? Or is suicide just the ultimate act of selfishness? Thanks! Beth. Can you say definitively that this child is doomed to hell? This is what's bothering my daughter the most and I don't want to say the wrong thing at this point.
Beth, Great article - heart-breaking to say the least! I will be praying for your daughter and the family of this young lady!!! God bless, Jounda