When a loved one commits suicide, it’s a life-shattering experience. One is shocked beyond belief! Why and what questions begin to attack one’s mind. Why did she commit suicide? What could I have done to prevent him from killing himself? The loss and the pain is an excruciating, living nightmare.

When someone commits suicide, it seems to me that the person was in a lot of emotional pain, and the only way to stop the pain and to escape from the pain was to kill oneself.

We live in a time and age when almost everyone and everything is scrutinized, from how we look to how we dress, whether we are rich or whether we are poor. Our value and our worth as human beings have the tendency to be judged by people who really, truly don’t know a dam thing about us! This malicious judging, condemnation, belittling and bullying of people have magnified exponentially through social media. There is a cesspool of terrible, awful comments made about people just for the fun of it. Making fun of people, especially people whom you don’t know anything about, is not funny or amusing. For once, put yourself in another person’s shoes and ask yourself if you would enjoy someone poking fun at you and writing obscene, nasty comments about you all over the internet and throughout social media.

Present-day society has become callous and cruel to other people’s feelings. Just because the first amendment right guarantees free speech, it does not give us the right to say whatever we want. There is power in words; there is power behind words; and words can have unthinkable consequences. And there are times when we need to shut our mouths.

When I read and hear of children and young people killing themselves, it’s emotionally devastating. I cannot even begin to imagine the heartbreak that a family has to endure from having to survive the suicide of a loved one. Not only do parents suffer emotional pain, but the sisters and the brothers of the one who committed suicide suffer emotionally too. The whole family grieves over the loss of their beloved.

Over the years I have been asked, “What do you do for someone who is dealing with the death of a loved one?” My reply was “be.” Oftentimes people feel as if they need to say something or do something to help a person through grief. My experience has taught me that through such trying and emotional times, the best gift that a person can give a human being who is grieving is their presence. Being there for another human being, without even saying a word, carries so much power, comfort, and care. There is healing in silence. Too often we feel as if we need to say something, when we really shouldn’t. Holding someone’s hand or giving someone a hug can speak volumes beyond any words.

For those of you who are surviving the loss of a love to suicide, I suggest that you openly and honestly talk about your feelings, even those scary feelings like anger, with your family and with those who are dear and close to you. Remember, grief is a journey, and healing takes time. And I believe God is with us during our deepest and greatest pain.

No matter what society and others may think about suicide, please don’t ever forget the memory of your beloved. Take out the photographs and remember the times that you shared together. The memories may bring some tears, but there is healing in the tears. And I hope as you remember your beloved, there will be a lot of smiles from the joy that your precious beloved left behind.