Thursday, June 18, 2009

Suicide is (not) painless

I loved MASH. The movie came out when I was in high school and I loved its dark humor and great sound-track. In fact, for many years "Suicide Is Painless" was one of my favorite "oldies." But suicide is painless for only one person; the one killing himself/herself. Today was the one year anniversary of one of the toughest suicides in my life; a friend in the church who took his life last year while we were in France. His death has been like a dull toothache in my heart for a year...and I was not that close, not as close as his family and long-time friends.
Today I began the day with a close friend of his (and mine) for a long and vigorous walk, reflecting on what his suicide has done in our lives this year. It's made me care more seriously about discipleship and less about my list and my things. It's made me look hard at what we do in the church and whether our impact will keep people alive or just busy and happy. I'm kind of done with busyness and happiness (I still have lots of fun) and am more concerned with getting the life saving message of Jesus anchored in hearts and lives to keep them alive.
Tonight I closed the day with a beach walk and bumped into another long-time friend whose life was rocked by the suicide. We sat and watched the wind blow and sun set...and had no answers, but a lot of pain still. Nope...it's not painless by a long shot.


At 10:55 AM , Blogger E Erickson said...

Great perspective....thanks for sharing that. It is hard, and I empathize with your experience. (I also love that show, and it is a fond memory of mine) I hope you create a nice new path to follow at this measurement of time! God bless you! Thanks for being you!

At 8:56 AM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

Ellen; email me your mailing address. Martha and I found some postcards for you.


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