Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Widow's Story: After a Suicide

Today we hear from MaryLou, and how the Lord is helping her through a devastating time. I'm so grateful for her willingness to share about this topic. Please praise the Lord for His good work in her and also pray for her and others who've lost loved ones to suicide when God brings her to mind.
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This is terribly difficult to write in an email, but due to severe depression my wonderful husband took his own life in January of 2008. It was a tremendous blow to me and our grown son and daughter--plus the three grandchildren. He was our "rock". He was our Bible expert. He had hundreds of verses memorized thanks to his mother's getting him involved at a young age in BMA-Bible Memory Association. He was president of the Kansas City YFC his senior year in high school. His mom passed away soon after he graduated from highschool. He went on to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where he met my oldest brother . . . and that is how I met my love. He transferred to Calvary Bible College in Kansas City, and we were married the summer before his senior year. (We were married for 43 years and I was widowed at age 61). We think there may be a genetic component as his brother also took his own life 15 years earlier.

Clark loved the Lord and that only makes it more difficult but I have gotten past the "whys" and realize nothing takes God by surprise. He allowed it even though I know it broke God's heart, too. I am so thankful for the assurance that no one or no thing is able to take us out of God's hand! I know Clark is beholding the face of his Savior and that gives me comfort.

Yet, for me, because my husband took his life, I have struggled with guilt. "Why didn't I see it happening?" Because we were preparing to retire and move to Colorado, I was grieving the impending loss of close friends. I was in a down time myself but I still have the guilt that I was selfish and he needed my help.

I have taken that guilt to the Lord, early on, but the flesh wants to go back and pick it up again. I have to keep laying it down at His feet.

Also, like I said on Monday's blog posting, our house sold and I moved because that was our plan. But *everything* in my life changed. I moved from Kansas City to Colorado Springs. I have a lovely, sun filled, fully equipped apartment on the lower level of my daughter and son-in-law's home, but my life was ripped out by the roots and plunked down in a "foreign" soil. I struggled to make the good friendships here and find a church home etc. I never liked "change". I had lived in the same house for 30 years and in the same town for all of my married life. The Lord is really stretching me.

I do have a wonderful ladies Bible study on Friday mornings that I attend.
One other thing that I have had to deal with was a loss of some vision. Basically I only have vision in one eye--there is also some slight loss in the other eye but central vision was spared. Fourteen years ago I had two episodes of optic nerve damage. The damage was permanent so I quit driving because I was afraid I might hurt someone.

All that to say, when I first got here to Colorado I hadn't driven except around the block from time to time at my husband's urging.

When he died, my son asked me what I wanted to do with the car. I decided to give it to a missionary who really needed it. Sometimes I wonder if I should have kept it, but I believe the Lord wanted me to do that and at the time I didn't think I COULD drive. Now I drive an old jeep of my kids that they've made available to me. I love it! It lets me sit up high and since I'm only five feet tall that is helpful. :-)

I probably miss my friends more than the joy of being with my daughter in a way.....she is so busy with a job and with three kids her time is pretty taken--and that is as it should be. I know God has a plan for me----He allows me to be here for some reason so I will wait on Him.

Because my husband took his own life and it was at home in the back yard, I don't think I could have stayed in my old house. Although it was hard to move, it would have been harder to stay. I would always have been reminded of the tragedy.

I don't mind talking about the subject of suicide because the Lord has made it easy for me to be open about it. It is an opportunity to see beauty come out of ashes. One of the great problems with believers---we don't want to admit that we struggle with grave subjects such as depression--but we need to get it out in the light so that it doesn't happen to someone you love. I have had to make new friends but God is faithful and I know this is where I am supposed to be.

I loved Elisabeth Elliot's quote~ "Just do the next thing." You need to recognize God's discipline of loneliness when it is assigned to you and receive it with both hands saying,'Lord, I would not have chosen this, but I will receive it. Now teach me what I can only learn in loneliness. Phil. 4:12-13

My favorite verse and the one I put on the headstone is Eph. 1:6 ......"accepted in the Beloved." That says it all.
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Beauty from ashes . . . accepted in the Beloved . . . lets all "do the next thing" and receive these good gifts from the Lord.

If you struggle with depression, wondering if life will ever feel OK again, please wake up to the potential danger and seek good, professional help in your area. God has many good things still out there for you. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. II Corinthians 4:17. ferree

1 comment:

  1. (I just got this email a few minutes ago from a young man I know. The married couple who led his Bible study group--the wife killed herself this past weekend.)
    Hey guys,

    My college/career group met together last night and talked through things. Just a lot of different emotions...sadness, shock, anger, regret, etc. I'm okay, just still can't believe she is gone. She was the most loving and compassionate woman I know and had a big impact on all of our lives, so it's hard to understand how she couldn't realize how much we loved her and how much she meant to us. But, when you suffer from depression, you convince yourself that people don't really love you or care about you. She has suffered from severe depression for a very long time. What shocked us the most was how well she hid her depression. We just didn't see it coming these last few weeks. Just a week ago I was eating dinner with her and Scott and we were talking about all the stuff we were going to do together this summer. Susie said her and Scott were going to stop by and see me at work this week. Scott sends out an invitation each week on facebook for the college group meetings and she had even confirmed that she would be attending this week. So, it was certainly a shock for all of us.

    The funeral is today and I was asked to be one of the pallbearers, so that will be tough. Scott is obviously going through a lot, but overall he is really strong. Susie was 48 years old. They don't have any kids and so he will be alone in big house. Thus we have planned out some meals and will be taking turns bringing them to him, eating with him, and hanging out with him in the weeks to come. I will let you know if we need help with meals. I know some of the groups of students coming to visit him probably can't cook.

    I think right now Scott could just really use some prayer, especially today. Thank you.



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