Monday, October 26, 2020


I've been staring at a very kind, well-intended note for several days now. First I had to sort of overcome the shock, but mostly my mind goes blank when I see it: 

"I do not know do not know me...But I need your help to encourage a dear friend...recently widowed...suicide...could you write to her?"

Suicides have been on the rise and I've wanted to provide some helpful Christian resources for a long time. Trouble is, there's still not much help specifically for widows. And often there are no words.  A ministry of presence is more appropriate---be there in person. Listen. Be delicate. Be wise. Be sensitive. Pray. 

I finally composed a letter that maybe I will share with you some day, but I cannot post it today. Instead, here are some resources I've appreciated:


Bearing the Special Grief of Suicide This article is a compassionate and excellent summation of the grief after a suicide. It's from a Catholic resource but is written to a general audience, and it's the best brief article I've found. Please share resources you might know of as I'm certainly not the last word.   

Especially for widows: God Is Enough by E.M. Louis. You know how widows need to hear from widows? Mrs. Louis's painful discovery of her husband's death after 33 years of marriage and ministry led to her own life and death struggle until she discovered "God is enough." I couldn't put it down. 

Grieving A Suicide: A Loved One's Search for Comfort, Answers, and Hope by Albert Y. Hsu. I found this book listed with Stephen Ministries so I take that as a great recommendation. Mr. Hsu is a senior editor with InterVarsity Press. His father died of suicide and this is a valued resource for all.

Finding Your Way After the Suicide of Someone You Love  by David B. Biebel, DMin, & Suzanne L. Foster, MA  I've read this book and think it should be on every minister's shelf especially because of the chapter on "How to Help Survivors of Suicide," and the coverage of special situations. On the other hand it's valuable for survivors: with easy-to-spot main points the reader can find what they need for their individual situation. Then, "Finding Your Way" helps at the end of each chapter provide tangible and productive steps to take. It's written with the compassion borne of personal experience.

i understand love heals is a website and non-profit on a mission to redefine suicide. One doesn't "commit" suicide and they will help you understand why. The link I've provided takes you directly to a blog post about how to deal with Halloween---do you hate it too? A valuable read! Fish around on the website for other good information and help. There's also a book, i understand by the young widow who founded the organization.

If you know of other helpful resources, please feel free to add them to the comments. ❤ And please pray for all who have been left behind to deal with the painful aftermath of this complicated cause of death. 

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