The following excerpt from my book, How I Escaped from Depression, addresses the question family and friends ask after a loved one commits suicide. “Why did he take his own life? He had so much to live for.”
Medication brought stability to me; it didn’t to Barry. Psychotherapy helped me come to grips with my perfectionism; it solved nothing for Barry. Anointing and prayer brought God’s strength and peace to me. The same things brought no relief to Barry, and he was a stronger Christian than I in so many ways.
I’ll never forget his last words to me that fateful morning. “Pat, I don’t know how much longer I can stand this.” Later that afternoon, his wife returned from grocery shopping to find her husband hanging from the rafters in the garage, with a sturdy rope he had bought at a hardware store two days earlier.
I’m afraid some Christians, not as many now as there used to be, believe a person who commits suicide is automatically assigned to hell, like being handed a ticket for a bus heading south. This may be the given destination for some, but for other reasons. Barry couldn’t help himself. He wasn’t in control of his life. Depression and anxiety took over, leaving him not even an ounce of himself. The dark force that controlled him found the rope, threw it over the rafters, and roughly pushed Barry off the stool. He had nothing to do with it.