My first born son, Darius, also took his own life. Day after day and night after night, a cried and prayed, and prayed and cried. One night, in desperation at the thought that my poor son would spend all eternity alone and without a family of his own led me to plead Heavenly Father to punish me instead, and to grant my son an eternal family of his own. I received almost a rebuke. "Are you saying you can add anything to my Son's infinite Atonement" entered my mind with great power. No, was my reply. "My Son's grace is sufficient for your son, and for you" was the follow up thought that entered my mind. All of a sudden, it became crystal clear to me that my son is loved, cherished, and has full potential ahead of him because of our Savior's infinite love. My heart and mind became at peace. I felt enveloped in love and grace, and was able to sleep knowing that my son was also loved and arable of receiving the Lord's grace.
Thank you for sharing your experience. How brave of you to open up about something so painful. Your thoughts are helping me think through my current painful situation in a more healthy way. Your thoughts in the sections "Rethinking What the Lord Really Wants from Me", and "The Pain of Unrealistic Expectations" are giving me pause with my current internal thoughts of self-blame for choices being made by people I love that are causing me pain. And I need a pause in that, if not a total cessation! I also especially appreciated Elder Cannon's quote that you included. Thanks again.
Thanks so much for your inspirational article and for sharing what I call your "wrenching, stretching" journey to peace and reconciliation with the Lord following your son's inactivity and subsequent suicide. While none of our children have taken their own life, two of them have left the Church, taking all seven of their children--our grandchildren--with them. After years of struggling including occasional bouts of depression as well as lecturing/pleading/guilting, my wife and I came to what we considered divine guidance: our job is to love these precious souls and God's job is to reclaim them. Once we came to this realization, we were free FROM the worry and self-recriminations and free TO explore different ways to love our wandering family members. The peace that has been with us since is tender and healing for us.
Thanks for your great words of wisdom Darla! One said of Hemmingway, "He lived his life to write it down." Since God does know all things past, present, and future.....I'm positive he knew you would write about your experience with your son Brian and by so doing encourage and strengthen others. Thanks!
After the suicide of my young wife, I constantly asked, 'What more could I have done to prevent this tragedy?' Somehow, through my mother at the hairdresser's beauty parlor, Sis. Frieda Lee heard my story. Sis. Frieda Lee was the wife of deceased Pres. Harold B. Lee. One day at home she called me on the phone, introduced herself, and said, "I would like to give you some words of counsel. Perhaps they can help you in your grieving. My husband would always counsel to people in your circumstances, 'When the Lord puts a period on someone's life, don't change it to a question mark. And don't play the What If game.' " I thought it was incredibly helpful to me to understand the thoughts of a Prophet. Over time, I have shared this anecdote with others. I also self learned that grieving is the final part of love, and if we truly love someone, we grieve at times long after they're gone.
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