Losing a loved one is hard enough. It can be even more challenging when they take their own life. Too often people fall into feeling guilty at what could have been done to prevent it. This is a losing battle, one that will close your heart and pull you down. We must accept that they are ultimately responsible for their decisions – the good ones and the bad ones. We must also have faith that God does indeed still love them and that they will not be eternally damned. Ask yourself if this is your idea of something a loving God would do, punish you forever for one mistake? Eternity is a long, long time. Would you cut off your child forever, withdrawing all love for one lapse in judgment? Are those that take their own life still loved by God – absolutely. Are they still held responsible – absolutely. And what does that look like? Most likely a quick return into a new body to begin again. Usually into a similar situation where they have another chance to face the challenges they struggled with before. Life is about growing into greater capacities of wisdom and love and it takes time. Time that a loving God graciously gives us.
October 21, 2008 I received a call from my mother who was frantically repeating over and over, “We lost him; we lost him.” My oldest brother had died. He struggled most of his adult life with bi-polar episodes. Numerous bi-polar episodes and other serious ups and downs took a toll on his marriage. After a divorce his life became more unstable and by August, 2008 his life seemed to be spiraling downwards. On his birthday we talked by phone and I was looking forward to having time with him in person at Thanksgiving. That time never came.
After starting a new job in another city he became extremely depressed and ended up at the mental health unit. On that fateful day my parents had gone to petition for his early release into their care, saying that they could provide a safe environment for him. My dad had left the keys to the car by the phone, and when they were all napping, Dave got up and slipped out of the house. The car was his means to end his life.
My family was grief stricken and my parents were full of guilt. I also wondered what I could have done differently and I too started feeling guilt. In contemplation, connecting with the Prophet on the inner, I received very strong inner guidance not to allow my heart to fill with guilt. He assured me that anything I might have done would not have changed the outcome for Dave. I felt a release from guilty feelings shortly after my contemplation. Without the guilt I was more able to support and comfort my family.
Two weeks after Dave had passed I prepared for my early morning contemplation, singing HU and connecting with the Divine on the inner. Instantly I found myself at a favorite spot by the pond at the Nature Awareness School. The Prophet was standing to my right and my attention was drawn to the left by some movement. There was my brother Dave, looking like he had in his late twenties. He looked robust and healthy. I was very happy to see him. I introduced him to the Prophet but then realized that Dave already knew the Prophet because he had brought Dave to me. My gratitude was immense to be with Dave once again.
My mother and father continued to suffer deeply with grief and guilt. I always thought my dad would live to be at least a hundred years old. He now seemed to age rapidly and was rather miserable and somewhat bitter. A month after his ninetieth birthday he had a stroke and died. I did not have the opportunity to say good-bye. Six months went by and one evening as I sat down to HU at bedtime, suddenly there was my dad! He looked much younger, glowing with good health. It struck me how happy he looked and totally at peace. I do not recall him looking that happy or peaceful, ever.
I am very grateful to the Divine for giving me these precious experiences with my brother and my dad. Both experiences helped to heal my heart from my loss. And even though my brother ended his own life, breaking spiritual law, I know God still loves him and will care for him.
Written by Jan Reid
“Visit Loved Ones in Heaven” is filled with uplifting stories of people being reunited with loved ones who have passed. PREVIEW IT HERE.