By His Own Hand: Processing the Suicide of a Friend


My son is a hard sleeper.  He doesn’t wake easily.  Even to his screaming meanie alarm.

So sometimes, when he must get up, he asks me to call to make sure he’s up.  But he doesn’t always hear his phone.  So if he must get up, I drive over two blocks to wake him up.

That’s what happened this morning.

As I put the key in the front door lock, I looked in the glass side panels and saw a body hanging from the loft above the living room.

What?!  Horror!!  Is this real?  Is it my son?  No.  Thank God.

It’s his roommate.  No, Lord.  Why, Lord?This young man had given up.  We didn’t know he had given up.

The paramedics came, but he had been gone for several hours.  The police, forensics, detectives, the medical examiner. They had lots of questions about recent activities, state of mind, the night before, oddities they found. They were thorough, but kind.

They took him away.  His family didn’t even know yet.

So many emotions: Sorrow.  Pain.  Anger.  Fear.  Loss and at a loss.

My son was devastated:  Why didn’t he know?  How did he not hear?  Why didn’t his roommate come knock on the door to talk?  Why suicide? How can he be gone?

The hurt, loss, tragedy for his family.  He and his dad had been making plans for a project in the yard. Pain and anguish rippled out.  Even his dog was confused—she hid in his clothes.

For me?  What do I do with what I saw as I walked into that room?

And what do I do about a young life –only 19—taken too soon.  By his own hand.

More questions, more emotions.

Grateful for praying friends, listening hearts.

Asking for comfort, peace, good-bye grace, especially for his family.

Sensing God’s presence and His own sadness.

If you know someone behaving unusually, getting things in order, giving things away, moving from depression to euphoria, talk to them.  Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline '1-800-273-TALK (8255)'.

Helpful post from Dena Yohe at Hope for Hurting Parents: Let's Talk About Suicide