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“Life is only a long and bitter suicide, and faith alone can transform this suicide into a sacrifice.” Franz Liszt

Anytime someone commits suicide, people ask, “What was so wrong that they’d kill themselves?”

A family member asked the same thing when he found out I contemplated suicide. A lot more people consider it than are willing to admit it … unless we admit it first.

Juli Wilson called it “the gift of going second.” 

Juli’s husband, Jarrid Wilson, died by suicide after helping thousands in his congregation and beyond who suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts. He was a well-known and loved 30-year-old pastor, husband, and father. Sites like The Washington Post and People reported his story. 

The Christian Post quoted Juli from Jarrid’s memorial service. She said, “In honor of Jarrid, I’m going to ask all of you guys to join me in making our church home, our lives, everywhere we go, a little bit safer for people. Let them know it’s okay for them to tell you what they’re going through. Tell them what you’re going through first. It’s the gift of going second.” 

Before his death, Robin Williams, who also died by suicide, said, “I want to help people be less afraid.” 

We’re not trying to normalize suicide. We are trying to help each other accept painful feelings as normal so that we feel less unstable for feeling them. 

Less alone.

Less afraid. 

We can be the one who sacrifices and goes first – the one who tells what we’re going through so as to give someone else the gift of going second. 

I’m not talking about dwelling on our problems and whining to anyone who’ll listen, but telling the truth about the hardness of life and the hope.     

I almost dismissed Liszt quote as too depressing to include, but I kept scrolling back to it. Even if we wouldn’t consciously end our lives, all we have to do is look at our daily choices to see how we deny and deaden our days. One dead day after another adds up to becoming a statistic – either by suicide or by joining the walking dead. 

As gloomy as the topic of suicide is to talk about, it’s equally necessary to address since the suicide rate keeps increasing right along with the divorce rate, crime rate, and the rate of our own self-destructiveness. Before we experience healing, happiness, and holiness, we have to deal with dying.  

In This Together, 

Parts of this story are excerpts from a blog post I wrote in 2019.

FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because these blog posts are a manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. My blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is the subheading. I’m over-the-top grateful to have you here. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and comments.

I have something for you!


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