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Making Sense Of The Senseless

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I teach 5th grade and the father of one of my students committed suicide this weekend. I just talked with mom, they are completely baffled as to why he did this. We are currently on our break but tomorrow, if we can work it out, I'm going to go in to school and meet with her. I've no idea what to say or do. I can't even comprehend what has happened. I can't even imagine how my student (who is turning 12) is handling it.

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Some time ago one of my friends committed suicide. We were equally baffled, as there were none of the usual warning signs. Eventually, we found out the reasons. But, what I learned throughout the aftermath was that the best (and only thing) one can do is listen, listen, listen to those who are struggling. There is a unwritten rule in these situations, never say "I know how you must feel", it will offend because you cannot know how they feel. You are a kind and compassionate person. Your support and availability will make a difference. Just be there for them.



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Good Morning, OA...


I have personal experiences with suicide and the emotional trauma that grips friends and loved ones in the aftermath. My father killed himself when I was 14 and the emotional damage has affected me for my entire life. It created anxiety, depression, and alcoholism that I have spent years working through. Everyone must know that it is not their fault...they did nothing wrong...and they must all hold each other and know that all are loved by all. It is easy to feel abandoned, not good enough to live with, being the cause, etc. The hole left in one's self can only be filled with love and God. All must know and feel each other's love at this time and that each is there to be with each and is not going to go away. Some years ago I had a friend, who was also my church pastor, commit suicide. When I struggled with the question of why and had to cope with the heartbreak, The Spirit told me, 'Blame not the man, but the weakness of flesh'. Life can become too much for us, it can make us desperate, hopeless, and the ability to walk off into the black abyss can seem like the only way out thinking that people left behind will be better off. Now is the time for friends and family to come together and stay close knowing that the time for healing must begin.



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It would seem to me that there are not many out here that have not had at least thoughts of suicide or the occasional wish to end ones life here. It seems to me it is precipitated by a very strong identification with ones life situation that is not going the way one perceives it should be. Perhaps if one lets go (surrenders) ones expectations of what should or shouldn't be in ones life and consciously identifies more with life as it is without judgement or measurement, those thoughts will subside. Perhaps ones life situation will also then change yet it will not matter.


Just a view to consider,

Love Joseph

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I'm doing good. She seems to be okay -- she plays with her friends, laughs, etc.


The whole situation is very odd. It appears the father had gang affiliations and I'm still unclear as to if her father lived with her and her mom and brothers or lived somewhere else. The parents were still legally married and the mom was very distraught. I can only wonder if the dad lived separately from them to protect them from the gang issues and if the suicide was also related to that.


I keep a close eye on her, but only have her as a student for about 11 more weeks... after that she'll be in middle school and out of my reach unless she chooses to make contact with me.

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Grief is a strange and puzzling process. Some people are tempted to call grief "illogical." It's anything but. Grief has a searing kind of logic, a logic that cuts past words. Grief sees clearly what is true and what is not true in the relationships we have with those around us. Grief has a way of filtering out the "noise" of pat phrases of condolence, and listening only to other people's hearts. In this way, a grief-stricken person often finds out for the first time in his or her life who his/her friends are. Grief also has a very long memory. Long after the words of the funeral service have faded from one's mind, the honest memories of relationship (or lack of relationship) remain.


Your student will remember your compassion, and will take it with her in the years ahead.



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