Hey guys, sorry about the lack of posts/replies. Linda, the lovely sister who studies with me…her son committed suicide last Friday (11 days ago). He was 34 years old, an elder at a neighboring congregation, and had the IQ of a genius. He was baptized at 12 and a ministerial servant at 16, and just an all-around great and spiritually well-rounded guy. I had the privilege of talking to him a few times, and he was just this goofy guy who always had something funny to say and always managed to brighten your day. I was just talking to him a few weeks ago, and he was cracking jokes and poking fun at me and my sister. But beneath his happy and humorous exterior, he was broken and incredibly depressed. Linda traces it back to a head injury he received when he was 11 years old after flipping off his bike, resulting in a severe concussion and temporary memory loss. She told me to google “head injury suicide,” and the results were astounding. People who experience head trauma are 4x more likely to commit suicide than the general population (I recently read an article about the soaring suicide rates among retired NFL players, and it was really interesting/upsetting.) Sometimes the effects of these blows to the head aren’t immediate and don’t translate until later in life. Her son’s battle with depression started when he was 13 and it just got progressively worse over the years despite the wave of antidepressants he took and the swarm of psychologists he talked to. He was a workaholic, not because he craved riches, but because he needed constant distractions to keep his mind off of destructive thoughts. At times he would completely leave reality/the present, and his mind would take him to a completely different place. He was in this unstable state of mind when he killed himself.
The Sunday (2 days after) it happened, both Linda and her husband were at the meeting, and they both commented, and it was just so tremendously encouraging. Afterwards all the friends gathered around them and hugged them and cried with them. And I’ll never forget Linda wrapping her arms around me while I cried into her chest and hearing her say, “He thought we were all better off without him. He thought he was doing us a favor. He was different. He had two head injuries. Help out there exists for people who have depression. His condition was different. Don’t think that you’ll end up like him. Can we still have your study this Wednesday? Please don’t leave me alone. You’re my little girl.” And I just squeezed her hand and cried with her until I could regain my composure so the other friends could give her and her husband their sympathy.
Wednesday rolls around, and I drive to her house for our study. She calls and says that she’ll be 15 minutes late but that she left the door unlocked so that I could go right in the little room where we study and make myself at home. And as soon as I walk into the room, it hits me. The walls are covered in pictures of her son. Pictures of him as a schoolboy, pictures of him on his wedding day. I was just admiring these photos the other week, studying them closely and smiling at what a great and goofy lad he turned out to be. And now he’s gone, and it hits me at 100 miles per hour, and I curl up in a ball on one of her plush chairs and I start sobbing uncontrollably in this room covered from floor to ceiling in pictures of her son. And I hear a car pull into the driveway, and I bolt upright and frantically wipe my eyes and fan my face and try to get myself together because I have to be strong for her. I greet her at the door with a hug, and she asks me how school was. I tell her I couldn’t bring myself to go to school and that I stayed home. And she sees this broken look in my eyes, and she hugs me, and I cry into her chest as she strokes my hair and whispers sweet things in my ear and calls me her Little Girl.
Friday rolls around. I get ready for school, and just as I put on my backpack to leave, my heart feels like it’s being crushed. I swear I’m having a heart attack when suddenly the hyperventilating ensues, and I desperately gasp for air. I’m lightheaded and fatigued, and at this point I’ve assumed the fetal position and am crying. Three consecutive panic attacks later, and I decide school probably isn’t the best idea. I change back into my PJs, curl up in my bed, and sleep the awful thoughts away.
Today (Sunday) we had a memorial service for him. 502 people showed up. He touched so many lives. Unfortunately, he was plagued with debilitating depression, and it consumed his will to live. I just cannot wait for the fulfillment of John 5:28 and 29 - “Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.” I cannot wait to see this wonderful brother again, and I cannot wait to enter that wonderful paradise where mental illness is a thing of the past.
I know a lot of the friends struggle with depression, myself included. Just please hang in there, take care of yourselves, and cling to Jehovah. Hope you all are doing well! Love you guys!
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- lostintheories said: I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Stay strong sister! Please stay strong!
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- stillpaintingflowersinthesky said: awww. this is so heart touching. be strong sister. Jehovah God will always be here for you and we will always be here for you.
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- charlenebabs said: So sorry for you loss. I will keep you and his family in my prayer!! Stay strong, remember your spiritual family and Jehovah love very much!!
- laurarubina-mf said: Really sorry to hear all of that. He sounds like he was a great guy. Really brings depression to the light and how serious it can be, I hope you stay strong and take care of yourself xx
- jehovah-is-my-refuge said: I am so sorry to hear about your loss. May Jehovah look after you and his family. xxx
- paperhearts93 said: How terribly sad! :’( I also suffer from depression from time to time but I always find a way to keep myself up! Continue praying to Jehovah sister! I will pray for you
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- rebuildingg said: I hope you feel better soon! I’ve struggled with depression for nine years and still see a psychologist, and my mom has a psychological disorder from a head injury a year ago. If you need anything my ask box is open.(Psalms 126:6)
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- smileandjuststaystrong said: hugs to you and sister Linda! :( stay strong and Jah bless.
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