Your comment about suicide is profound…….

by Rod Smith

Good morning/evening, Rod

If you do find time to respond to this message I would be most grateful. If not, I understand. You must be inundated daily.

Your comment ‘Suicide is perhaps the strongest and most powerful form of prayer I have ever encountered’ is profound. It is a belief I share and I would welcome information as to its origin. Is it a personal philosophy or is there reading that would embellish?

It is a very brave thing to do ….juxtapose suicide and prayer and declare them compatible in pursuit of relief. I have been directly and intimately involved with the death of two 15-year-old boys … one my son and the other the son of a close friend who also hung himself five months later. The latter action I cannot for the life of me fathom, but in my search for understanding with my own child, I came to one conclusion that it was an act of bravery in pursuit of that which life could not offer. I do understand that viewed from another vantage point it could equally be regarded as an act of folly ie that something that ‘seems impossible’ need not necessarily be so.

Any available reading you could direct me to in this regard would be sincerely appreciated.


Dear Tony:

While it is true that I am inundated with mail I cannot move on without answering you directly. Your letter moved me. I was making my bed when the “ping” came through and I sat on the same bed and wondered at the pain you must endure in the light of your losses.

My own children are downstairs “fighting” over the remote for the TV and your letter made me so very grateful for their boyish squabbles.

I have been in the midst of several suicides and encountered it as a professional, a minister, a school counselor, and as a neighbor (I am – have been – all of the above).

I am sad and distressed when suicide is framed as a sin, a way out, or a cop out — this is not my understanding from many one-on-one encounters with desperate people. As for reading, I can offer none. Some of the bravest men and women I have ever known have been days from taking their own lives.

Your son and the other child to whom you refer, would have been embraced by me (a stranger to each) were they to have arrived at my door asking for absolutely anything. I would have given them each a home with full rights to the house and my life in every way – this I did already with my two children (adopted from birth).

If I, a sinful, lousy, struggling man could do this — how much more would a loving God not do the same.

Your boys are safe and happy and I believe they’d want you to miss them but to also be comforted.

Please let me know you got this – even if it is not what you expected. Keep in touch. I am not “brave” as you say. I am just sick of the BS people spew in the light of the pain others encounter when they, themselves, have only watched it all from a distance.

Keep in touch.


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