A recent Christmas Day suicide rocked West Michigan. A mother took her life. Her three year old daughter was found, partially laying on top of her; her 5 month old son was found in his car-seat. Both children had been out, over-night, alone; their mother's life-less body the only thing to keep them company.
Our hearts break for her husband and her children and for her too. Our hearts break for the extended family and friends and our hearts break for all who read this who could have been her.
suffered from postpartum depression (PPD). She was under on-going treatment for it. She had dealt with depression before she was pregnant, dealt successfully with PPD after her first child's birth; but, this second go round with PPD won out.
Suicides are often times not done selfishly. Often times, it's done from a belief that all will be better off without them. They believe the whispers of lies upon lies in their minds: "I'm just not good enough! Nothing I do is right. I'm majorly screwing everything and everyone up around me." An unfit parent, they believe, is their title. They will never measure-up, be a success; they will never mother in such a way that their children will look-up to them, only down upon them; they will raise screwed-up little people, who will become screwed-up adults because they, themselves, are majorly screwed-up! A never-ending, negative, revolving door of compounded lies running through their minds. The best thing for all would be for them to not exist because; perhaps, the family would then have a chance to be okay, to flourish, to be better; better without them present, without the mental illness in their lives.
And, so, some lose the battle. Never fully comprehending or realizing that they are prized, prized by the ones who love them; she is looked up to, by her children, as super-mom! Her children treasure her simply because she is theirs and they feel blessed to call her "mama". Some lose the battle never fully knowing, inside, how deeply they are loved; imperfectly on earth, perfectly by our Heavenly Father.
Sasha did everything right. She used social media to put up a fight, to not hide but bring her condition to light. She sought treatment, was receiving help, had a supportive husband, a stable marriage; childhood sweethearts, a love story that most dream of but few live out. Despite her best efforts she couldn't excise the demons of dark thought on the inside.
I tell this story not to capitalize on tragedy but to bring to light a silent killer. Something only those who live it truly understand. To bring resources to light. That suicide is not the only way out of the black pit; light does pierce darkness, there is hope!
I write also because in the words of Sasha's husband, she was caring and compassionate and giving. One act of desperation does not make a person; instead, it's their heart of hearts that speaks of who they are. She was a mother. She loved her children. Her eyes were blinded by a darkness that enveloped her and she was unable to see clearly. The grace and love extended to us is the grace and love still covering her. Even in death good can come.
As I've said before:
Death is but an instant, a moment in time; life is forever.
Unfortunate, doesn't do justice to purpose left-unfulfilled, to children without their mom, a husband without his wife, but the good still comes in dialogue opened up anew about PPD. May Sasha's death continue to do just that and may her desperate act, that in her mind had to have been about unselfish love towards others and hate of the lies inside, be the catalyst for others suffering to seek treatment, help and fellowship from the ones in the trenches as well as the survivors. The lies can stop and so can the judgement...
The old adage is true:
Be kind to everyone...
If you've survived PPD be the light to those still in the pit. Don't be ashamed of your story but share it bravely as Karen Neumair has done in the past: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/practical-faith/i-was-suicidal-christian It's only by giving voice to what you've lived through that it becomes your testimony of God's goodness to stand-by. The miraculous still happens and it's your words of survival and hope that could be the miracle someone else needs to break the chains that bind them today.
Internal dialogue and silence is deadly. Go public and pray for others to have ears that truly hear; may cries for help be answered, may awareness be raised, may stigmatization of mental illness cease and may bravery and courage be center stage! In Jesus' name, Amen
We are more than conquerors over sin and death! (Romans 8:31-39)
“It will be okay, even if it isn’t right now.”
Our testimonies bring hope and defeat evil (Revelation 12:11).
You matter, you are loved, your life has pupose and meaning; you were made awesome, so much more than temporary dramas may lead you to believe. Read and write the words of God upon your heart. Replace the lies with His love; may His love become the revolving door of truth that plays in your mind, over and over again, and may His words of light and love be the ones you entertain, focus on, allow to stay and hear all of your days. Amen.