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Talking to my kids about suicide

August 14, 2014

Suicide is the hot topic of late for all the saddest reasons.

And so as we discuss suicide in my household, the subject of what do we tell our kids about the act of suicide comes up. 

Do we tell them it is the result of mental illness and not the doers fault? Do we tell them it is a selfish act and a sin against God that will doom them to hell? Or is it somewhere in between? Or neither?

I sway towards suicide being an act of mental illness. But this is because I have wanted to kill myself before. I have felt the deep hopelessness of depression where there seems no way out. I understand why a person can kill themselves and also understand that decisions made in that depth of pain are not ones that we can hold a person accountable for.

However, my husband makes a good argument for the other side which is that if we ingrain in our kids that suicide is a sin and a selfish act, they will remember that when they feel the world will be better off without them and not do this horrible deed. I do believe this is why the church and our society says these things about suicide; as a deterrent.

But maybe we don’t need to use fear as a deterrent. Love is so much more powerful.

Here is what I will tell my kids about suicide:

My Joshua, My Aurora,

When God created the entire huge universe, did you know He had you in mind? He planned the moon and stars knowing that you would look on them with wonder. He knew when He first set the sun ablaze that it would tan your skin while you played with your friends. He planned this whole universe out perfectly to include you in it, right here, right now. You were meant to be here. And then He gave you to your dad and I, and we love you. We love you so much. Our lives are 100X more joyful because of you. In the plan of the universe, you were meant to be here with us. You were meant to interact with every person in your life. You are immensely important. Your body is the temple of God. Don’t hurt it. He loves you. We love you. Stay with us and allow the beauty of your life to unfold. It will be hard. Life is so very hard sometimes, but you are not alone. If you ever feel that you want to hurt yourself, tell us, tell someone you trust, get help because you are too important not to be well.

Love, Mom




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