Suicide, Mental Illness and the news

I was so sorry to hear about Pastor Rick Warren's son over the weekend. Rick and his wife, Kay, lost their adult son, Matthew, to suicide over the weekend.

I know many people do not agree with Rick Warren's theology or politics. That matters little when dealing with the loss of a child. I do admire how the Warren family is handling this. They are being forthright, open about the role mental illness has played in their son's life and their family's life, and are not treating this with any shame whatsoever.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Adding to this: a thoughtful post from CNN's Rebekah Lyons:

As one representing the 26%, for me it came in waves. From the low hum during the longest of winters to volatile moments rocking on the floor of my closet, questioning whether my life would always bear this weight. Watching it firsthand in my family during my formative years, I wondered whether history was repeating itself in me.

For those afflicted, depression enters when we've lost hope for the future. When we no longer imagine a life that is free. Whether it’s triggered by a chemical imbalance or a change in circumstances, facing it in isolation is the most treacherous. At precisely the time we need others, our inclination is to turn inward.

I’ve been comforted to know I’m not alone.

Anxiety and panic are my nemesis. In my struggle to break through the mental distress, I’ve found comfort and promise in the writings of Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl. His summation that the root cause of anxiety is a sense of unfulfilled responsibility resonates.

For me, the low surfaces when I am not contributing to someone or something. When I lose a vision for my life, purpose hides beyond my grasp. But when I recover my sense of purpose and calling — to help women navigate these hidden troubles — meaning rushes in.

Over the past three years, the promises of Jesus have been paramount in helping me walk forward. Uttering hushed prayers in subways as the doors close in, softly crying out for rescue on long desolate Central Park walks in the dead of winter. God’s presence has always been a guiding force, my source for purpose beyond myself.

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