In the midst of the shock of a friend's suicide or suicide attempt, there is a law of Love that brings comfort, order, and even peace to those who remain.
It is understandable that people are greatly affected by a suicide. It might not be clear why a suicide has happened. Feelings of guilt in the form of arguments "If only I would have done more ...." or anger, helplessness, sadness or exhaustion may come up, and sometimes it might even e frequent and aggressive. Whereas denial or perfunctory prayer may be the route we fall into, it is important that these feelings be recognized and dealt with square on.
A relationship with a friend starts with Love and this Love is what persists and heals. Througout your friendship, and even now, the love for your friend persists.
"Divine Love is never so near as when all earthly joys seem most afar." (1) You are never alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength and an insistence to make sense out of what seems senseless. Whereas it may seem the situation is out of control, divine Love asserts its supremacy, helping to lift a false sense of responsibility.
There is no shame in struggling. We need to remember Mary Baker Eddy's life included trauma and personal, physical, financial and social struggles. Each challenge brought new views of God's goodness and love, deepened her resolve, expanded her sense of the infinite nature of God's Truth and Love. Out of that life, came the full revelation of Christian Science, and with that, a more permanent peace, abundant good, and satisfying love.
It is important to realize your connection to God and your connection to others, as well as to your friend. It is as impossible to be separate from God as it is to separate a number from the numeric system. There is one Father, God, and in Him we are forever at one.
You may ask, But what can I do?
Ask yourself - did I love? Your love for your friend is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13:10) and is a direct reflection of God. Your expression of love is like a light. It cannot be hid. It removes darkness. Be assured that your love for your friend had an impact. It brought light. You have done what you should when you love.
The most loving thing you can do for your friend is to see them as God sees them, as made in God's image and light. It is the affirmation of their spiritual qualities that grows and develops the strength for you to move forward with your life. It is a reminder of the meaning that this friendship has. The spiritual qualities you see in your friend are qualities that always stay with you. Humor, intelligence, joy, perseverance and other such qualities - are all ideas that never die, and can never be taken away.
Each of you have a direct relationship to God. Each of you have your own salvation to work out. And we can respect that. We are blessed to have each other on our journeys. But we are not God to our friends. We can rest assured that God is Father -Mother to us all. It is God that guards and guides and directs us. And God is continuing to love, direct, guide and protect your friend in the way that is the most meaningful to your friend.
And finally, love yourself. The aggressive suggestion that this was your fault needs to be put to rest. No false sense of responsibility can blind you to Love's gentle presence now. You can feel this now. And if you can feel this, you know your friend can feel this as well. You can remember how delightful life is. You can remember what gives life meaning and what gave meaning to your friendship. It is allright to cry, to wash away all that which doesn't come from God. And it is allright to feel joy again, to feel happiness and delight. Letting in the joy restores our lives and makes us remember the very essence of friendship.
Your life has been touched by your friend, and will not be the same. You have grown more deeply in compassion, more wise about what matters in life, and more confident in the unchanging nature of Love.
We are never alone. That is the nature of Love and is the great gift of friendship.
1 Miscellany, p. 290
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Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016