Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Year Of Grieving Dangerously

Read this. Please read this. From an interview with Kay Warren on the one year anniversary of the suicide death of her mentally ill son.
Kay Warren and son Matthew.....I'm saying, "Don't push me to move on faster than I can go." In many ways you're forever changed. Jerry Sittser says in Grace Disguised, "It's really pointless to compare grief." When my father passed away six years ago at 86 with cancer, I grieved and I mourned and I wept, and it still touches my heart. On the other hand, my dad at 86 had lived a very full and rich life and had seen the fulfillment of his dreams and had a rich marriage.Image: Kay WarrenKay Warren and son Matthew.
I can tell you the experience of losing my 27-year-old, mentally ill son a year ago was not at all the same as losing my dad. He died young. He took his life, and he did it in a violent way. We are scarred. We have two decades of living with a severely mentally ill person that traumatized us. It's not clean grief. There's guilt. There's regret. There's horror.
The grief of my friend, whose daughter was murdered, has an aspect that's even different than mine. I haven't walked in her shoes. We're so quick to say, "Oh, I know how you feel," and we usually add the words exactly: "I know exactly how you feel." I want to say, "No. Excuse me. You do not." The best we can do is to say, "My heart breaks for you. I have experienced grief, and my heart aches for you....."
The Christian community needs to do better at helping people who grieve, and those with depression and other mental illnesses. Much more at the link.