Friday, May 29, 2009

Lives that matter

"There are some things about which nothing can be said and before which we dare not keep silent." - T.S.Eliot

I've written this post several times before but never published it. I felt uncomfortable exposing my heart and didn't think it appropriate for my blog. Today i am prepared to write it anyway.

A couple of months ago my friend took his own life. This month also marks the anniversary of when a friend of my housemate killed herself, whilst we were at university. And it's also 3 years since my other housemate's sister took her own life. So tragic and heart-breaking for everyone involved. I didn't know the girls well myself, but i was close to my housemates and still found it very hard to deal with. My friend who died recently was a Christian, although i hadn't seen him for a number of years. I still feel a silent sorrow. A sorrow that no words can really express. A sorrow i feel probably shouldn't even be put into words. I don't know why exactly i'm writing anything now, i'm still afraid to lest my feeble words minimise it.

I can't imagine what the families are going through. I confess that suicide is something i find so hard to come to terms with. A whole part of me wishes and longs that somehow God had interceeded. But i know too that there is nothing but perfect goodness in God and He has pure integrity in what He does and doesn't do, so although i can't for a moment understand it, i must humbly trust Him.

I guess i've been thinking too about how much tiny things can truely make a difference to someone's life. When somebody dies sometimes it puts things into perspective and it makes you feel like other little things just don't matter in light of it. But i was thinking how sometimes it also works the other way too - and makes you realise how incredibly important all the little things are. It's the little things that make up a life. It's the minutes and seconds in a day that corporately make a life what it is... every single second counts for something.... When someone is gone, you would give anything to just have one minute back with them... to just watch the t.v. with them... to just chat to them... to just do something 'little' with them. It is little things which do matter. Little things which make up our lives. 

I sometimes think too, would it have made a difference to these three if someone had done something 'little' for them just before they died? if someone had phoned them? or if someone had said something encouraging? or been watching out for them? Could it have stopped them? I remember how my friend was clearly withdrawn and unhappy when i last saw him - could i have done something more? There must have been something more i could have done. I know i shouldn't speculate really - i think in these three cases they were truly ill and maybe nothing like this could have made a difference - no matter how many nice things people do, or how much love someone shows, it sometimes still just lacks power to heal or stop something happening.... even when we so desperately want it to help. However, in some cases those little things can make a massive difference and can have the power to change someone's day or week or life. Little things can have power if they are done in love and God works through them.

There are so many little things people have done that have meant so much to me. Why should it be so? I don't know. I can only say thank you. I long to be a person who does little things with much love. I think i often forget to.

"I don't do big things, i do little things with big love." - Mother Teressa


hannah said...

I see where you're coming from, but i don't think little things or big things could stop someone from doing this. As the bible says, everyone has a time to die, and all the pages of our life are written in God's book. so to think that our actions could prevent someone dying is to make ourselves bigger than God in a way.

But I was also thinking about suicide recently, when I was reading about the tragic story of the parents who jumped off beachy head with the body of their little disabled boy who had died of meningitus and they were overcome with grief. I felt so disturbed about this news story and I did question why God didn't send someone to stop them from doing it.

I also discovered that the mother was Japanese and this got me thinking about the high levels of suicide in Japan where it is not seen as shameful, but as a way of maintaining your pride unto death, but this is different to what you're talking about.

The pain and sadness of the world is too much to think about sometimes.

Becky said...

Yeah, you're right Hannah.

We heard about the tragic story of the parents at beachy head as well - it particularly upset Mum and is so incredibly sad. I didn't realise she was Japanese though.

Liz Zelie said...

I'm glad you wrote this. I feel similarly - I've been struggling with lots of questions lately and this brought up some more...I'll email you soon.