This blog was written by a very loving, courageous, beautiful woman who I have known for almost my entire life. When I was younger her daughter and I connected quite well and loved each other very much. When I heard the news of my friend’s sudden death I was at a loss for words. It didn’t make sense to me that someone so young and excellent had died so soon. To honor my late friend, her legacy and her incredible God-fearing parents I wanted to release a blog about her struggle. My hope is to teach those who might be struggling that there is another way out and to show them they are not alone. I would also like to bring comfort to those who are been affected by suicide. Either way, my prayers are with you as you trek through life’s muddy waters. Please know that you will never be alone.
If you have ever watched shows like Forensic Files or Dateline, you know that there is always that moment in the story where the mother/father/ being interviewed says, “When they didn’t answer their phone or return my text, I knew something was wrong”? This statement is usually followed by “ it just wasn’t like her”.
I never thought that moment could happen to me. But it did.
For me, it happened on Saturday evening April 4th, 2015 at 6:30 pm.The texts that I had been sending to Storm, our 24-year-old daughter, were left unanswered. I even remember saying out loud, “it’s just not like her”.
It’s just not like her.
After I spoke that out, my heart suddenly dropped into the pit of my stomach… and then dropped again to the floor. It felt like an elevator that was dropping too far too fast and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
I went to the couch and sat down. Our dog jumped up and started bouncing her face against mine, something she has never done. Something was wrong.
Something was wrong.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 15-24. Ninety percent of those that die by suicide, suffer from a mental illness. Major depression and bipolar are the greatest risk factors. The World Health Organization projects that one million people will die from suicide this year, that’s one death every forty seconds. For those who attempt to take their lives, only one in every 25 actually do.
Our daughter Storm was diagnosed with bipolar in her late teens. She suffered from high anxiety probably for the most part of her life. Storm had managed to attend university. She worked at a job she loved and had her own apartment. But despite all her “normal” accomplishments her torment grew.
…despite all her ‘normal’ accomplishments her torment grew.
She was the most courageous person I have ever known. To live with a brain that was broken every day, day in, day out as she did was the bravest thing I have ever witnessed. Yet even with her illness, she was able to be a friend, encourage, and comfort everyone around her.
We saw many specialists. Many prayers were prayed for those close to us that knew the extent of Storm’s illness. But as Christians, we know that despite the most powerful faith-filled prayers that we bravely declare before God, He does not always heal everyone or answer our prayers in the way that we ask.
As a mother, losing a child to suicide is beyond any pain I thought I could ever endure. I could never have imagined the dark depth of despair and heartache that Storm’s death would take me to.
But in the pain, and in the midst of suffering, I have to say by His grace, I have come to know God now more intimately than I ever thought was humanly possible. But it did come at a great cost. Through our human pain, it seems we can share in part, the sacred suffering of Christ.
Through the human pain I learned some small but powerful tips I would like to share with you… hopefully, this advice will help you if you have lived through this type of tragedy…
a) Remember that God is with you and He will be your strength (this is true of every illness and pain; He won’t abandon us when we cry out to Him). While it is so important to pour out our hearts to God, don’t hesitate to talk to someone, we went to a Christian counselor almost immediately, and it really was beneficial.
b) Accept help from family and friends. Our church family surrounded us with love, support, and meals. God often works through our family and friends to help us heal.
c) Most importantly, hold tight onto God and to each other (your spouse, close friend et Cetera). Join a support group. When you are ready, help others that are going through the same thing.
My hope and is that these words have been of benefit to you and will help lead you along in your journey.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”