I have been seeing a great guy for a little while now, and he suffered the most horrendous loss this week. His brother took his life.

It brought up a lot of feelings for me, those of losing my brother-in-law to the same thing 13 years ago. While it is a long time, those feelings can come back quickly when triggered.

Unfortunately, I’m of little help in this situation. I can’t point to anything or say anything to really ease the pain. Pain is one of those things that are worked out mostly alone. You can’t rush through it. There are no short cuts.

The brother suffered with depression for a long time. My boyfriend tried to help him, even moving in with him to try to help. Depression is one of those things a person has that doesn’t really relate completely to their situations. When I am depressed, as I’ve shared before, I have low energy, low ideas.  Getting up and doing things is agony. I relate to that. And I have no words of consolation, no tricks or tips.

In a situation like this, I have found listening to be the best thing I can do.

Kay Warren wrote an article this week about the loss of her son, Daniel, who took his life 2 years ago. She still struggles, but she’s using her grief to call the church to minister more effectively to people with mental illness. In my current situation the church wasn’t given the opportunity, but there are countless men and women in the church who need understanding. My own experience with the church left me lacking. I didn’t blame them for not knowing how to help me, but going forward, I think we can do better.

For now, we have to come alongside the survivors with hope and understanding. It could be any of us. It’s really doing what Christ called the church to do.


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