It has been a very sad fall for our family as we continue to deal with all the fall out from the tragic death of our son-in-law, Bobby Kissinger, in August.
As most of you know, Bobby died by suicide. He was only 41 and the horrific nature of his decision has overwhelmed me at times to say nothing of what it has done to my daughter, Elizabeth, and their three children.
We all continue to ask “why?” … “what if?” … “should I have?” All questions that of course can never be fully answered. When someone completes suicide, the survivors are left with mostly questions and terrible pain.
Ironically Bobby had posted the number of a suicide hotline on his Facebook page earlier this summer with the words: “Share this – it might save a life.”
We will never know if Bobby called that hotline and, if he didn’t, would things be different today if he had? What we are pretty sure of is that Bobby never went to a counselor, never went to a doctor, never was prescribed anti-depressants…at base, was never able to ask for the help he needed.
I suspect most of us struggle with that very thing. We do not like to ask for help, we do not want others to see the pain we are carrying behind the mask we are wearing, we mistakenly believe that there is no one who can help us … that our buried pain will literally kill us if we begin to acknowledge it and try to heal it.
But when we have those thoughts, it is important that we remember that there is no pain so great that we can’t get help. As one person so wisely has said: “We may not be able to take away all the baggage a person is carrying. But we can help them to put wheels on it.”
Our childhoods are, for good or ill, with us forever. And if they were not the best…if they were less than that precious child you were deserved, even then we can still heal, we can get help. There is light at the end of the darkest tunnel. As the poet Ann Weems writes in her “Psalms of Lament” on page 5, even in the icy depths of the pit, our God can find us…even there.
My hope for all of us is that we never give up on healing…on getting better…on pulling the pain of our past out by its roots…so that we can truly live the lives our God created us to live.