Dear Esther :: June 6, 2016

Dear Esther,

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I am a born-again Christian who just recently lost my mother through suicide. My mother was a godly Christian who suffered from a mental illness. She suffered this illness for many years and had made several attempts in the past with overdosing on her medications.

During my childhood I was placed in foster care due to my mother’s illness. She had actually thought I was possessed by the devil and contacted the Children’s Aid to say she no longer could take care of me. It was very hurtful to be taken out of my home at the age of 11 and be placed in foster care.

As I grew older I was discharged a crown ward of the Children’s Aid at the age of 16, and began to continue a relationship with my mother. I was very close to my mother despite her giving me away. During my high school years I had a child out of wedlock. The father of my child never played in any part of her upbringing. My mother helped greatly in the raising of my daughter. She was such a big help to me.

My mother loved the Lord and spent hours praying and attending church daily. Just this past January 7, 2016 my mother committed suicide. My brother came home from work and found her on the kitchen floor. She had taken a bottle of Tylenol and all her blister pack medications.

I will never forget the phone call that day, when my brother told me the news. I miss my mother terribly and there is such a void. I would call her every day to talk and see how she was doing. My heart is in so much pain over the loss of my mother. I want your advice Esther on the issue of Christians committing suicide. My mother loved the Lord but suffered mentally. Does the Lord forgive in that situation?

Thank you,

Tammy

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Hello dear Tammy,

My heart goes out to you. Your mother was clearly suffering from an illness. We serve a great and merciful God and He knows what your mom was going through better than anyone else. She was suffering inside and she could no longer bear the inner pain. She is now free from that inner-torment that ruled over her.

Your mom obviously tried to get past her inner-turmoil but simply could not. It is also very possible that in a moment of extreme desperation, she kept taking all those pills trying to put a stop to a huge upsurge of emotional and mental anguish—not even realizing that taking all those pills could cause her to actually die on the spot.

It was a cry for help, and help came in the form of Jesus Christ and He took her home. Only God knows what was going on with her in those last hours of her life. It sounds to me like she was desperate to stop the turmoil within.

But please know that you had nothing to do with her breakdown or her past breakdowns. If you can try to understand that she is now with the Lord andno longer has to struggle with whatever it was within her that tormented her, then you will be able to get past this very trying time. You sound like an outstanding woman and the Lord will surely strengthen you. I hope you are close to your brother; it would be good if you could spent time together.

And precious Tammy, you will be with your mom again (1 Corinthians 13:12). And when you see her next time, there will be nothing to come between the two of you. She is completely healed now and all is well with her.

It is very hard right now for you, but there is a day coming when all of this pain and heartache will be gone. Until that day, Tammy, the Lord has productive things for you to do. You have been through so much, and you can relate to so many adversities and help others who have had similar issues.

I am sorry you have had to suffer so much; being taken from your home at such a young age must have been extremely difficult—you have survived much sorrow. God is with you to guide you as you adjust to the absence of your mother on this physical realm. The type of wounds you have had to endure are very difficult but you can begin to heal today.

Jesus is there for you now and always. Your glorious eternal future is promised by God Himself. It will be better than anything we can possibly imagine. In this life, it is often the very tough times that mold us into who we are, and the end result with you is that you have developed into a very fine woman.

You also have your daughter to live for, and the love you give and get from one another is a gift from God; one that should be cherished and nurtured. (I am sure you already know that.) We cannot go back in time and change things but we can resolve to carry on and make the best of our given circumstances.

You can still love your mom and long to be with her. It is very soon since her death; time really does help the healing process. The acute void and pain you are feeling now will get better as time passes, and you will not feel so distraught. Use this time to get very strong in the Lord. Get into the Word of God as much as possible for it is a healing balm, and the best source of help in times of trouble.

Rest assured that your mother is safe in Jesus’ arms. Something was wrong within her, and when a person is unable to take responsibility for his or her own behavior because of a serious mental or emotional illness—accountability for that person is not the same as it is for those who are very clear, and can make healthy cognitive choices with sound minds.

Please take some comfort knowing your mom is no longer living in her inner torment. She is still alive in your heart and yet she also now lives in her true home and is eternally free of her illness. You will be together again, and all the pain and heartache of the past will be gone forever (1 Corinthians 3:12)

When we love someone very much and then suddenly can no longer communicate with that person, it is a shock. But it was your mother’s time. The Lord brought her home. Try thinking of her absence as a temporary separation and that will help you tremendously to keep things in perspective.

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21).

God bless you and strengthen you, dear Tammy. Hold on tight to Jesus and He will carry you through these challenging days. Your love for your mom and the Lord will strengthen you. Please keep in touch with me and let me know how you are coming along. You are not alone.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Much love in Christ,

Esther

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).