Dealing with Suicide

Dear St. Tim’s,
 

This week brought deep sadness, pain and grief upon many in our larger community as we heard the news that two students, in separate incidents, died by suicide. These students were not immediately a part of St. Tim’s, but some of us did know them.  John Putnam, our Youth and Children Minister has been in touch with our youth and parents. The reality of such tragic moments in our lives, families, community, and church brings forth a myriad of emotions. As a parent of two children, my heart is sick for the families, friends and loved ones of the dead. Indeed, my heart, as I am sure for many of us, is touched by the fear and wondering of, “What can I do to help my children, grandchildren, loved ones?”
 
Before all else, I invite you to pray, and bring your hearts and minds before God. I encourage you to talk with one another, and check-in with your children often as to their well-being and how they are affected by such events among their peers.  The best thing we can do as parents and a family is to be a safe space where love heals and invites vulnerability. Where we talk about the hard stuff.
 
If you are concerned about your child, the Second Wind Fund is a local teen suicide prevention organization that accepts referrals for youth, 19 and under, who have been impacted by a recent suicide even if they are not expressing suicidal ideation themselves.  Please call Second Wind at 720-962-0821. If you are in need of financial support to seek a place for such sacred conversations, please contact me directly.
 
If you find yourself in crisis or in need of emotional support, please know that the pastoral team of St. Tim’s is here for you and that you are not alone.  Please call on us and we will walk with you, and work with you, to find the support and help you need.  Additionally, the Colorado Crisis Support Line at 1-844-493-8255 is available 24/7.     
 
Death by suicide is complex. Most of us feel ill equipped to talk about it. But the first step in suicide prevention is talking about it.  John Putnam and I, along with others in the parish, will be working to offer an opportunity for us to grow as a parish in our capacity to engage suicide prevention and create a safe space to ask questions and learn how we can care for one another and connect needs with help.  
 
On Sunday, we begin a cycle of reading from the book of Job. If you are familiar with this book of scripture, you know that it engages the suffering, grief, pain and mystery of being human. We will be engaging this text over the next month and I encourage you to read along in preparation for Sundays. At the heart of this scripture story is the truth that being human is hard and having faith in the goodness of this life and God’s love is not only an act of faith, but a way of resistance against the despair and hopelessness of the world. To live this hope is not the work of us as individuals, but our shared call in community. I look forward to seeing and being with you all on Sunday.
 
Christ’s peace to you,

 Fr. Nick

Fr. Nick