A life cut short

By Jan Davis
Special to The PREVIEW
In the normal cycle of life, the child outlives the parents. It’s every parent’s nightmare when the inconceivable happens.
A simple childhood sickness reveals so much more after a battery of tests and lab work. The doorbell rings, two officers stand on your front porch; there had been a terrible accident on the highway. But, the worst, your teenager commits suicide and from a broken heart, you ask, “Why?”
Our family experienced the ripple effect of such an incident. Our granddaughter Audrey’s best friend, Marlee, took her own life a few weeks ago.
A loving daughter, great sister and a good friend, she belonged to her school’s cross-country team and church youth group.
She lent a hand to anyone who asked. She brought Audrey out of her shell and helped her become involved with the youth. Marlee called, texted or FaceTimed her friends to share a laugh or word of encouragement. No one knew the demons buried deep inside.
For whatever reason, Marlee never shared her problems or reached out for help. Surrounded by people who loved and cared for her, she felt alone. In desperation, she did the unthinkable to stop the pain.
Her personal possessions were left scattered throughout the home. Shoes left at the back door, schoolbooks on the hall table and dirty clothes in the laundry required her parents’ attention. A vacant chair at the dining room table and an empty bedroom served as stark reminders of the new norm.
Marlee’s phone remained active, and for a while her friends left texts to encourage. People meant well, but conversations were grueling. Work provided some distraction and daily routines offered a slight reprieve.
Their pastor gave a beautiful message at Marlee’s celebration service. He addressed the white elephant in the room, suicide, with compassion and insight. A quote from his message resonated in my spirit: “It is not how you die that matters, but how you live your life.”
Marlee loved Jesus, her family and friends.
RIP Marlee.
“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” — Romans 14:8 (KJV).
I love you, but Jesus loves you more.
There is hope. Depression and suicide are real, but God provides a way to receive healing through the blood of His Son, Jesus. This healing may take place through the use of diverse venues. There is help. Please reach out to people you trust and allow God to do the rest.
If you or someone you know experiences this level of grief, there are support groups in place to help. Contact your local church or a crisis service center near you.
If you have ever contemplated suicide, please contact: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. They are available 24 hours a day.

This story was posted on August 2, 2018.