How Can Christians Not Give in to Suicidal Thoughts after the Death of a Loved One?

Question from a reader:

I am suffering with a long-term Illness and am in the middle of a deep depression. My mother, who was my best friend, died and my heart is completely broken. I have lost all joy and hope after being unwell for years and in daily pain, so Heaven seems like the only hope of peace and joy now. How can I not give in to suicidal thoughts?

Answer from Eternal Perspective Ministries:

We are so sorry to hear about your illness and the loss of your mom. Individually, those events are really hard; their combined weight must feel very heavy and oppressive.

In times of distress, it’s easy to feel like God is nowhere to be found. That may be what you feel or think, but our feelings can lie to us, especially when we are experiencing depression. In Acts 17, Paul tells some unbelievers about God’s sovereignty over their lives, even though they don’t know or acknowledge Him. Paul says, “God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). That phrase, “not far from each one of us” is so comforting. In our pain, in our suffering, God is there. He does care. He sent His son Jesus to Earth to prove it, and He has said He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Because you mentioned suicide, and we take mentions of that seriously, we want to encourage you to please reach out for help to someone in your family or church. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Here’s a video Randy shared on his blog about his experience with depression, and what to do when suicide seems like your only option.

In this article, Randy writes: “The fact that Heaven will be so wonderful shouldn’t tempt us to take shortcuts to get there. If you’re depressed, you may imagine your life has no purpose—but you couldn’t be more wrong. Trust God’s purpose for your life even when you can’t grasp what it is. Value the life He has given you, even when it doesn’t seem worth living. Reach out to others and get help. Talk with someone trustworthy who will stand with you and help you hold on to what’s right and good, including the preservation of the life God has entrusted to you. As long as God keeps you here on Earth, it’s exactly where he wants you. He’s preparing you for another world. He knows precisely what He’s doing. Through your suffering, difficulty, and depression, He’s expanding your capacity for eternal joy. Our lives on Earth are a training camp to ready us for Heaven.”

You might find this answer one of our staff members shared with a grieving reader to be helpful.

We also recommend the writing ministry and resources of Vaneetha Risner, who writes from personal experience about living with pain/disability, and grief.

Do you have a local church where you can receive support and encouragement and help? Additionally, it could be very important to look into receiving counseling support. Here are some resources to get you started:

Focus on the Family: Counseling Consultation and Referrals: “The consultation is available at no cost to you due to generous donor support and will be with one of our licensed or pastoral counseling specialists.”

Association of Biblical Counselors referral link

KLOVE: Speak with a pastor

May you experience the love, comfort, and peace of Jesus.

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