Your Life Has Value
I heard he killed himself. Then, I heard it was an accident. In either case, the same feeling comes: his life had value and it seemed like he did not need to die.
Every person has ups and downs. It might sound trite to say, “You win some, and you lose some.” But it’s true. To expect to always win (or always lose) is unrealistic. Through the ups and downs, we learn, grow, and can find richness in the variety. Life would be boring if it were the same all the time.
Suicide is a real problem. In the U.S., the suicide rate increased 24% between 1999 and 2014, and it continues to rise according to the CDC. There is one death by suicide in the U.S. every 12 minutes. Depression affects 20-25% of Americans who are over 18 years old.
I do not know the answer to mental health issues, nor do I know how to stop suicide. I know that it hurts the people who remain. I know that it is not a sin to be sick, and mental illness is a sickness and needs to be de-stigmatized. Suicide is a symptom of mental illness. God loves all people, especially those who struggle.
I am writing today because I have struggled with how to say, “Your life has value.” Every person needs to hear that. Every person should hear it more. We need more people saying, “I love you,” and fewer people saying words that hurt, bully, tear down, or destroy.
Whether he killed himself or not, he may not have heard the words, “Your life has value,” often enough. I wish I had said it to him more.