Suicide quietly claims the lives of thousands each year in the U.S. For the families touched by this epidemic, the hurt is deep.
During suicide prevention month, we welcome back Frank Page to Connecting Faith to share his story. Even though Frank is a pastor and had served as a denomination leader for over 30 years, his family wasn’t spared the loss of a daughter taking her life. He shares the story and reviews his abiding confidence in God detailed in his latest book Melissa: A Father’s Lessons From A Daughter’s Suicide.
Frank paints the picture of his daughter Melissa, a young woman who battled and overcame cancer. She had a strong will & had suffered from addiction issues. The struggle against the cancer added a great deal of stress to her life & magnified other challenges in her life.
We need to be aware of the red flags in the lives of our loved ones. When we’re trying to help a struggling friend or loved one, we need to practice a ministry of presence. We won’t always know what to say, but we can simply be there. That’s what is really key. When we don’t know what to say, Frank recommends communicating that honestly.
There are so many misconceptions about suicide. We often respond in a way that’s not helping anyone. So how can we be more sensitive and help to heal? There is a big difference between pity and compassion. Frank says that compassion is a Christ-like form of empathy. We all desperately need compassion.
“We live in a battleground. Not a playground.”