Is is possible to have real joy after losing a loved one to suicide?
Yes, I think it is. I am a mother and a wife, but I call myself a wounded healer. I was wounded deeply by the suicide death of our 18 year-old son, but I have healed—finding peace, even joy!
How did I get to peace and joy after such a sad and tragic loss? Just as you may be right now, I was stuck in the pit of bitterness and anger, and this was the question that started my road to joy. “Elaine, do you want to get well?” I wasn’t sure how I would actually heal, or how I would start the process, but I repeated said, “Yes, Lord, I want to be healed.”
There was one Bible verse that I prayed over and over and over. It was Psalm 18:1 — “I love you, LORD, you are my strength.” I had no strength to heal, but God did, and every so slowly I started to change the way I was thinkIng. My mindset changed from I will never heal…to I think I can heal…I am healing…I am healed. This didn’t happen over-night, I want you to know. But the question, “Do you want to be healed was the starting point.
I had to change my thinking from negative thoughts and words to positive thoughts and words.
Then I spent time tying to define joy, and I used words like happy, positive, looking forward, not backward, and in the process this verse from the book of Nehemiah touched my heart. Now I prayed another simple and short prayer, “The joy of the LORD is my strength.”
I knew, I could not manufacture joy by myself, but I could ask God for some of his joy to be my strength each day. When I was especially sad, when I felt I was falling backwards into negativity, I would ask God for some of his joy, and he responded! I felt stronger. I knew I was thinking in a positive, healthy way which led to positive and healthy actions, which led to my complete healing. Yes, it took years, I can’t deny that, but I DO HAVE JOY IN MY LIFE TODAY!
I hope you can start repeating these two short sentences often throughout your day:
”I love you, LORD, you are my strength.”
”The joy of the LORD is my strength.”
Dear friends, I am full of hope that you too will heal and that God’s joy will be your strength,