“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
-The Little Prince
Right now I’m staring at a picture of someone I loved and cared about a lot. Well, it’s not really a picture, it’s the program from her funeral. She took her life a month ago.
When you loose somebody like this, you will always find ways to blame yourself. Why didn’t I call? Why didn’t I keep in touch? Why didn’t I check up on them?
All are valid points when you loose someone you love to suicide.
The girl who’s photograph I’m looking at was vibrant, courageous and loved to serve. Vibrant, courageous people who love to serve should not feel the need to kill themselves. She was too young to feel such sorrow. Too young to want to end her life. My question to you, myself and God is how are we who loved her supposed to deal with this?
Some people say that people who commit suicide don’t go to Heaven. I don’t really believe that. The God I know is big on grace and forgiveness and counts all sins as equal. If that’s true then He must be able to forgive people who kill themselves. If someone is in that mindset, God knows their torment and suffering. The Bible doesn’t say a whole lot about suicide but it says a whole lot about forgiveness. You can agree or disagree with me on that one but that’s the place I’ve come to at this point.
When I got the news that she died I was reading a book called The Little Prince. It’s one of those kids books that are actually for adults. In one chapter the Little Prince comes across a fox. He and the fox become friends and to the fox the process of becoming friends is called “taming.” He calls it that because it takes effort and a lot of trust. Eventually the Little Prince has to leave the fox and continue on his journey. The fox understands but reminds the prince that, “you become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
I built a friendship with this girl. We gained each other’s trust. I was a mentor to her and I was the one who let us loose contact. I’m not saying that it’s my fault or that I could’ve stopped this, all I’m saying is that I was accountable to her and I didn’t follow through. You are accountable to the ones you love and the people who depend on you. Being accountable doesn’t mean being everybody’s everything or obsessing over someone’s every move. It means that you keep up a relationship and when you see someone slipping you make an effort and make sure they feel loved. Sometimes people loose touch and that’s natural but there is some accountability there too.
I don’t know if anyone could’ve stopped my friend. I don’t know if anyone can stop suicide. I don’t know the hows or whys. All I know is that making someone feel loved and genuinely cared about is never a waste of time.