Monday, October 11, 2010


Over the weekend I received the tragic news that the 15 year-old daughter of a colleague took her own life. There were no obvious warning signs that she was in such deep distress. She was an outstanding student, athlete and person in every way. She was lively and outgoing and had a wonderful smile.

All of us who knew her and her family are devastated and in shock. Everyone is heartbroken. Of course, we're all asking the question "Why?" We ask this question as if there is an explanation that would satisfy us and we could say, "Yes, now I understand."

Yet, I don't believe there is such an explanation. We search in vain for a rational answer to an irrational act. Suicide, especially for a young person, doesn't make sense. It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Yet, in a 15 year-old mind, temporary problems can seem overwhelming and unsolvable.

When we ask "why" maybe what we're really doing is crying out for help, comfort and consolation. I believe that comfort can come from the Divine Comforter. However, grieving is a process that is painful and takes time. The deeper the wound, the longer the healing process.

I believe that even the deepest wound can heal. Yes, the scar still remains, and the ache and longing linger, but we can discover a resilience in tragedy that enables us to survive and, over time, embrace life once again. The name I give this inner resilience is faith. When tragedy strikes it is faith that gets us through it.

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