been having a lot of death thoughts. [Previously] I wished
that I would die, but it has moved from being more passive to active. I have
become obsessed with death. I visit cemeteries, listen to dark music, and
watch videos on you tube where people jump off bridges and cliffs. Death
has become an escape for me, something that helps to take the edge off things.
I think about what it would be like to jump off a cliff, and wonder if you
have second thoughts while you fall. I also considered how I dont like
this kind of death because it is too sudden (one minute youre alive
and the next youre dead and who knows what is next...I would rather
die gradually the way you enter a pool slowly instead of splashing in). Death
seems to be a liberation from everything. I do not think I would be very
sad to die, and I wouldnt want people to miss me.
a priest this in confession and he told me that if I died deliberately (by
suicide) I would probably go to hell. Another priest told me what that priest
said was primitive because God is a God of mercy. I dont tell other
people my thoughts about death because I am afraid they will treat me with
contempt and make me feel ashamed of myself or overreact and try to hospitalize
me. Only a priest cant do this in confession. Whenever something depressing
happens, my thoughts turn to escaping by death and immediately my shame and
fear of the future disappears. Time stops, I dont fear growing old,
being alone, or whatever bad things the future has in store for me. I can
nullify everything, even my fear of God and damnation.
priest told me to see a professional, but I dont want to talk to anyone
about it. It is not cathartic to talk about it; people would say you just
want attention, or youre weak, and besides, it doesnt make me
feel grief. It makes me feel peaceful. Still, turning over thoughts of death
in your mind does not seem Christian even if it gives me peace. It gets rid
of fear, boredom, stress, shame, and regret. It helps me to explore my emotions
and gives me insight into my sexual self. I realize that many of my childhood
fears were just masking a fear of death and that I have always been attracted
to old run-down places because they remind me of death. I used to think to
myself, why do I get a sense of peace when I see a house that is boarded
up after it has been burnt down? but now I know it is because I associate
it with death and finality and inactivity. I also used to like watching videos
of Chernobyl, which is deserted and dead. This doesnt mean
I am going to kill myself because to talk about death and to bring it about
are different. The level of thought I put into this probably shows a desire
for activity. Besides, if I was truly going to die, would I even contact
you? I just need help. I am kind of lonely and tired. Is it possible that
God would want someone to die if they have felt this way for such a long
f God wanted you to die, He would
kill you outright. So if He hasnt killed you yet, then your life still
has a purpose.
Now, as for what those priests
told you, both priests, in subtle ways, are wrong.
The second priest essentially
told you that you can do anything you want and expect to get away with it
simply because God is merciful. Well, thats
wrongand to understand why its wrong, lets look at why
the first priest is wrong.
The act of suicide, in itself,
wont necessarily send you to hell
because there is always some chance that, just before you die, you
might experience repentance. Keep in mind
that murdereven self-murderis a sin and
that every sin must be paid for. If you repent your sins, however, the price,
even if huge, can be paid in Purgatory. If you
dont repent your sins, well, the price will be infinite and
Now, I dont know precisely
what the second priest actually said to you, but, from what you tell me,
he has neglected to emphasize the concept of repentance, and his advice about
Gods mercy puts you at risk for making an
unforgivable sinthe sin of not repenting
your sins. Thats why his advice is wrong.
Having understood this much,
lets look at what makes an obsession with death such a sad
Consider the Parable of the
Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and the similar Parable of the Ten Gold
Coins (Luke 19:11-27). In each of these parables, the servant who buried
the coini.e., the talentgiven to him is shown to have been at
fault. His offense was not simply in burying the talent and in earning no
interest on its investment. His real offense was in
fearing and resenting the nobleman for being unjust
and in wanting to hurt him by denying him the growth of his money. Or, in
psychological language, the offense was in
hating the nobleman and taking
revenge on him.
So what does this have to do
with your dwelling on thoughts of death?
Well, notice that in English
the word talent refers not only to a type of coin, as in the parable,
but also to a personal psychological gift: an aptitude, a capacity, an endowment.
Thus, in the full spiritual sense, to bury a talent is to bury a personal
gift that God has given you. Thats what suicide is, isnt it?
Suicide is a burying of your talents, and, as such, its an act of hatred
Dwelling on thoughts of death,
therefore, comes from blaming God for your
misfortunesblaming Him for being unfair and unjustand in wanting
to hurt Him by denying Him a return on the talents He has given to
Note here that, in the parables,
the nobleman rewarded the servants who earned a return on their investments;
they shared in his joy. The spiritual meaning of this is that those of us
who earn a return on the talents given to us will share in Gods joy;
that is, we will earn a share in love itself. But
to bury your talents is to bury the hope
The Allure of
Consider here what someone once
wrote to me about death:
I know the pull
I understand that there are times when death seems so attractive that nothing
else can distract us from obsessing over it. I understand how comforting
the sad words of a song and the rhythm of a dark melody can be. I know how
much sadness is relieved when visualizing dying. I even understand how we
would want our death to be slow so that we could really appreciate the pain
seeping from our souls. I also know that as inviting as death seems, it is
a known liar. Suicide is trading one kind of pain for another. If you land
in hell, then what kind of pain will you be in for all of eternity?
Nevertheless, refraining from
killing yourself out of fear of hell wont
necessarily cause you to love God.
A Gift from
Therefore, if you really want
to know what to do, and if you have any desire
for love in your heart, then endeavor to accept your pain, your sadness,
and your helplessness as a gift from God in its
own right. Rather than complain about your
misfortune, and rather than blame God for it, and
rather than dread it, see all of your misfortune as an opportunity to grow
There is nothing harder
for a Christian than to break the last tie that binds him to the world or
his own self. . . . Generally speaking, one day of adversity
can be of more profit to us for our eternal salvation than years of untroubled
living. . . . The misfortune which has befallen you will soon
do what all your exercises of piety would never have been able to
Saint Claude de la
Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence
TAN Books and
Learn to endure
everythingmistreatment, insults, injustice, misfortunewith
humble trust in Gods
constantly by telling God what you are
feeling. Pour out your heart to Him. Ask Him
for courage and patience.
When you have time apart from
work, read spiritual books and when you tire of reading,
take a walk for exercise and pray while walking.
Prayand in all the prayer
detach yourself from the world. Seek not the
illusory satisfactions of the
body (entertainment, erotic pleasure, food, alcohol,
cigarettes, drugs, etc.) but seek only the Kingdom of Heaven. If you do,
then all else that you need will be given to you as well.
And as you go about your constant
prayer, use your talents for inspiring others to do goodto
loverather than to bury their talents in hatred.
Sow the seeds of love. Let your
self die as
a seed must die: not to cease existing, but to shed its fears and resentments
so as to grow in love and be
If your pain were to be thought
of as a child within you, then your obsession with death as a means to escape
your pain would be like a mother rejecting her own child. What greater sadness
than this can there be?
Maybe your mother rejected you,
and maybe that is the cause of your despair and sadness.
But God is giving you a
giftthe gift of gracefully accepting your
helplessnessas the means to find what has
been lost and to share in Gods joy.
and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.