A dear friend sent me an article this morning talking about Pastor Rick Warren returning to his church since his son, Matthew, committed suicide in April. Several things in the article stand out to me. Undoubtedly, it’s devastating what happened but I’m so proud of the Warrens. Proud might not be the right word, or sentiment. More like, I greatly admire them.
First, according to the article, Warren wants to fight the stigma of mental illness and said; “In any other organ of your body breaks down there’s no stigma,” said Warren. “But if your brain doesn’t work, why are you ashamed of that?” He went on to say (AND I LOVE THIS) that his church will offer support groups to people suffering from mental illness. That is amazing, and so necessary. So often we want and need the church to be there for those with mental illness and so often it’s the least supportive place. Not because Jesus doesn’t support us, because he certainly does…but because the church is full of people. People who don’t GET IT sometimes.
The following blurb is something I wrote back in April when I first heard about the suicide of Matthew Warren;
“When I read about the well-known pastor and author Rick Warren’s 27 year old son, Matthew, who struggled with mental illness since childhood, took his own life I was devastated and I immediately started crying. I don’t personally know the man, nor did I know his son. But I know the feelings of wanting to trade anything to rid yourself of the terrible highs, lows and destructive behavior. It made me so sad, that “we” lost one. We lost a precious brother in our bipolar fight and it really sucks. I can’t imagine what his family is going through. What his mother feels right now. As a mother myself, I hate to think how she must feel. I can’t help feeling sad for her, and for the loss of this young man, who was described as a compassionate and great, gentle and loving guy. Outsiders likely look in and think “what a shame” (and it is) but as a person who has had suicidal thoughts myself in years past and several times contemplated driving my car into a ditch or straight into a wall on many occasions, I understand. It’s not necessarily that you want to die, it’s these uncontrollable urges from a chemical imbalance in your brain and an overwhelming desire to not feel the pain anymore. It’s disheartening and flat depressing.”
It still sucks and it’s still depressing. As I’ve said, I’m incredibly beyond PROUD of the Warrens and full of admiration for them. Clearly I struggle to find the words for it. I can’t imagine what it would be like for them to experience the death of their child, and the manner of death is just awful for them to grieve, process and understand. I hope the Warrens know they’re loved, supported and appreciated and although all of us wish his son’s life didn’t have to end this way, we are all grateful for their response to it and for helping us fight the fight against stigma! Much love to the Warrens!
For the full article click here.
To Follow Rick Warren on Twitter, click here.