Thursday, April 7, 2011

In Memory Of My Brother Mark

Two days ago my friend and Brother in Christ, Mark, too his own life. I am both saddened and relieved. Saddened for Mark, for wife Cate, for children Molly & Jack. Relieved for Mark especially, and the pain and suffering and torment he was experiencing. I am also saddened and confused that my own prayers and those of others for healing were not effective in the way we had hoped. And, I recall these same feelings when beloved Brother Dr. Dave passed into paradise with the Lord Jesus. For Mark, as for Dave, we held a constant vigil for healing, and yet . . . . ????

Now I lean on the faith I have in a loving God, even in spite of my lack of understanding in Mark’s death. My prayers for healing continue now for Cate, Molly and Jack as I entrust my dear Brother into the hands of the One Who created him. And, as I am wont to do, I feel compelled to share, to try to explain for others what I know (and don’t know) of this journey of Mark’s, from my own personal perspective and journey with mental illness.

I could say much about the parallels and differences between physical and mental or emotional illness. Why we more easily understand the physical, but fear the mental. Why there remains an undeserved and uncompassionate stigma surrounding mental illness. But, for me, the best way is simply to share my own journey in light (darkness) of Mark’s, so that others may understand why Mark took his own life, and perhaps find some measure of comfort or relief themselves.

First, and importantly, let me say I fully believe Mark is with the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the greatest of comforts.

I am one who is well acquainted with mental illness. My own father committed suicide when I was younger. One of my sisters attempted to take her own life more than once before she found the right medicines and beloved counselors. And finally, if that weren’t enough, I found myself with a knife, in my own hand, pressed against my own chest at the age of 19. Something, SomeONE prevented me from plunging that knife into my own heart those many years ago. And, that SomeONE has comforted, healed and sustained me these years hence, even in the midst of further deep depression and darkness. You’ll just have to believe me when I say that the torment is so bad that it can bring us to that point of wanting to die rather than continue in it.

Please believe me when I say the pain and torment is real. It affects us certainly mentally, but also physically. I have had 16 major surgeries, at last count, for a variety of injuries and ailments, and would take one, or all of them, over again rather than experience clinical depression. So, what do we do? What do we make of this? What do we learn from this and other similar tragedies? I hope that we learn compassion most of all, but also that we must continue to persevere in prayer regardless of whether the outcome is what we had wished for. That, above all else, we would love one another, even as our Lord and Savior is making all things new.

Now to Him be all Glory, Honor and Praise, even in the midst of suffering.

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


P.S. Of course, if you or others have further questions or need of prayer, please get in touch with me. If nothing else, I will understand.!/patrick.watters1

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