Regret & Grieving a Suicide

Encouragement to someone grieving a suicide:

In situations like this, there are always regrets about what you could've done differently. In hindsight, of course you see things that you couldn't have known at the time.

Think of something that you wish you would've done differently. Think of something that you believe would have made a significant difference in the outcome. If there are lessons to learn, learn them. If there are sins to confess, confess them. But the truth is that there's always more you could've done. Even if you had done those things you now wish you would have done, there would still be other things that you would have thought of to do differently.

Someone who is not thinking clearly and is determined to hurt himself is going to find a way. If it wasn't this way, it would've been another way, and then you'd be kicking yourself for not having done more to prevent that.

The temptation is to think through what's happened as if you were omniscient and omnipotent, but rest in the uncomfortable yet glorious truth that you're not God. We can't control the choices of others, nor can we control the outcomes of our own choices. You could not have controlled the outcome of this tragedy even if you wanted to. We simply have to trust the inscrutable providence of God, as painful as it is. When you're going through hell, keep going. Look forward in hope, not backward in regret. God is good and his grace is sufficient for you.

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