Despite initial caution from the audience to keep this discussion under the rug, HuffPost Live proceeded to openly discuss the suicide of Matthew Warren with their guests, the bereaved of other suicide victims. I say victims intentionally. Suicide is not the crime society once claimed it to be. Those fallen to suicide are individuals taken by a medical condition that has no perfect cure.
If I could change anything about this broadcast it would only be that the term, “committed suicide” be replaced with “died by” or “suicided.” The Globe and Mail seems to be one of the only reporting outlets to get the verbiage right. Don’t think it makes a difference? Remember the days of calling your friends “retarded?” Who would dare say that now? Why? Because language matters.
I applaud HuffPost Live to address the Church on their “limited ability to talk about mental illness.” It is true today, but it is changing. Thanks to pastors and fathers like Rick Warren, it will change. Thanks to schools like Heritage Bible College who opened their doors for me to share my story of loss by suicide, it will change. Thanks to all the people who have crossed the line from carefree living into bereavement and had the veil lifted from their eyes that we truly can never judge another human being, it will change.
Even in this tragedy, the father of the late Matthew Warren, Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, has not forgotten what he’s preached. There is purpose in his life. There is purpose in Matthew’s loss. There is purpose in the Church and an opportunity to grow the dialogue. A purpose driven life can forge a road to change.
Today is an appropriate day to revisit the 24 minute documentary, Talk to me: The James Patrick Peek story One father’s response to his son’s suicide likely saved his daughter from the same ending.