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From the Desk of Rev. Richard Jakubik
Wednesday, April 01, 2015 by Rev. Richard Jakubik
Sometimes in life, a tragic event occurs that fractures the very foundation on which we stand.  Survivors of suicide navigate in a world that is profoundly and irrevocably different and challenging from the world they once knew. Survivors now find themselves in an unexpected and life long struggle with the tragic loss of a loved one to suicide.  Grief and its complications manifest as painful thoughts, feelings and behaviors that can derail the natural process of healing. Survivors who experience complicated grief go through deep, acute, and intense levels of pain, that often leave them feeling “stuck” and left behind.
 
Recently, I met in the home of a grieving family, the survivors of a tragic loss to suicide. The mother, father, and brother, overwrought with grief, sadness, disbelief, and pain, shared their memories of their beloved son and brother.  The family, through many flowing tears, expressed the devastation they felt when they discovered the body of their loved one shortly after his tragic death.  It is now excruciatingly painful for the family members to enter the place in the home where the eldest son ended his life.  
 
As the family and I stood together on the last step leading to the room where their son lost his life to suicide, family members began to cry and tremble.  Going any further into the room became an unnerving and complicated process.  The room, which had previously offered many comforting and joyful memories, now invoked only pain and sorrow.  The family was seeking a blessing of the space where their loved one had ended his life.  They were hoping to find healing and new meaning.  
 
As the family and I prayed together, praying for God’s blessing in this room, I felt the support, faith, and empowerment of God’s presence.  The blessing became for me a deep encounter with God, a personal story of the family’s faith, their loving bonds, and an expression of kindness and compassion.  In that moment, I saw and felt that I was part of a unity that encompassed me.  The prayer of blessing, shared at a time of complicated grief, reshaped, transformed, and integrated a touch with the sacred.  The new perspective I gained that night helped me to acknowledge these invisible mysteries.  In a deeply personal and prayerful manner, the undertaking of the house blessing became for me an outward expression of the family’s inner love, hope, and wish for peace.
 
I will continue to pray for the intentions of this loving family, and all families touched by suicide.  Prayer and the participation of a house blessing can provide comfort and ongoing assurance of God’s peace for their loved one. This is not only because God is already in those places where a loved one died to suicide; it is also because God travels there to be with us and in us.  This is beautifully echoed in Psalm 139: 7-8: “Where can I escape from Your spirit?  Where can I flee from Your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I descend to Sheol, You are there too.”  May the blessing of homes and places where a loved one died to suicide provide healing, support, and peace to the survivors.


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From the Desk of Rev. Richard Jakubik
Wednesday, April 01, 2015 by Rev. Richard Jakubik
Sometimes in life, a tragic event occurs that fractures the very foundation on which we stand.  Survivors of suicide navigate in a world that is profoundly and irrevocably different and challenging from the world they once knew. Survivors now find themselves in an unexpected and life long struggle with the tragic loss of a loved one to suicide.  Grief and its complications manifest as painful thoughts, feelings and behaviors that can derail the natural process of healing. Survivors who experience complicated grief go through deep, acute, and intense levels of pain, that often leave them feeling “stuck” and left behind.
 
Recently, I met in the home of a grieving family, the survivors of a tragic loss to suicide. The mother, father, and brother, overwrought with grief, sadness, disbelief, and pain, shared their memories of their beloved son and brother.  The family, through many flowing tears, expressed the devastation they felt when they discovered the body of their loved one shortly after his tragic death.  It is now excruciatingly painful for the family members to enter the place in the home where the eldest son ended his life.  
 
As the family and I stood together on the last step leading to the room where their son lost his life to suicide, family members began to cry and tremble.  Going any further into the room became an unnerving and complicated process.  The room, which had previously offered many comforting and joyful memories, now invoked only pain and sorrow.  The family was seeking a blessing of the space where their loved one had ended his life.  They were hoping to find healing and new meaning.  
 
As the family and I prayed together, praying for God’s blessing in this room, I felt the support, faith, and empowerment of God’s presence.  The blessing became for me a deep encounter with God, a personal story of the family’s faith, their loving bonds, and an expression of kindness and compassion.  In that moment, I saw and felt that I was part of a unity that encompassed me.  The prayer of blessing, shared at a time of complicated grief, reshaped, transformed, and integrated a touch with the sacred.  The new perspective I gained that night helped me to acknowledge these invisible mysteries.  In a deeply personal and prayerful manner, the undertaking of the house blessing became for me an outward expression of the family’s inner love, hope, and wish for peace.
 
I will continue to pray for the intentions of this loving family, and all families touched by suicide.  Prayer and the participation of a house blessing can provide comfort and ongoing assurance of God’s peace for their loved one. This is not only because God is already in those places where a loved one died to suicide; it is also because God travels there to be with us and in us.  This is beautifully echoed in Psalm 139: 7-8: “Where can I escape from Your spirit?  Where can I flee from Your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I descend to Sheol, You are there too.”  May the blessing of homes and places where a loved one died to suicide provide healing, support, and peace to the survivors.