A month or so ago one of the guys at my workplace commited suicide. They had a ceremony that talked about him and his life and the usual funeral stuff. Our chaplain went on a tirade about how if we all found Jesus, we wouldn't turn to suicide as an option.
Then the chaplain used it as an opportunity to blast everyone with grief about how we should have tried to help him, and by the end of his speech he all but blamed the suicide on all of us for not stopping it.
This bothered me on so many levels.
1) There are people who show signs that they are thinking about suicide, and there are those who do not. In this case he had made no prior attempts, and made no effort to get help for his affliction.
2) A funeral or memroial service is not an opportunity to guuilt people into joining your faith. This is the worst kind of opportunism. Shame on this man for taking advantage of people's grief. I fully believe this is a perfect example of how these Chaplains serve no useful purpose, and that if they remain they should be forced to get formal training as a Counselor or Therapist...Theology does not equip a person to deal with another persons emtional well being.
3) No of us know for sure a person's reasons for suicide. In their mind this is their best option; I don't believe that it is taken litely or rushed in to. This is about personal choice; if someone wants to end their life, that's their choice.
4) When it comes down to it, if a person wants to kill themselves, they're going to find a way to do it. A few kind words probably won't make a difference, but if you want to try anyway, at least you can remove your personal guilt from the situation.
This post will most likely make several people think I'm not being respectful, but what can I say, I don't truly understand the concept of empathy on any non-intellectual level. Or to put it more simply, I don't care if you disagree with my opinion on this matter.