November 9, 2021
Better off dead? On one of the widow & widower Facebook groups I am a member of a guy posted this question. “How many of you feel life is not worth living anymore and can’t wait to join your loved one?” Well over 200 comments were posted and most of them said they do or at least have felt the same way. That is more the rule than the exception. For the most part these are not people who want to kill themselves, they miss their spouse and see Heaven as the only way to see them again. It is a very logical concept.
The ones that disagreed with the question almost always sited children, grandchildren, some even pets as a reason to hang around on this earth. Another very logical concept. It takes purpose to be happy for most of us. If you are going to be happy after a loss, you need to find purpose. This particular gentleman had only been widowed a couple of months so his wounds were very fresh. Many who agreed with the question had been alone for several, even multiple years.
Not everyone has those feelings, but I think most do at some time or another. I certainly have had those feelings at times. I think it is normal. In the beginning you have them because you miss your loved one so much and want to see them. As time moves on, you still miss them but I suspect the loss of purpose is the culprit. A human needs purpose.
One reader chided the man. saying how wrong he was to even write such a thing. He was just being honest about his feelings. If you hear someone who has experienced a loss make that kind of statement don’t criticize them, just listen. Unless they are threating suicide it doesn’t mean they want to kill themselves.
Encourage them with how important they are to you. They need comforting, not criticism. If it is you and your loss is fresh, I think that is a normal way to feel. If your loss has been many years maybe it is time to seek more purpose in your life.
We normally get that by helping others. You can always find some way to help others even if it is just a phone call or a word of encouragement.
One famous person who had the same feelings was the Apostle Paul. He wrote in the book of Philippians… For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.
That was written about two thousand years ago and it is still applicable. That attitude is why he could be happy even locked up in prison for sharing Christ. Take one day at a time and focus on making that day as happy and purposeful as you can.