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by Mike Robinson

The funeral chapel was filled to capacity for the memorial service. As the officiating minister, I looked out upon those present and I knew that their minds were filled with one question: "What causes a young person like this to terminate his or her own life?"

Someone has described suicide as 'the death we never talk about' and the ultimate expression of despair. However you may describe this act of self-destruction, it is a rapidly growing reality in our society; especially among the younger male generation.

It is beyond the scope of this article to explore the psychology of suicide or to try and find logic in what seems to us to be so illogical. What I know is that, for that particular family, the process of acceptance and adjustment will be a long one. Those close to the event can never be the same again. Many others have gone from that funeral to re-evaluate their lives and priorities.

Some would argue that to commit suicide takes great courage. Others would disagree and say that it requires great selfishness. What I would say is that suicide solves nothing. In fact, it creates a whole new set of problems and heartaches for those left behind.

I would achieve few (if any) positive results by getting on a soapbox and holding forth about the sanctity of life and the futility of suicide (although I strongly affirm both). What I do want to say is this: if anyone reading this article is seriously contemplating suicide, someone needs to tell you that you have not yet exhausted all the alternatives.

Even if there is only one other possibility that you have not yet considered, you would be foolish in the extreme to take such irreversible action before that option is explored. It could just mean the beginning of a new life for you.

To terminate one's life is the ultimate expression of "playing God" and, to be ruthlessly honest with you, you & I just don't have the qualifications for that role.

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