By Sandra J
“Sweet is the Peace the Gospel Brings” is a phrase of a hymn I have often sung to myself since our oldest son took his own life in January 2014. His death was totally unexpected because we all saw him as being a strong person. His life was full of many good things, including his three wonderful sons, a strong family, many friends, a successful business, church callings, and coaching his son’s sports. Who would have known he was suffering from sleep deprivation to the point that he was going sleepless night after night. As I have come torealize, a sleepless hour is a long, long hour, but a sleepless night must seem endless.
To treat his problem, our son was given sleeping medication, along with other new medicine, and within a week he was dead.
So how did I cope with this sudden tragedy? Surprisingly, I was fairly calm and composed during the first week. But then it hit me that he was really gone and would not be coming back. Nevertheless, after additional pondering and prayer, I was reminded that he was not really gone, but only gone from us at this time. My church teaches that God’s plan is for families to be together forever, and this means our separation is only temporary—even though it appears to be permanent in our earthly time.
Our knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ brings us peace and understanding, and thus we know that a loving Heavenly Father has our son in his keeping and that he is “alive and well.” Whatever suffering our son may have experienced in mortal life, it is no longer with him.
We also know that the goodness of people’s lives here in mortality will go with them into the next life. Since our son’s death, we have learned so much more about his goodness, and this has been a great source of peace to us. Our sure knowledge of a life after this, joined with family, has helped us endure with faith and hope, and it encourages us to live righteously so we can be worthy to be with him again.