Why I Decided not to Kill Myself


How many of us think about killing ourselves? I am going to guess that the majority of the people on the planet will sometimes fall into this.

For those who do, let me just say that it is important to face it, to admit, not only to yourself but to others.

Should you be embarrassed about thinking of killing yourself?

If you do think about it, does this make you a bad person or a huge failure?

In the preparation to writing this booklet, I sent out a letter to a host of people asking their opinion about the subject of the book. Several hundred went out to alumni of our Divorce Recovery Workshop. The result was dozens of letters coming in expressing thoughts and these are categorized here. Here now is the substance of the letter I sent out.

Taking stock of your situation:

Explain in the space below how you are feeling right now.

Sum up in three sentences why you have decided to kill yourself.

Make a list of the persons who would be impacted by your suicide.

Make a List any persons you can think of who might be moved toward killing themselves after hearing of your own suicide.

Would some of these even blame themselves?

What needs to change in order for you to drop the notion of wanting to kill yourself?

What events brought you to this place?

I have placed the responses into two categories.

Some reasons why:

            a trauma

            a loss of relationship

            approach of incapacity



            dramatic reversal of life circumstances

            fear of a long, painful death

            Not caring anymore

            Being rejected by people I love

Some reasons why not:

            Don’t give your enemies the satisfaction

            People who love you will be hurt

            People who don’t even know you will be impacted

            There are some options you haven’t considered

Then three questions are asked, and without needing to be answered:

1.        What needs to change in order for you to drop the notion of wanting to kill yourself?

2.        Is suicide murder?

3.        Will I be condemned to hell if I kill myself?

Let me clarify some here. I have been a pastor now for 52 years, and during the earliest of these years I ran the Marin Counseling Center. (In my college years my major was psychology). I found that my work centered on encouraging counselees to talk about what they were going through. And just being able to get the inner pain out made a huge difference. And this is precisely what I am doing here.

Here is my email address, in case a reader is struggling to stay alive:


Please include a phone # if you leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

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