Usually, I love your stuff. It's refreshing reading your against the grain, unapologetic Christian view. But today, you got it wrong when you wrote, "Robin Williams didn't die from a disease, he died from his choice." I hope you'll pray about what this and respond because your column is a scandal to Christianity.
First, suicide does not claim anyone against their will. No matter how depressed you are, you never have to make that choice. That choice. Whether you call depression a disease or not, please don’t make the mistake of saying that someone who commits suicide “died from depression.” No, he died from his choice. He died by his own hand. Depression will not appear on the autopsy report, because it can’t kill you on its own. It needs you to pull the trigger, take the pills, or hang the rope. To act like death by suicide is exactly analogous to death by malaria or heart failure is to steal hope from the suicidal person. We think we are comforting him, but in fact we are convincing him that he is powerless. We are giving him a way out, an excuse. Sometimes that’s all he needs — the last straw.
"Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide. We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 2282-2283So, we pray for Robin Williams' soul, we pray for the souls of those who have committed suicide, we pray for those suffering from depression, we pray for a greater understanding of the disease, we pray for effective treatments, we pray for those who work to heal the afflicted (physically, emotionally, spiritually), and we pray for those mourning their loved ones. We pray that the loving, merciful God who brought all of us into existence will bring us back to Himself.
Instead of condemning the suffering for choosing suicide, let's start figuring out how we can help the suffering to see that life is always the better choice. Let's unburden them by helping to carry their crosses alongside them. It's time for those of us not suffering from depression to stop being indifferent and to start reaching out.
"What's wrong with death, sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can't we treat death with a certain amount of humanity and dignity, and decency, and God forbid, maybe even humor. Death is not the enemy, gentlemen. If we're going to fight a disease, let's fight one of the most terrible diseases of all--indifference." - Robin Williams as "Hunter Patch Adams"
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.