November is a month to remember those who have died in a special way. When I got in my most recent Alumni Magazine in, I noticed with sadness that one of my classmates in graduate school - Katie Keator - had passed away. She was only a few years older than I and we were, by far, the youngest students in the program at the time. I presumed she had died of cancer or some other unfortunate disease.
That was not the case. The most recent issue of The Catholic Mirror featured an article on Understanding Suicide and profiled Katie and her family. Sadly, Katie took her own life at the age of 41. Her father is a Deacon and he stated that the family wanted to be up front and honest about the cause of her death:
He wants people to see suicide as a psychological problem. "It wasn't Katie who killed herself. It was a different person, because the Katie we knew - I don't think she was capable of doing that," he says. . . ."Suicide is a mortal sin but in order to commit that you must have full awareness and consent. How can a person with a mental disorder have full consent?" says Deacon George.
During this month, let us remember those who have taken their own lives and their families in a special way. Suicide is so painful, both for those who see no other way out and for those left behind to make sense of it and, with God's help, bring some good out of it.