In episode 6 our guest is a reverend called Andrew who works in the Methodist Church. Together we challenge the frequently taught message that a person who has died by suicide can’t enter heaven. We also look at how Christianity can be of comfort when a loved one has died.
Disclaimer! This is not an attempt to preach or convert anyone. In time Lizzie will feature other religions on the show. She just started with Christianity as this is the religion most familiar to her. : )
- Andrew talks about role of minister and what they do for families when someone has died
- He stresses the importance of listening to those who are grieving
- We look at questions such as, ‘Will I ever see the person who I have lost again?’
- The topic of poetry comes up and we discuss which ones we love and hate. Footprints in the Sand is a favourite but we both struggle with Death is Nothing At All!
- Lizzie asks about what bible passages might be comforting. Andrew mentions one which talks about how nothing can overcome love – not even death.
- He also mentions the death of Lazarus, where Jesus wept alongside Mary in grief – it’s a reassurance that it’s OK to cry.
- Another passage is in Isaiah which mentions God writing all of our names on the palm of his hand. It shows that God knows us and cares for each and every one of us. This can be of comfort when grief makes you feel so lost and you don’t know who are anymore.
- Andrew also mentions the use of a ‘holding cross’ in times of distress. It is something people can hold on to when words are difficult and prayer is hard. Especially when you are angry at God and feel hurt and let down.
- We look at the question ‘How and why did God let this happen!?”
- Andrew talks about having a stillborn son. Also that sometimes God takes what has happened and gives you something positive out of it – but he don’t believe God causes bad things to happen.
- We talk about how people can find a church should they wish to start going.
- Finally, Lizzie mentions how she was taught at school that those who have killed themselves can’t enter heaven. What does Andrew make of this?
- Andrew says God understands people are mentally ill and in great pain and distress, he says God welcomes people who have died in this way with open arms.
Thank you so much for listening. Next episode we will have an interview with a wonderful woman called Anne, who lost her son Toby 7 years ago. Anne is a campaigner on suicide awareness and prevention. She also has a website for parents, https://losingachildtosuicide.org.uk