|Electronics can't even begin to explain the rise in despair!
Physicians noted that the increasing use of electronics and social media may be playing a major role in the growing number of depression cases, especially in younger patients.
“Increased use of electronics, video games more commonly in boys and social media/texting more commonly in girls, can lead to increased conflict both within the home and with peers,” Dr. Karyn Horowitz explained.
“High users of social media have been linked with higher rates of social isolation than low users,” Haywood added.I think electronics is a little shallow for an explanation to the hopelessness so ingrained in our culture that leads so many to embrace death as a way out. Electronics are only one more "drug" like alcohol or cocaine used to dull the despair.
It's nihilism, atheism, liberalism, materialism, evolutionism, and all the other "isms" that tell us life is meaningless and not worth living... kill yourself to end your pain and suffering.
So what's the answer? God knows!
But I'm convinced that faith and hope are foundational. They respond to the statement that "Life is meaningless" with a loud cry of, "That's a lie!" But many can't hear the message and in a black moment, I suspect impulsively they do what cannot be undone.
The Church recognizes in the catechism that, "Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide." And Wiki goes on to point out that, "The Catholic Church prays for those who have committed suicide, knowing that Christ shall judge the deceased fairly and justly. The Church also prays for the close relations of the deceased, that the loving and healing touch of God will comfort those torn apart by the impact of the suicide."
Ah, those two words -- "torn apart." They can't even begin to describe it. The hole left by a loved one who abandons the family in despair is like a black hole pulling everything into the darkness of grief, guilt, and regret. I'm convinced that only the gravitational pull of God's love can prevent annihilation of everyone touched by suicide.
In the aftermath, the question arises. What can one do for the survivors? For the children especially. I have a few suggestions for grandparents. Dull your own pain by pulling the young ones into your arms. Spend more time:
- throwing rocks in the river
- sharing happy memories of the loved one who's gone
- baking cookies together
- playing lots of cards and other games
- taking walks and hikes together
- working together in the yard -- young teens love to drive the tractor
- going for ice cream
- talking and ending with a short prayer over your grandchildren blessing them and asking their guardian angels for protection
- spending lots of time together doing just about anything as long as the smart-phones, video games, etc. are resting on the shelf
And above all -- pray for them. Pray every day. Pray for them specifically by name. Hold them close to your heart and close to the heart of Jesus and His Mother Mary.
Right now, the Seven Sorrows of Mary are my constant prayer companion. I pray them when I wake up in the night. I pray them at adoration. I pray them as I go about my work during the day.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, wounded by our sins, have mercy on us.
Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, patron of a good death, pray for us.