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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Please Don't Go; We Need You! A Message to Those Thinking about Suicide

Brendan our baby lover! Christmas 2017
Today marks four months since Brendan, our 18-year-old grandson, killed himself.

Four months!

How often I held that precious boy when he was four months old, rocking and feeding him his bottle while his mom worked. I used to put him down for his nap and sing to him while I ran my fingers lightly over his eyelids.

There were no tears then, thinking about him, just smiles. How I loved cuddling and singing and rocking and playing little games -- reaching out to touch his velvet skin, to pick him up out of the crib, to put him on my knee and "ride away to Boston to buy a penny cake."

In the last four month there hasn't been a day I haven't thought about Brendan and cried. I clean the upstairs front bedroom and see a photo of baby Brendan sleeping and cry. I walk by the refrigerator and see a photo of him and his cousin in their Halloween costumes and cry. I sit at the dining room table and see a photo on the buffet of teenage Brendan holding two babies in his arms. And I cry -- all for missing him and missing the promise of the man he would have become.

They say that Francis of Assisi went nearly blind because he cried so much kneeling before the crucifix. I can believe it. My eyes are blurry so much of the time.

In the weeks before Brendan's death, I was practicing a piece on the piano -- the theme from Ice Castles. Now, every time I play it, I cry. "Reaching out to touch you, I can feel so much." My tears aren't for Brendan now. I trust that God in His mercy reached out for that precious child and Brendan reached back and was folded into that embrace. I cry because the more I discover about his suffering, the more I wish I could have enfolded and embraced and comforted him. Brendan's suffering is over now, passed on to all of us, especially his parents.

One thing I do now is keep a candle lit for Brendan in front of St. Joseph's statue at our little parish church. Whenever it's close to going out I move a fresh candle into that spot and relight it. When we arrive for morning Mass I look at it and ask St. Joseph to hug him for me. And I ask Brendan to pray for me and to know that I will never forget to pray for him -- every day -- for the rest of my life.

Please pray for the repose of Brendan's soul and for our suffering family, especially Brendan's mom and dad and siblings. I know many of you are already. Please don't stop. And please pray for all those teetering on the brink. Suicide surely shows the face of Satan himself who was a murderer and liar from the beginning. He roams school corridors, veterans' hospitals, and family kitchens. He leers from television sets and computers. He inspires evil wherever he lurks. Pray that those in danger of listening to his promptings will reach out for help. My message to anyone thinking about suicide -- Please don't go, we need you.


  1. Hugs. That's all I have...also prayers for all of us.

  2. Thank you, Lauraelaina, prayers are what help the most and virtual hugs make me smile.

    1. Well, that's what sisters are for. And more hugs.

  3. Several years ago, out of the blue and with no warning, my Best Man committed suicide. A lifelong Catholic who never missed Mass and who actually brought people into the Faith.

    There are no words available to describe the resulting shock and pain experienced by family and friends. The only thing left is constant prayer. Be assured of mine.

  4. Thank you, Mary Ann, for writing such a ♥️ heartfelt message. The prayers and especially the candle to St. Joseph is a sign of great Faith. As you gaze upon the Sacred 💓 Heart of Jesus, may His loving gaze comfort your dear heart ♥️. God love you, Mary Ann.

  5. Hi, Mary Ann. Facebook won't let me publish a comment to you. God love you.

  6. There is tremendous comfort in belonging to the Body of Christ. We all mystically and truly share and support one another in pain, prayers, joys and sorrow - how bland that sounds. All lovers of Christ share unity with one another through him. Your suffering is our suffering too, and the love.

  7. Mary Ann, I'm so sorry for the pain your family suffers now -- but you are an amazing Catholic woman who shares your experience and your Faith, and you are doing good and helping others even in this time of grief. Jesus loves you and yours a lot -- it will get better. Never exactly the same, but still good. You might save another young person and his family from going through this sorrow -- it's just like you to light a candle in the darkness :).
    love and blessings, Judith
    ps please come for dinner when you can.

  8. Thank you, Judith. I hope you are right about saving someone else from experiencing such a tragedy. We need our young people so desperately to have hope and help to make a better world. Thanks for the invite. We would love to see you and Dan sometime. Perhaps we can make a date later in the fall when we get back from a trip to see Neil and family in Texas.