How would you explain suicide to your kids?

Not something I would approach unless necessary...

Today I found out that an old friend of mine committed suicide last year. My kids were in the car when I got the call and could tell from my voice that something had happened. When I got off the phone, my son asked "what happened?" and I told him that an old friend of mine died. He asked how he died, so I told them, "he killed himself"...

Pause. Wasn't sure what they would say or ask, so I waited.. And he asked "how?" and I didn't think that was important, so I said I didn't know. After going over that yes, I was sad, my 7 year old daughter asked 'Why would someone want to kill themselves?"

I always try to take things and make them teaching sessions, so I told her sometimes people have a sadness that won't go away and that they lose hope that it WILL go away and think that they might be better off if they no longer lived on this earth. And then I made sure she understood that he was 42 years old and that his sadness wasn't like her sadness or mine for that matter, that his sadness was dark and desperate.. and described the difference between regular normal sadness and something.. else..

The she asked me a great question: "Does he get to go to heaven?"

And I said, I would imagine so, yes. And my son said, "But don't you think God is mad at him?"

And I said, well, God isn't an angry person, but i DO believe that taking your own life goes against everything we believe in. That it's GOD'S choice when you're journey and purpose is over here and when he takes you home to heaven, but God isn't angry with him I don't think. If anything he recognizes him as a lost soul and would, I hope allow him into heaven no matter what because he was a good person. But God is very forgiving and I'm sure that before he gets to heaven they have to have a little chat.

I wasn't sure how to answer this.. Part of me wanted to make it a carnal sin.. that no way.. God will not accept that .. but in the same breath, I wanted them to know that my friends pain had ended and he was okay now.. that not everyone is strong enough to stay on Earth.. and whether it was HIS will or God's will from the beginning we will never know..

WHAT would you tell your children? I wrestle with the idea of sharing this with them at all, but I think that they're at the age when protecting them may make them ignorant, and they need to know.. Plus, they need to understand what happens in MY life too sometimes.

Would you tell them as matter of factly as I did? What about heaven ad your belief in God?

Just curious.. do YOU think that people who take their own lives get to go to heaven????

P.S. You cannot offend me.. I'm okay, I'm just generally interested in all of your thoughts and opinions.. thank you!

00
    03/24/14
    I really love your explanation.

    My brother is very mentally ill (schizophrenic) so I have had to explain what that is and how it effects him. I imagine I would explain suicide the same way, it is an illness that sometimes can't be treated effectively. If the person had proper treatment they would not want to die, it has nothing to do with will power. It's just how their illness ended up, like many others die of other illnesses.
    0
    About Jessica
    Born: Novato, California
    Current: Sherman Oaks, California
    Birth: May 28
    On Moms.com since: Aug 5, 2013
    We live in Los Angeles, CA. I'm a writer, comedian, actor and single mom of two. Parenting is hard. I try to keep a sense of humor about it all and find the find the funny... in what is most likely NOT funny (i.e. boogers, meltdowns, homework, etc.).