Fighting Hidden Loneliness
by Jay Fadden
Recently, I read a story in my local paper about a young man who took his own life. I later spoke to some friends who had known him. He seemed to have a wonderful life and was held in high esteem. He was a good student and excelled in athletics. His family was loving and faith filled. Yet for some reason, he felt he could not go on. He carried a weight that could not be lessened. I was saddened as I thought of him as he contemplated his last moments. I cannot imagine how he must have felt knowing what he was about to do. What was he thinking about? Why couldn’t he be saved? What led to this decision that would impact so many lives? It is so difficult to ponder what led to this and to consider how devastating it was to his mother, father, family, and friends. It was a tragedy that reverberated throughout the community.
I continue to pray for this young man, and thinking about his death is haunting. Like many people, I try to understand how this happened. It is an answer I will probably never know. But something I wonder is, was he lonely? Did he feel alone with no place to turn? Loneliness can be suffocating. While he seemed to have many friends and a supportive family, he may have felt all alone.
We can make the mistake sometimes of underestimating the pain that loneliness can cause. It can shake a person to their foundation and cripple them. They can be in a room full of people but feel as though they do not connect with anyone. It is as if they are an observer or on the periphery without an invitation to become involved or to feel loved. Anyone can be afflicted with loneliness. It is a malady that has no preferences in regard to age, gender, social status, religion, or ethnic background. Loneliness is a viper that refuses to stop biting, and those bites take their toll. People who suffer with loneliness carry a great burden, and unfortunately, they carry that burden by themselves. How difficult that feeling must be!
As a community, we need to be cognizant of those who surround us and be available to reach out or just listen. We need to be open to being a friend. With Jesus, we are never alone, and He only waits for us to welcome Him into our lives. He will listen and we can talk to Him.
I ask that you pray for the young man I wrote about and his family. Please also pray for all of those who suffer in silence with loneliness and despair. Together, we are strong.
Thank you for reading my blog post. If there is any topic you want me to tackle, just put it in the comment section and I will do my best to write about it. I do love the comments!