A brother in Christ died suddenly on Wednesday. I remember getting the message from my husband saying that he received a call from our daughter, “I don’t know what she said… she was crying… I think she said Tommy died… I’m heading over to their house.”

The next call my husband said, “Tommy shot himself.”

I couldn’t believe it. I kept thinking it must have been an accident.

Tommy was always so calm and collected—he exhibited serenity and peace. It seemed like nothing seemed to really bother him.

We spent several hours with Tommy and my daughter in the waiting room before, during, and after his son’s (my son-in-law) surgery about two weeks ago. My husband and Tommy chatted about little things—books they’ve read, trips they’d taken, etc. Tommy seemed fine.

What did I miss? What kind of a counselor am I if I couldn’t see that something was wrong?

Now I wonder how many people I see that are really torn up inside—they are crying out for help but I can’t hear them. I am blind to their personal torment and pain.

As we drove back from Iowa, I look at the two little girls sitting in the backseat. My 4-year-old granddaughter says, “I miss Grandaddy.”

My heart sank. Tommy will never hug and kiss them again.

I wish I could turn back time for them. I wish the gun would have jammed… I wish an unexpected visitor would have changed Tommy’s plan that day…

The truth is no amount of wishing can change what happened. I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else.

Please, please, please talk to someone if you are thinking about ending your life. Let someone help you with your pain. We need each other. Death is not the answer.


Is There More I Could Have Done? Reflections on a Painful Loss


  1. lensgirl53 · February 14, 2014

    I am sorry to read this as I was perusing the blogs here at WordPress. If it is any consolation, I have lost a son to suicide. There is never just one reason for this kind of death. Please go to my blog to read all that I have posted that may be of help for you to even begin to understand. Even doctors cannot “see” the disease in their patients. People who have mental illness try very hard to hide their disease…and yes, it is a disease with a horrible stigma attached. Thus, the reason so many do not seek help….the consequence for hiding it is fatal. Even love cannot help because mental illness/chemical imbalance is not “loved away” but must be treated like any other disease. The suicidal brain is a complex one but many new studies have revealed the images and the lack of or too many chemicals in the brain that can cause it to malfunction…just like any other part of the body…the brain is vulnerable to becoming ill. I hope this little bit of what I do know has helped you. I can’t say I have all the answers because this is just not the case. I struggle nearly everyday over the death of my much loved son. If love was the healer…he would still be with us today. I can only try to find the answers and share what I know. God bless you and Tommy’s family.

    • Dr. T · February 14, 2014

      Thank you so much for your encouragement. I am sorry for your loss. May God continue to comfort you.

  2. Thomas · February 15, 2014


    Please accept condolences from my family to yours. People will only allow you see what they want you to see. From personal experience you are a great friend as well as a spiritual leader. In my 54 year spiritual journey you have blessed me as well as supported me. You are blessed and a blessing to all you have been exposed to. May God continue to strengthen you and Theresa.


  3. Fran Trascritti · February 19, 2014

    Thomas, thanks for your kind words. I thought it was great how Teresa shared her heart on this blog- she expresses herself so well and glorifies the Lord in the process.

    Thanks for you being there for us- I appreciate and love you like a brother!

    Pastor Fran

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