Suicide surrounds us daily, but we hardly ever hear about the “survivors” who are still standing to talk about it and what it was that brought them back from the edge. We only hear about those who don’t because it makes great news copy.
So is the case recently when former All-Pro NFL linebacker legend — Junior Seau — the San Diego Chargers first pick in the 1990 NFL draft committed suicide. His method of misguided relief was delivered through his handgun by pulling its trigger. The onslaught of media stories that have related his self-inflicted gunshot to the chest abound. That invasive wound ended his earthly pain, but who knows what truly followed spiritually? Eternal death in total darkness? Or loving forgiveness from the Light? Mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, I immediately felt Junior’s confusion and loss from a state of helplessness, desperation, and uncertainty that had once been my own. I could imagine Junior’s mindset and lost feelings of dissonance. His unquenchable thirst of hoping to make sense of why life should continue on as we know it — even though he was one built and sculpted to be invincible.
Sadly, Junior probably won’t be the last of legendary NFL greats or other professional stars and various other dream chasers of lesser notoriety to fall to this defeat at the hand of darkness. There continues to be an epidemic of those giving up on life because of so many broad and varying considerations. We always look to the mitigating, or cause and effect, circumstances as to why a life ends in this way. What caused it?
Could this fall by Junior–descending from life’s living, breathing plateau–have been the result of years of subject trauma to his brain? News stories seem to suggest so. Was it brain trauma that possibly resulted from those much heralded collisions on the gridiron of football stardom that created his legend? There is documented, scientific proof regarding Tau Protein in the brains of former footballers and other brain-related maladies that has opened the eyes of the NFL, major universities, colleges, and high school administrators alike regarding concussive and non-concussive blows to the head.
Or was Junior’s end of days spawned from a hopelessly broken heart of complete loss from the true God-granted essence of unconditional love that may have been vacant from his heart and soul? Was it a combination of both? Who can say? Who will know? Junior is the only one who could have truly answered that question as to the “why” of it all. Eluding, evasive answers to questions that may forever be left unknown.
Suicide… What horrific thoughts run through your mind when you hear that word? What pictures are formed? They can be ghastly visions. Can you even imagine what would bring a person to even possibly consider this desperate final act? Could you possibly fathom the complete loss of hope someone feels to even entertain ending their life? Try to envision the depth and sorrow of those darkest feelings of complete fear, overwhelming loss, abandonment, and confusion during that final life-ending moment and the contrasting illusion of freedom that it brings.
I once fell prey to those same abysmally cold, life-ending considerations. Mine were manifested from penetrating unsettled emotions of worthlessness, fear, failure, and “forsakenness.” I felt that mine were initially formed by a shattered childhood dream — a deeply envisioned and very real, tangible dream of playing in the National Football League. They were extraordinarily extreme, heartless, dead emotions that invaded the deepest recesses of my soul. How do you conceive of attempting to make sense of it all? Especially when the noise continually reverberates in your head as it races through your mind and leaves footprints of fear — cast there by haunting legions of dissonant voices? Intensely horrifying and upending invasive voices that continually remind you of your failures first — always tapping; recurring, never ceasing…
Overstated? Really? Not for a second! You would only know it if you had lived it.
It truly becomes the darkest, defeating place you can ever know and a place of engulfing agony that you wouldn’t wish on your greatest adversary.
Tragic life-ending realities from suicide haunt the human element unremittingly. Darkness does all it can to rip the breath and life right out of you — if you let it in. That is, when you are capable of controlling such an invasive presence. But what if one is unable to battle these spiritual demons due to extenuating physiological conditions that create mental imbalance? More questions yet to answer.
In my darkest moment of uncertainty, when I stood up from my bed and reached for my 12-gauge shotgun to end my pain, I had no idea of the intrinsic physiological effects that had affected my mind at that point. At that fortunate moment, my mind had listened to the gentle calling of God’s merciful angel of love — a caressing, divine and benevolent muse that whispered softly to my heart by speaking of love. A hope found only in love’s pure Light that pulled me back from that hard cutting razor’s edge overlooking that mesmerizing pit of infinite, swirling eternal darkness.
I was the lucky one on that dismal, dreary day. Why? I felt it was because I had been raised with God’s unconditional love. I was blessed to have had caring and nurturing parents and extended family members and friends that truly understood the power of God’s greatest gift to us all — His pure love.
There isn’t a shadow of doubt in my mind that Junior Seau owned a compassionate heart. It seems most evident by the charitable concerns and outreach he showed his community as a measure of giving back from all he had been given. It’s just so, so sad that when it mattered the most — in his true time of need and grasp to feel that sincere sensation of true redemption — Junior Seau fell to the dark hand of death when it called… and he lost his champion’s heart. Life is about going deep. Something stopped Junior from reaching that true measure of depth during his final moments. Now the pain of loss rings its clanging bell of sorrow as we have lost another great one to its taunt. A parting thought…
“LOVE CONQUERS ALL”
This article by Kevin “James” Richardson first published in Sonoma Christian Home.