By   •   April 4, 2007   •   Topics: ,


Last year, a friend of mine committed suicide after a long battle with mental illness. I feel so guilty, because I should have seen the signs of what was happening and tried to help him but I didn't. Can I ever put these feelings behind me?


Suicide almost always leaves a host of painful emotions in its wake–and one of those is guilt among those left behind. Don’t be surprised you feel this way; almost anyone in your position would wonder what they might have done.

And to be honest, sometimes those guilty feelings are justified. Experts have told me that people who are contemplating suicide often send out “signals” about their intentions–signals that are really cries for help. Sadly, those signals may go unheeded. We get too wrapped up in our own concerns, for example, or we may be afraid of getting involved. This isn’t always true, however, and in any case you weren’t solely responsible for what your friend did.

Guilt is like a heavy burden–and the solution is to let Christ take it away. God knows your situation but He still loves you, and He wants you to give this burden to Him. Jesus’ invitation is for you: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Ask Christ to come into your life today.

Then ask God to help you be more sensitive to those around you. You may never face this exact situation again–but all around you are people who are searching for peace and hope, and God wants to use you to touch their lives for Christ.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update. You can opt out of future emails at any time.


  1. Leona Fox says:

    I have had a family member commit suicide. Will this person, who was saved as a child, go to heaven? He suffered mental distress all of his life. He had open-heart surgery at 3 years old and never seemed to be able to get rid of a deeply rooted pain. His parents took took him to the children’s hospital where he had the surgery, and were told the pain was not physical.

    1. BGEA says:

      Leona, this article may help answer your question:

  2. Wendy Kippin says:

    My experience is that for complete healing of the one left behind is to work through the pain, work through the grief and the misery. God gave us emotions to work through these things, and all with God’s help of course. Not to bury the pain or shove it down but let the pain rise to the surface and work through it, with a trusted counsellor and many family and friends. This is what I did and I feel a breath of fresh air. Prov 3:5,6

  3. Britney Plug says:

    This answer is very true! I’ve just had a friend who committed suicide yesterday. This afternoon after Church our Pastor was talking with us. He said that it’s truly a good thing that our last acts here on earth-even if they’re suicide-don’t determine our salvation. My friend was a Christian, and yet he struggled with depression for many years. Our salvation doesn’t depend on our works, but on Christ’s work for us.
    But in all this-even with my friends suicide-God is still the one who is ultimately in control. It is such a comfort to know this!