How do I answer my children's questions about suicide?


#1

My Grandchildren Are 10 And 9. Their Grandfather, My Husband Was Bipolar. He Was Under A Doctor’s Care But He Was Allergic To Most Of The Medicines Most Commonly Used Or It Just Did Not Work. Several Years Ago On His Worst Day He Took His Own Life. The Children Still Remember Him And To This Point His Parents Have Told Them That He Was Sick And Died And Went By Jesus. That Was Fine When They Were Younger But That No Longer Satisfies Them. They Want To Know What He Was Sick With And How He Died. I Have Always Been Open With Our Entire Families That The Children Should Know The Truth. They Are Young Now But As All Children They Will Grow Up. If Suddenly One Day As A Young Adult They Should Find Something Like A Death Certificate Or Something They Will Forever See Us As Someone To Mistrust.
I Was Prepared To Have These Questions From Them As Teenagers But 9 And 10 Are Very Young. How Can I Tell Them So That They Understand And Continue To Love The Memory Of Their Grandfather?


#2

Hi,

There was a time when the Church would not give a Catholic burial to one who committed suicide, assuming that the person had despaired. But with the advances in the field of psychology the Church currently recognizes that most people take their lives to stop the pain. And mental pain is the worst. You husband wanted to stop the pain. There is no scandal in that!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O. P.


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