My friend Ben Schone has left us as of April 7, 2009. I guess when someone you love goes in such a tragic way; it is always scary, haunting, and shocking. As I think about his death I really want to get some ideas out. I’m writing this mostly because I feel like many people will be asking questions that pertain to this and also because it is helpful for me to write it.
When someone commits suicide do they go to hell? First of all to be completely honest, I don’t know. I cannot give an answer to that question no matter who the person is or how they die. What I can give an opinion on is according to my faith, does someone who commits suicide go to hell because of the act itself. My thoughts…suicide does not mean that someone will go to hell.
The idea that suicide is a damnable sin has come from the idea that life is to be valued and that we submit our lives to our creator. It’s thought that when someone commits suicide that they are in fact, by their actions, saying “screw you God, I don’t trust you with my life” and then ending their life. In this way the person would be defiant and turning their back on God.
For any of us who have lost someone in this manner, I highly doubt that this is ever the case. Usually, from my experiences in life, suicide is someone feeling overwhelmed with emotions and circumstances and finding themselves not able to deal with them through typical coping skills. Chemical imbalance is much more often the cause of someone ending their own life, not someone being defiant of God.
A second part of the idea that if you commit suicide you are going to hell comes from the fact that it is a sin to take a life even you own and so if it’s your last act, you aren’t able to receive forgiveness and would be damned. I strongly disagree with this as well. God isn’t limited by our mistakes. Imagine if you were falling off of a cliff on accident and on the way down cursed God out of loose lips as you were panicking on the way down. It’s a sin to take God’s name in vein; do you think you would go to hell? I certainly don’t think that God’s ultimate judgment of my life would have anything to do with a slip of the tongue being my final act before death. Neither do I believe that doing something as harmful as suicide as your final act would lead to damnation.
I guess I’m saying all of this to ease people’s minds and to hopefully help us to focus on what I believe we should focus on when someone that we love passes. I believe we must focus on moving through our sadness and cherishing the life of the one who has passed. To take what that person has meant to us and be sure that it never dies in us. Make sure that the person lives on in the way that we live, love, and relate to others. May the beauty and wonder of our friend Ben Schone live on in us.
4 responses to “The passing of a friend…Ben Schone.”
the older I get and the more I grow in my faith the more I KNOW we can not even begin to understand God’s mind. I’m with you Izzy, the last thing anyone should do is try to say that this dear brother would not make it to heaven bc of this! It should not even be part of the discussion! God’s love reaches so far and so wide. I don’t know your friend but I will certainly be praying for the family and friends of this precious man.
Thanks for writting this Izzy! You and both know from knowing this person that he was not a person who cursed God’s name and did not trust in His path. I think it is like you said he just didn’t know how to cope with what was going on. All I know is what the Word says, God know’s our true hearts and will judge that. He also knows our true hearts and hears our confessions. I have prayed and asked God to hear Ben’s heart and know he is right where he belongs! Be safe coming home! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, I know alot of people do wonder about this.
This is a topic that will forever be debated. Anyone who has lost someone by suicide will probably reconsider their belief system if they had previously thought otherwise. Ultimately, we will never know, we can only presume (as is the case with everyone who passes.)
If you think about it, a person can never say for sure that another is going or heaven or hell because as we know there are only two people that truly know the person’s heart, God and that individual. Otherwise we are only left with our best guess based on how we interpenetrated that persons outward character. In the same way we say we never saw this tragedy coming, so is the outcome of the final destination of one’s soul. I know that this seems less comforting when thinking about the ones we have loved and lost, but God tells us that matters of this nature cannot be foreseen and that He is the only one who truly knows, apart from the individual them selves.
Ben was a great guy, no doubt about that. I think you would have a hard time finding someone who would have anything bad to say about the kid. I’ve known Ben probably for only 5 years and have never seen anything that i could say was a negative trait of his.
Izzy you seem like you like to write, i encourage you to write about Ben again but instead of using this situation to ponder religion and doctrine, i think you should write about how you remember Ben, why you thought he was such a good person and the achievements that made him who he was. Give us a platform to then post how we remember him,
that’s really what i was hoping for when i started reading your post.
I miss Ben as I know you do, let’s remember the good things about him.
*In loving memory of Ben Schone*
so sorry Izzy. saddest thing in the world. you’ll see him again though. how could God not do what a good Father does to bring his son home? especially when his son is feeling so terribly hopeless as Ben must’ve been feeling. so sorry – peace and love.