The Toll of Suicide on a Marriage


I’ll never forget the very first thing Michelle (my wife) told me when she arrived at our house that life-changing afternoon on May 13th, when I found our son dead.

I was on my knees screaming, wailing, in our driveway, and all of a sudden there she was, holding me by the shoulders and looking at me in the eyes. She said, “We’re gonna make it. We’re gonna stay married.”

Michelle knew a statistic I didn’t: some 90% of marriages don’t make it after the loss of a child.

Dr. Frank Page, in his book about his own daughter’s suicide, writes, “Marriages are frequently the next in line to die after suicide has claimed it’s initial victim….It’s a secondary, collateral target of nearly every suicide. Know that. Expect that. And realize your marriage is now more dependent than ever on your willingness to forgive, to avoid blame and argument, and to allow one another to be yourselves, particularly through those first months and years when emotions and sensitivities are still so painful to the touch.”

Page continues, “No one is ready for this. No one. But we can stay resolved to preserving what remains, including the oft-undervalued treasure of each other. We’re much harder [for the enemy] to carry off when we’re hanging on [to the Rock of Ages] together.”

I love you, baby.


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