Seeking His face as the solace for turbulent times

RFK Jr's wife hanged herself- Suicides in general are increasing

There is very sad news. Mary Kennedy, mother of four and estranged wife of Robert Kennedy Jr, was discovered hanged in an out-building on her property. She had taken her own life. The NY Post has a story here, headline RFK Jr.’s wife hangs herself.

At church last night, it was noted that there had been a suicide in a neighboring county, a mother had killed herself. We shared that it seemed that there had been a run of suicides of late. Suicide is unusual around here.

Then when I got home from church, I had received an email from an online buddy who wrote to let me know of a spate of teen suicides by hanging in the UK. There had been 13 suspected suicides in that town in the last year, and 79 since 2007, all by hanging. There were two hangings just this week. This is truly terrible news. It is always crushing to think of anyone, but especially youths, who are so despondent that they feel their only option is to end their life. Apparently People Magazine did a story on the incidents in this town on May 14, 2012 called "A Tragedy in Wales: A Small Town Mystery."

I don't feel it is a coincidence that suicide is rising so quickly at this time. I decided to do some further research. I discovered in an article written a month ago that suicides of Canadian youths between ages 10 and 19 are rising. PRE-teens! Babes! Like this boy in India.

I read in another recent article from a month ago that Asian suicides are skyrocketing, too. "Korea's suicide rate has skyrocketed since the Asian economic crisis and is now 2.3 times higher than the rate of death from traffic accidents. In the 1990s, about 7.3 people for every 100,000 committed suicide, but that has soared especially among women, the elderly, highly educated people, professionals, and divorcees."

I read in an article that Army "suicides among U.S. soldiers rose 80 percent from 2004 to 2008, an Army study found." In a February 2012 article in Medical News today I read this headline about the population in general: Suicide Rates Highest In 15 Years, US.

People, suicides are up. Hanging has a 70% mortality rate and is the preferred method.

Let's take a biblical and a cultural look at suicide by hanging. In the bible, Judas hanged himself. "Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!” Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself." (Matthew 27:3-5)

In the book Comprehensive Textbook of Suicidology, author Ronald W. Maris et al, we read "Judas's suicide was final proof that he completely rejected God's grace, whereas the robber that was crucified next to Jesus was redeemed and entered Paradise together with the Savior. God's mercy is endless to those who are willing to accept it but those who reject it, commit the terrible sin of Desperatio. Hanging was therefore regarded as the most abominable way out, because this type of death left one unable to call out for mercy, because one was choked and unable to express a last-minute repentance."

Desperatio is a Middle Ages term explained this way (this is a definition that explains their thinking a thousand years ago, not a doctrine I am promoting): "Desperatio (doubt) is a sin against the Holy Spirit. When a sinner recognizes his burden of sin, but it does not draw the right conclusion to repentance, confession and penance, but in despair at the magnitude of his sins, it is called desperatio. The sinner can be saved in spite of his great sins, if he would take the prescribed path of repentance. It remains closed to him so, however, as he thinks, could there be for their sin no more forgiveness. He doubts the grace of God. A prime example of Judas desperatio could be considered: When he realizes what a great sin to be a betrayal of Jesus was, and he hanged himself in despair. If he had done penance instead, he could have been saved."

Here is a rendition of hanging by the early Middle Ages artist Giotto

Giotto: Desperatio, ca. 1305-1306, "Desperation" or "Despair".
Note the demon whispering in her ear. Though suicide is recorded in the bible, suicide is never of God. Here is a link to a Bible study asking the question, "Is suicide a sin?" The author begins it this way:

"The Bible records 3 well-known incidents of suicide - King Saul in the Old Testament (some also regard Samson's death as a suicide, however he was actually a prisoner of war who died in the process of killing 3,000 pagan Philistines), Judas Iscariot in the New Testament, and another that we will get to in a moment. Although the circumstances of Saul and Judas were different, they did have something very much in common. Saul was under the influence of an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14), and Judas had been directly entered by Satan (John 13:27). And what is the third incident? When Jesus Christ healed a man of demon possession at Gerasenes, He had the demons go out from the man and into a large herd pigs that were grazing nearby (Mark 5:1-12). And what did the pigs do after the demons had entered them? They ran down the bank, into the lake, and drowned themselves (Mark 5:13). With the demons in them, the pigs committed suicide. This is not in any way to suggest that all suicide is demon inspired - it most certainly isn't. But some clearly are, and of all the rest, Satan and his demons are pleased to see it happen."

Self mutilation/cutting are also demon inspired. "In the New Testament, cutting oneself was associated with someone who was possessed by demons (Mark 5:2-5). It was characteristic of behavior caused by evil spirits. Today, self-mutilation is rarely used for ritualistic practices or actual demon possession, but instead usually by teen-agers and young adults who have misplaced anger and pain that they are attempting to work out in destructive ways." (source)

Here are some common suicide risk indicators. If you or a loved one are demonstrating even two of these, please seek help immediately:

Common Suicide Risk Indicators
--A previous suicide attempt, even if it seemed staged or designed to get attention, or boasts of past or secret suicide attempts.
--Talking about being dead or wishing they were dead, how others would be happier if he/she were dead or how much better off others will be when he/she is gone.
--Repeatedly engaging in very risky or dangerous thrill seeking behavior.
--"Getting the house in order" - making plans for the care of loved siblings, parents, relatives or pets and giving away cherished belongings to close friends.
--Extreme mood swings; very depressed episodes followed by happy episodes with no clear reason for the change. --Regular expressions of worthlessness, helplessness, sadness and/or loneliness.
--Drastic changes in habits, friends, or appearance, ie; new friends, skipping school, dropping out of favorite activities, and no longer caring about appearance or cleanliness.
--Changes in weight, sleeping habits, and physical activity. Withdrawing from friends, family, or activities that once gave the person pleasure or a sense of identity.

Here is a link to a checklist of suicide risk behaviors from Air Force Medicine, and on the list is cutting. Please check either link or other good links on the internet if you or a loved one is despondent and talking of ending it all.Precious brethren, suicide is so heartbreaking, and solves nothing. It throws away the precious life that Jesus gave you and it satisfies satan to be successful in pressuring a Christian from the world. It satisfies him even further to send an unsaved person to hell. Jesus loves you with a white hot fervency, he seeks and saves and brings us to His bosom! Nothing is worse than plunging into the gulf that separates us from Him by our own hand, or ending what could be a fulfilling life in Christ by our own hand.

The End Times are here. With apostasy rising and Christianity's believers moving away from Jesus, and with unbelievers moving further away from offered grace, satan is still and always seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8). Let us all be alert for weakening brethren. Though we can never tell with certainty what is going on in another person's mind, if you see or hear them demonstrate any of the indicators, you will know that the prayer battle is on. Fight for each other! Pray to the Spirit for help. Jesus heals, completely!

"The LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Isaiah 61:1-3).

It seems all too often the spirit if despair is upon us, but the garment of praise is ours to be had, along with the victory- thanks eternally to His sacrifice and His grace.


  1. I appreciate this post. There have been at least 2 people from my home town that have committed suicide this year. One was a Sunday school teacher and a middle school football coach. Another was a woman that was also active in church. This has broken me because I see just how superficial our lives have become. The body of Christ is to heal and bear the burdens of each other and yet both of these suicides were "complete surprises" to one and all. Also, there is no doubt what intense spiritual warfare ensues in the hearts and minds of the weak and young when they see a "beloved" friend, coach, family member, Sunday school teacher turn to such drastic matters. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus! April

  2. Thank you for posting this and for including the signs to watch for. I lost a close friend over a year ago and my biological father many years ago. It is incredibly difficult to try to help someone who is bent on destruction, but from first hand experience, I would say that there is definitely at least an oppression involved, plus drugs (legal and illegal) and alcohol. It is difficult sometimes to wonder what more could have been done to prevent this, while at the same time knowing that God is sovereign, and even their ability to destroy themselves was with His timing. God bless!

  3. What a crummy; self righteous post this is. At least the Catholic Church prays for the suicide victim directly; still in hope of obtaining Gods' mercy- Don

    1. Hi Don,

      You realize that the Catholics' prayers for a person after their death is completely unbiblical, right? The Catholic teaching of Purgatory for temporary punishment, only to be prayed out later, is a false and unbiblical teaching. It is appointed for a person to die once, then the judgment, Hebrews 9:27 says.

      Jesus's discussion of Lazarus and the rich man further paints the picture that after we die, we reach our eternal destination. (Luke 16:19-31) Period. We are either in heaven, or hell, and no amount of prayer can change that. There is a great gulf fixed...and there is no movement from one to the other.

      (Though is a Christian kills him or herself, though it is a sin, it is not a sin that disqualifies them from heaven).

      Also you need to understand that if a Catholic person adheres to the teachings of the Catholic Church and follows the Pope, they will themselves go to hell. Catholicism is a false religion, as false as Buddhism or Islam.

      The hope of obtaining God's mercy is in life. The time to pray for a suicide victim is in life. Not after death. By then, it is too late.

  4. With all these condemnations you are limiting Gods' grace; His ability to use His infinite mercy.Some who have died and returned to life spoke of negative consequences that turned positive when the person called out to the Lord after clinical death!Look up some of the memorial websites; then condemn all these folks to hell.If a Catholic believes in Jesus that is enough for salvation,yes? Peace,Don.

  5. Suicide:
    the act of doing something that seems contrary to your own best interests and seems likely to lead to a disaster such as financial ruin or loss of position or reputation. (Encarta Dictionary) Other than the understood definition of suicide, to kill oneself.

    I for one appreciate the explanation here, I may not agree with everything one teaches, but, I can recognize what is good.
    I have my own ideas on this suicide by Mary Kennedy, I don't think it had anything to do with her husband, not saying he is an angel. I know he is not, I also know she was not. They relationahip was and up until her death, is, contrary to Catholic teaching. People she as well as he were Adulterers. There is no way that can be erased.
    She had some real issues that seems to have been related to this fact. She was jealous of her husband and I believe, partly at least, that was the reason for her alcohol abuse. We know from 2010 when he filed for a divorce, she was depicted as always accusing him, (jealousy) consistently yelling at him, (demeaning him). One, a wife does not do that to her husband if she truly wants him to "cleave unto her", that sort of behavior will cause the same effect that it did.
    We know from all reports that she was pregnant at the time of her marriage, 6 months along, a little more than a month after his divorce from his first wife. I believe she connived the whole thing, it is also well documented, that she told several, including her best friend, his sister, that she would indeed one day marry a Kennedy. Of course, at this point in time, 1994, there were no real options available, they were all taken. So, she saw her chance in Bobby because his marriage to his first wife was already all but dissolved, if not legally in every other way. So, I believe she set her cap for him,considering him a catch. He had all of her qualifications, he was a Kennedy, he had money and he was, sort of, available.
    As a Catholic, she was taught to be a "good girl" and wait for marriage. We know that did not happen. As a Catholic she was taught that fornication much less adultery was taboo. Again, that did not happen. So, my hypothesis of this is: Mary felt dirty, she went as far as she could and finally cracked. Sad indeed because all she had to do is seek forgiveness from Jesus and accept his atonement for her sins.
    There are all sorts of things being said about this sad incident now. Blaming for the most part her husband, but, I don't agree, I believe we should blame the one who deserves the blame. Mary herself doomed herself when she made the decision to go against her teachings and "grab for the Kennedy male, at any cost". What a cost? Her life.
    Those children are in need of our prayers now more than ever. If they listen to what is in the press right now, they will become bitter against the only parent they have left. Which would be sad indeed.
    I wish this family a time of healing and hope for them good things to come. I also don't think pointing fingers and making accusations will help the situation.

    1. I am truly amazed that you find absolutely no irony between your lengthy comments/speculative assessments and your last sentence.


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