Suicide has been thrust into the national limelight as this past week as the son of Marie Osmond and the son of Walter Koenig each tragically took their lives. Both struggled with depression. Earlier this month fashion designer Alexander McQueen also took his own life. He also battled depression.
Michael Blosil was one of eight children Marie Osmond has, five of which were adopted. He was only 18 years old. Marie has been in the public eye for decades being part of the famous Osmond family.
Andrew Koenig is known for playing a character named “Boner” in the well know sit-com “Growing Pains.” His father Walter is best known for his role in the original Star Trek television series. Andrew was 41 years old and suffered with clinical depression.
Alexander McQueen was a 40 year old internationally known fashion designer. His suicide came days after the death of his mother Joyce. The two had an incredibly close relationship.
Many might think that three men who seemed to have so much would ever think of, let alone, taking their own lives. Because their parents were so well known or in the case of Alexander who was himself an international icon some seem to take some sort of perverse delight in their tragic deaths.
On various online sites two things seem to come up as a reason for people to mock these tragic events. It is well known that Marie Osmond is a Mormon. It was well known Alexander McQueen was gay. These two facts are used by insensitive jerks as reasons these men took their lives. Not only is that ignorant it is the height of cruelty towards those families and loved ones who remain.
It is true that many celebrities struggle with depression. It is true that many who are gay struggle with depression. It is true that children of celebrities struggle with depression. It’s also true that construction workers struggle with depression. As do doctors lawyers, pastors, nurses, fast food workers, teenagers, beautiful women, handsome men, and on and on.
Many of us have struggled or do suffer with depression. People with anxiety disorders suffer with depression. Those with OCD, bi-polar disorder, PTSD, eating disorders, and others suffer with depression.
The point I am trying to make is nobody is totally immune from depression. As you know I have often spoken of those in the body of Christ who are too quick to minimize and spiritualize depression and other mental illnesses. It’s also clear many outside the church do the same. For some reason there are even those who find humor in all of this. It’s hard for me to fathom.
The church specifically and society as a whole will hopefully make great strides in dealing with the topic of mental illness. There is no argument to be won. There is no huge doctrine that needs to be reinvented. Jesus did mention two important things that would help us all. All of us could benefit by revisiting what He shared here.
Mark 12:28 And coming up one of the scribes heard them reasoning, knowing that He had answered them well, he asked Him, Which is the first commandment of all?
Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord;
Mark 12:30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment.
Mark 12:31 And the second is like this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.