My thoughts have returned to suicide recently as we had to face the realities of this ugly sin with the death of Harriet Deison this past Saturday. Harriet was the wife of Pete Deison, an associate pastor at Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas, TX. Our prayers have gone up for Pete and his entire family. When I was an intern in PCPC I always looked up to Pete and his ministry there. I barely remember Harriet but from what I gather, she was an awesome woman for the LORD for many years before she took her life on Saturday.
I know a lot of people have the belief that if you take your own life, that this is one of the unforgivable sins found in Scripture. While suicide is a sin, it is not unforgivable. I had to wrestle with this some years ago when my step-mother, Liz Hammons, took her own life in a field outside of Brenham, TX in the very same manner. My father asked me to give part of the eulogy for Liz, since I was the only pastor in the family. Upon my arrival at his home, I set out to see Liz through the eyes of her friends. Given that she was a step-mom, I can’t say that she and I had the best of relationships, although I loved her and do miss her to this day. She was part of our family for some 32 years and she had a lasting impact on my life as well as those around her.