News began filtering through the net this evening.  It is amazing how connected we are today, even when we don’t want to be.  Via Twitter and other sources, the deeply sad story of the suicide of Braxton Caner, Ergun Caner’s oldest son, began to make the rounds.  His friends at school began a hashtag on Twitter, for example.

No one outside of the immediate family has any reason to be speculating about causes and the like.  Suicide, by its very nature, produces questions that can not be answered in this life.  That is why grieving it is a life-long process, and one that has no natural conclusion (unlike, for example, the death of a parent or a spouse by natural means).  I saw its impact while a hospital chaplain.  To say it leaves a circle of destruction far outside of the one who chooses its path is a vast understatement.

The loss of a child is always unnatural, no matter what the means, but to lose a child via suicide is, for most of us, unthinkable.  The impact upon the family, immediate and extended, can not be understood by anyone else.  The dynamics of those broken relationships are unique to that one family.  Even those who have gone through similar circumstances are “outside,” and can only offer tangential advice and guidance.

I can only pray that there will be mature, grounded, solid men, and women, who can provide the needed support, not just in the short term, as needed as that is, but, in this case, in the long term, for this kind of devastating loss will require support and counsel for many years to come.

Sadly, I have already seen some using this event as a pretext for criticism—not of Ergun Caner, but of those who have sought honesty and integrity in his life.  This needs to stop, immediately.  The issues surrounding Ergun Caner’s past can, and must, be set aside for the time being.  By all sides, including his most avid defenders.  I, for one, will not pursue the issues relating to Caner’s past claims until after a meaningful period of time has passed, and they become relevant to his future actions.  I call upon all others to likewise give the Caner family time to grieve and deal with this tragedy.  I include everyone in this request.  Leave all matters of speculation, finger-pointing, etc., to the side.

Yahweh is near to the brokenhearted,

And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18


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