Could he have lived with himself then? A question he often asked himself over the years and even today he still balks at.
Cindy was all he ever wanted - Cindy was his world - then Why?
It took only a split second on her part to decide exactly what to do and the reasoning behind her decision was in her mind quite plain, yet I suppose, if she had had time to think about it and maybe just put it off for another couple of days, then maybe just maybe the decision would have taken another and different path altogether.
They started out as normal as any other young couple - just enjoying each others company ~ a harmless and enjoyable time for both of them - Cindy enjoyed Alex's company and relished each moment spent in his care and indulgences. Alex on the other hand enjoyed having this pretty young thing paying him so much attention. He wasn't sure of these mixed up feelings and messages he was getting, but just loved the attention.
And so it went on ~ their relationship grew more and more serious as the weeks went by - well it did for Cindy. In her mind there appeared to be problems and to her this meant that this amazing relationship she had with Alex wasn't going anywhere and she craved and wanted it to so much.
They seemingly adored each other and they got along great but it seemed to Cindy that Alex wanted a little more freedom, not necessarily to see anyone else, but just to be able to 'do his own thing' and not to be accountable to her alone.
She honestly believed that if he loved her deeply and truly then he would be content just to be with her, giving himself only and fully to her choosing to be with her over any other option. After all isn't that what other people do when they care deeply for each other.
That little doubt grew in her mind and became a stumbling block in their relationship no matter how hard she tried to just put it off her mind. Alex, on the other hand, wondered what had happened to their idyllic times because previously they were seemingly so happy.
Then the letter!
Cindy had dropped the letter off late one evening and then gone home and taken her own life.
The letter explained to Alex that she felt she couldn't leave but then she couldn't stay. She realised that he needed his own freedom, that she felt alone in the world and that no-one really understood her at all. She felt that Alex would be so much better off if she were dead because she loved him so much she didn't want to be a burden to him at all.
Of course the news of her death by suicide spread quickly. Alex was devastated and to add to his devastation all eyes seemed to be fixed on him as the culprit/reason for this tragedy.
This story is so so sad yet indicative to just some of the guilt many many people carry around with them on a daily basis often moment by moment. Perhaps you know of similar stories and incidences in your own life and can relate to this one so well.
Guilt is THE ONE emotion that, almost all of the survivors of suicide will tell you, becomes THE greatest obstacle to overcome. WHY? Because often there is nowhere to turn. You can FEEL the guilt, you can, like Alex, often be BLAMED for the events that happened even though these accusations are completely false.
Like Alex, you are NOT to blame, regardless of the individual circumstances that lead to the tragedy in the first place. You are human after all, and cannot be blamed for anyone else's actions, regardless of how much you may love them and want to protect them.
The real truth of the matter is that no one is to blame except the victims themselves. This in itself is tough to acknowledge, so we do the reverse and blame ourselves which in the long run is often easier to cope with.
No one really copes with the suicide of a loved one well. Obviously we are faced with anger, guilt and myriad of other emotions all battling with each other in our own minds.
Even being able to move forward in your life after a loved one has committed suicide is fraught with guilt. It often feels like we are letting that person down if we dare have the audacity to laugh or feel comfortable in other people's company. So we are stuck in the middle of nowhere unable to re-do the past and yet unable to move to the future.
Living here on earth is a fabulous and often amazing if sometimes mysterious gift from God. A real gift is what it is, bestowed upon us by a loving and giving God and we should savour every second of it regardless of what happens in our life and what tragedies thrust themselves onto us.
Unfortunately as Christians we are not exempt when it comes to loved ones committing suicide, but what we can do is to hang onto the truths in the Bible which promises that NOTHING can separate true Christians from the love of God in Christ our Lord (Romans 8: 38-39). That being said we also have to realise that the victim must have been in a terrible and distressing place to even contemplate such a disastrous move.
It is certainly not our right to take life. It is God alone who makes such decisions and only His prerogative.
NOTHING is more powerful that the saving grace of Jesus and that includes suicide. In my opinion God will not reject anyone who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ.
Grieving for a victim will take it's own due course - many will come to terms with it far quicker than others.
Giving ourselves completely over to a loving and caring God, in my view, is the ONLY answer to coming to real terms with guilt and grief attached to the gaping hole of tragedy brought on by the suicide of a loved one.
You know, having faith in God does not require an amazing amount of self-control or exemplary intelligence and, in my opinion, faith in God is THE only answer to the burden of guilt you may be carrying around with you because of the suicide of a loved one.
Faith and the grace of God is a free gift and all we have to do is to accept that gift and rest on the promises of God alone to do the rest.
Sure, we will still often be on an emotional roller coaster and have extraordinarily bad days BUT we can rest assured on the saving grace and mercy of God to eradicate the guilt and burden of sin that we find so very hard to cope with.
I love how the Message puts it in Psalm 55:22
"Pile your troubles on God's shoulders - He'll carry your load. He'll help you out. He'll never let good people topple into ruin"
Yes, we can throw our burdens, whatever they may be, on the shoulders of God and he will carry them for us - he can rid our lives of the crippling emotional burdens of grief and guilt.
Let's just own up to and name our guilt or grief, recognise it for what it is, hand it over not worrying too much as to how the world will label it and just rest in the God who saves. After all it is he and he alone who can remove our guilt to enable us to press on with Him.
If you know of anyone suffering from such a family tragedy or even someone contemplating suicide I would suggest you may get some help through TweetingGodsLove.com This is a ministry through social media/Twitter.
On the 1st Monday of each month there is a prayer hour for victims and families dealing with depression and Suicide. The USA times are 4.00 pm PST and 7.00 pm EST and in Australia 9.00am AEST Tuesdays. Use the hashtag #GodsPrayerRoom
Any resemblance to persons alive or dead in this blog is purely coincidental and unintentional. The names of the above have been altered to protect identification.