From Our Readers
Loss of a Child
After reading the articles on the loss of a child, I just had to commend you for such factual and realistic articles. (August 8, 1987) My wife and I have been able to relate to everything you said because we recently suffered the loss of our five-and-a-half-year-old son due to a heart attack. We have had all the feelings of guilt, anger, and so forth, that you listed in your article. Also, we have been through all the “Expressions That Don’t Always Comfort” and more besides. We look forward to the new world very much. Only when I have my little boy back in my arms will the hurt really disappear. Once again, thank you for such a loving and understanding series of articles, which we are sure many will, like us, be able to relate to and be helped.
K. I., England
I can’t tell you how much I appreciated your articles on facing the loss of a child. Our son committed suicide last August. Your information made me feel so normal. I didn’t know so many people felt as I do. But as much as I needed that information on the various stages a person goes through after the death of a child, I couldn’t understand why suicide was connected with ordinary death, as it is on page 15. No death is ordinary, I know that, but suicide is so tragic because the hope of the resurrection is not always there. I don’t know if I’ll ever see my boy again.
J. D., United States
The item about George, who committed suicide, was included, not to indicate that suicide is ordinary death, but to show how George’s father was able to cope even with this tragedy through the comfort of certain scriptures. Yes, committing suicide is very serious and tragic, but in each case the assurance is always there that Jehovah and his Son, Jesus Christ, will do the right thing. Jehovah knows all the circumstances involved, the degree of responsibility, and the possibility of repentance. We can put complete trust in him to apply his mercy to the fullest extent possible in harmony with his will.—ED.
Taking Another’s Life
I am writing you in regard to a statement made in the article “World Peace—How and When?” (June 8, 1987) The statement is made regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses: “They have become peaceful persons, and under no circumstance will they take the life of their fellowman.” Does this mean that we cannot use deadly force to protect ourselves or our family?
H. N., United States
The expression ‘take the life of a fellowman’ implies a conscious effort to kill another. A true Christian would not do this. If attacked and unable to flee from his assailant who is determined to inflict injury or death, a Christian may try to ward off the blows or even strike out in defense, perhaps using whatever was at hand to protect himself or others. But his actions would be defensive only. He would not try to kill or punish his attacker but only try to neutralize the attack. If the attacker was to receive a fatal blow, it would be accidental, not intentional.—ED.