A letter from a reader

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From a reader via email:

Dear Beth,

I came across your website after picking up a copy of Amish Garden which features one of your novellas.

I was reading about My Brother’s Keeper and do agree that touching on the subject of suicide is important. I find that in your section where you include the most common discussion question – “do people who commit suicide go to heaven” is incredibly insensitive to those who have lost someone to suicide.


Beth’s response:

First of all, let me say that I am very sorry for your loss.

Secondly, it’s certainly never my intention to cause pain for anyone through my books, words, or actions. I write the books hoping that the stories will land in the hands of someone who can benefit from them. And I truly believe that God guides my hand as I write in that effort.

I tried very hard to show multiple points of view and the many ways people react to such a tragedy. Sometimes, painful subjects bring forth positive results. I don’t think God ever wastes a hurt. I AM DEEPLY sorry for any pain that I might have caused you. It is my hope that people WILL talk about this sensitive subject, but in ways that are positive and healing.


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  • Wendy Phillips

    My husband and I just finished reading My Brother’s Keeper and I must agree with you Beth that the topic of suicide is a difficult subject to talk about but Christians need to do just that. Something I realized very recently, though we are taught it in the Bible, is that God knows and has planned the number of days we have. We recently heard of a man who shot himself point blank in the head and lived for 4 days after that. The medical staff said that is impossible with the kind of injuries, yet, God had already decided what day that man would die. I wonder when hearing of suicides of friends that if they didn’t die that way, could it have been an even worse death? I believe that only God truly knows the heart of the person who takes their own life and God will judge their actions because He is an all knowing God and understands the pain that we as humans go through. Thanks for this and all your other stories that touch the heart.

  • Sandra Heringer

    When our daughter committed suicide 17 1/2 years ago at the age of 33, we went directly to our priest before we told her five younger brothers and sisters. We needed guidance in what to tell them, first and foremost, did she go to heaven.

    Our pastor told us that in order to commit a sin, a person needs to be in full and accepting knowledge of what he/she is doing. He went on to explain that that a person contemplating suicide is so distraught and mentally incapable of knowing what they are doing, that they are not committing a sin. Thus, they will be accepted into heaven. This has helped us get through the ensuing years of grief and loss. We have no doubt whatsoever that our daughter is indeed in heaven with God’s arms around her.

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