Two years ago, one of my siblings lost a spouse to suicide, and now the loss is an adult child. Unfortunately, I was helpless to remain close when this young relative’s mental illness and addictions evaporated adult relationships.

When I was little, my mom begged me to pray for her peace of mind. Because she never knew peace, I grew up believing I didn’t deserve God’s ear.

Eventually I learned one of the hallmark symptoms of mental illness is the refusal to recognize and/or treat it. It’s a moving target. Treatment can be arduous and unpredictable. Addiction is a powerful escape.

Despite the terrible rollercoaster heights and depths suffered by the afflicted and their loved ones, I persist in hope. I hope the suffering ones can hang on for the times the ride evens out.

When they must let go, I hope for their everlasting peace.