I just got some really terrible news from my old friends at SEL. A dear friend and coworker who had been struggling with cancer ended his life on Friday with a gun on the outskirts of Pullman. This afternoon I have been filled with thoughts of the darkness that he must have felt in order to make such a decision.

When I worked at SEL and hated my life in a dire way, I used to look at Bruce and think, what am I even going on about? He was fighting for his life and so was kind and upbeat and so loving. He was the most positive, beautiful influence on me. He was grateful for every little thing in his life. He took gorgeous photographs of nature and invited us all to celebrate each small triumph with him in his fight against cancer.

When I got news that he had left this world entirely of his own accord, I felt so conflicted. On the one hand, I don't believe committing suicide is ever brave, or honest, or the right thing to do. Then again, on my last day at work, he looked so, so sick, and I can only imagine how much worse it must have been to have driven him to this. I think, in a strange way, that he left on his own terms. I hope that he didn't leave feeling desperate, or alone.

Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting our Stake President gave an Easter talk on the Atonement. He said that he had recently felt inspired regarding the Intercessory Prayer and what it actually entailed, and he shared that while he had once believed that Christ suffered for our sins all at once, batch-style, he now believes that perhaps He suffered for our sins one at a time, person by person, individually, for each of us. He even suggested that possibly we were with Him as he suffered for us, in spirit. As I sat there I thought of my personal struggles with infertility, and of my sins, and I pictured my Savior suffering them along with me, and I suddenly felt the most wonderful feeling of love and compassion. Of course Christ knows me; of course he knows exactly how I feel. He suffered all of my sins, all of my struggles, all of my disappointments then, so that He can shoulder it all with me now, if I let Him.

I know that He shared Bruce's struggles, too. And I know that Bruce did not leave alone. I know that our Savior is with him now, just as He was with him always. I hope that Bruce was able to feel that. Because I know that Christ suffered just so that He could accompany Bruce on his awful journey home. And I am so grateful for that today.


  1. I too knew someone who took their life and I am still confused about it and deeply saddened. We are blessed to have the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. I hope that you, his other acquaintances and his family continue with comfort. Thank you for sharing you testimony.

  2. I only met him a few times, but I remember seeing him in my building last week, and I remember thinking, he fought cancer, and he's doing a damn good job. When the 'big guy' told us the news this morning I was just shocked and so saddened. I thought of my Grandmother's battle with cancer. I thought the same thing you did. I hope he didn't feel alone. I understand his reasoning, but don't know why he chose that way in particular. I hope so much that his soul is at peace, and I take comfort in knowing his pain is gone forever. I truly hope he can rest in peace, and that his family can continue in peace. BTW, a memorial is being held for him at the Event Center some time in the next few weeks.

  3. That's so heartbreaking. I've visited the depths of despair enough to understand a bit why your friend must have done what he did--it's easy to give up hope when you feel totally, completely alone and unworthy of the Savior's company. I really, really needed to hear Jeffrey R. Holland's talk at conference. I'm convinced that he actually writes his talks because he knows that Megan Taylor is listening. In lighter moments I believe with certainty that the Savior is there with me--I'm working to feel that way in the darker moments, too. I often think about that scripture in Revelations that talks about Jesus wiping away all the tears from all the faces. I'm sure Bruce's tears have been wiped away now. What a heavy burden to bear. Thank goodness I know the gospel is true.

  4. I've been lurking your blog for a little while, but this beautifully written post has compelled me to actually comment. Thank you for your testimony. The way you have articulately expressed your view of the Atonement has lifted me today, and I appreciate it. I hope you continue to feel comfort at this time.

  5. thanks for sharing your testimony - it was awesome!

  6. I'm a new reader who just got a phone job (which equals lots of down time to bless with reading blogs!) and I've really appreciated your willingness to be open and honest about your religious views. I'm LDS as well, and I really love your blog because I feel like we share so many views on things.. I'm planning on emailing you today to comment about your later post ("Peace, Be Still"), so get excited about that! Thanks again for posting about this.


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