Almost immediately after my father’s death, I had suicidal thoughts of my own. These thoughts seemed so alien; I didn’t believe they came from me—as if the same dark force that had killed my father now stalked me.
The demon whispered killing directions into my ear. It stayed at me—bullying me into a whimpering mass night after lonely night when my husband worked night shift. In isolated moments of the day, it seized me. I shuddered when I picked up a kitchen knife. “This sharp edge will easily slice your skin”, it whispered. I gritted my teeth and finished putting away the silverware. “Just take out the gun and look at it,” it begged. I asked my husband to take the gun out of the house.
Finding Daddy’s body had dislodged my thinking. Evil became tangible to me. The demon was too real to think otherwise. I had never been as frightened as I was then. Daddy’s suicide had terrified me. What I didn’t realize was how a serious depression can manifest itself. I felt that I needed help to fight an evil spirit. What I needed was help to find my way out of the hole I’d fallen into.
After my father’s death, I asked a priest for more information about evil. I wanted that knowledge to fight my sinister enemy. “Take your eyes off of it,” she said, “focus on the good in your life.” Each week I met with her and discussed bible stories. They nurtured my battered spirit. The talk, just as fortifying as the stories, helped me see the good in my life. My thoughts about evil stepped back and became less commanding. What I consciously (or unconsciously) chose to center my attention had a powerful effect on my mental health.
Search out something that will feed your soul with strength and light. Listen to good music, walk in the woods, or discuss a good story. Talk to someone who listens. Don’t look evil directly in the eye; there’s a black hole behind it.