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joe
, 17 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
I figured I'd talk in this thread about why I started this campaign.
some of you've seen the articles that I've written before on the topic of suicide.
Not many people know that I was personally affected by suicide.
launchgood.com/suicide
Having started this research well before it ever happened I was still deeply hurt emotionally.
The emotional hurt stemmed from two things:
1- The loss of my father
2- The inability of those around me to show empathy.
My father was a very private man and lived by himself. I did not find out until much later that he struggled with illnesses and he simply did want want to continue into old age with them.
I will never be able to fully comprehend why he did what he did.
But that's not the point.
Many times we focus too much on trying to rationalize the loss of life instead of caring for the lives still with us.
I found those who knew that he died by suicide unable to contextualize their own responses and show empathy.
But that's not really the worst part of it
The worst part of it where those who didn't know the way that he died but still lacked empathy when dealing with a close family member or friend who had lost someone as close to them as their father.
It is my belief that this lack of empathy is rooted in deep theological misconceptions and emotional complications that stop people from following a very simple command:
"Be kind."
Given the widespread ignorance that I found amongst Muslims even amongst those that label themselves as students and knowledge I wrote this article at that time, on how to simply offer condolences.
joebradford.net/solace-how-to-…
But as time went on, I found that suicide was taking place in our community and people still were unable to process. So every October I would give a Khutba or two about suicide and how it should be dealt with.
People were too afraid to talk about it. hell I can't blame them I was too afraid to talk about my father's suicide as well.
It wasn't until 2014 when I was asked to speak on a panel of faith leaders and suicide prevention specialists that I first spoke about it publicly.
It was not my intention to mention it at all, in fact I had been psyching myself up all day long to speak only to the facts about suicide in Islam.
But when I got there and I heard other faith leaders mentioned how they had been affected by family and friends...
I then took the mic and as I started to speak about the Islamic perspective I simply broke down and told people that I was not speaking to them as an expert that day but also at someone who was personally affected by this issue.
It's like I had been carrying a 500 lb weight on my chest for more than a decade I'm finally was able to unload maybe 10 lb of it.
It was at this point that I knew I needed to do something that would be more direct in helping myself heal and helping others heal as well.
I started investing in my own spirituality and emotional stability, increasing dhikr, learning how to manage my anxiety, and generally seeking professional help.

Also at this time that I started putting pen to paper, researching more to create the articles that you've read.
Here's article number one of that series

joebradford.net/suicide-in-isl…

So the other articles are found at the bottom of it
Tomorrow night I'm going to speak on the some of the things that I plan to cover in my continue research and how it will be presented to you the community.
If you'd like to support this research please use the following link:
Launchgood.com/suicide
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