by Tracy Renee Lee

I have three adult daughters. Two are married with children and one is single in college. I am so proud of each of them. They are amazing women who love their families, their country, and their God. As a mother, I could not be more pleased with my children. They are honest and they serve their communities in so many ways.

This past year, 2020, has been a difficult year for so many people in the world, Americans are no exception. We have lost so many things that have a direct link to the COVID-19 pandemic and those losses have changed our lives. We have lost friends, freedoms, family members, income, homes, self-respect, traditions, and many other very important things. The most important things that we have lost, however, may not present as an obvious correlation to the virus. I submit, however, that they are directly related, and that it is time to stop the loss.

My middle daughter called me yesterday. Thankfully, I talk to each of my daughters daily, so her calling me was not out of the ordinary. The content of her call, however, was. My daughter called to tell me that a friend of hers had just lost her daddy to suicide and that her mom had received a diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer. My daughter was very concerned for her friend, and rightly so. She asked me what she could say to her friend to help her with these challenges.

Of course, we must offer our sincerest condolences. These issues, however, piled upon the restrictions and losses imposed upon our society this year go so deep that they have now become dangerous to the survivors. At this point, our sincerest condolences are no longer enough. We as Americans, and perhaps the world at large, are at a breaking point. We have lost so many freedoms, traditions, and history, that our world does not even look or feel remotely the same.

Many people feel as though their security has vanished. Their security, however, was based on something that was not secure. When I was a young girl, my grandmother used to tell me that although many would offer me security as I traveled through life, their promises were vain and empty. She taught me to rely solely upon the bonds and strongholds of family traditions, family blood, the unconditional love between parents and children, and the Word of God. She taught me to love and serve my country and fellow beings, but to never forget where I came from and how to get back home.

To this day, I thank my grandmother for those values and lessons. They have saved me from being misled in so many situations and through so many empty promises. My children also have been taught those lessons and values, but there are many among us who have not. Many of us feel isolated and deprived. Isolation and deprivation lead to great sorrow and desolation. These are terrible consequences that no one wants to suffer. Unfortunately, due to the sheltering and distancing imposed to keep us safe from the COVID pandemic, many of us are suffering emotionally and psychologically. Pair these emotions with loss and it is no wonder that we are seeing a rise in suicide and life-threatening illnesses. Unfortunately, suffering these additional losses very often push us over the edge of our strength.

I suggested to my daughter that she speak with her friend and in addition to condolences offer extra words of support and love. It is important that her friend understands that suicide is not a disease. It is not a virus that one catches from another.

When an immediate next of kin commits suicide, many in the family fear that they might do the same thing. That fear is unfounded. If the family suffers from mental illness they should seek counseling, however, suicide does not guarantee mental illness, and mental illness does not guarantee suicide.

Very often friends and family feel as though they should have seen the suicide coming and perhaps intervened to prevent it from happening. Persons intent on ending their lives are often quite crafty at hiding their intentions. It is very possible that my daughter’s friend saw no indications that her dad was about to take his own life, nor was she responsible to see or detect his intentions. Most likely, her father thought about suicide and decided to keep it hidden so that his family would not feel any burdens about knowing or being unable to prevent his actions.




Feelings of guilt are common following any death.

In suicidal death, however, there is an unrealistic pathology related to the guilt survivors often experience.

Survivors will ask themselves internally why they let this happen or why did they not do something to thwart it.

Intervention is critical for survivors who internalize this guilt.

Without an aggressive resolution, this type of survivor is in severe danger of extreme depression.

This depression can become debilitating if left unresolved.

This state of mind can lead to additional suicide attempts with the circle of survivors.

If you or someone you know is suffering internalized guilt, it is vital to seek intervention immediately. (Mourning Coffee II, 2016)


It is possible that with the loss of this man’s ability to control his life, a feeling that many of us are now suffering, this father was unable to continue on. This is sadly the case lately for many suicide victims. As American’s, we have always believed that we are the directors of our own destiny. With today’s restrictions and losses of freedoms, many are unable to hold onto that concept and lose hope.

My daughter’s friend must now focus on helping her mother. Her mother may have many years of life left, but she will need help to get through her disease. She will need the support of her children. She will need her children to return the unconditional love that she has blanketed them with throughout their lives during this difficult time in her life.

In turn, her children will need the love and support of their immediate families. They have lost their dad and will most likely soon lose their mother. Life is so difficult right now for all the world. Please join me in my efforts to light the world this holiday season by sharing the Savior’s love to those who are in need of comfort. Please reach out to your neighbors, friends, and family. Let them know that you love them but more importantly that their Savior loves them. In a world of chaos, the one constant that we can rely on is the Word of God and His love for us. Please focus on that and share it during this holiday season.

It is my firm belief that things will work out for our society. I believe that this virus will be like the others in our history, that our doctors will be able to inoculate it out of threat. I believe that as American’s we are up to the challenges that face our freedoms. I believe that as in the past, we will defeat the foes that threaten us and that we will be victorious.

My holiday prayer is that all who suffer will feel the warmth and love of the Savior through this holiday season, that we will have the strength to face the foes that threaten us, and that we will all draw together to help each other as we see our friends, neighbors, and family members suffer the difficulties and maladies that challenge us presently.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, Podcaster, and founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, Podcasts, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award.

It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

For additional encouragement, please visit my podcast “Deadline” at or at and follow me on Instagram at "Deadline_TracyLee".