The wife of a pastor who died by suicide shared the importance of spiritual and emotional health as she looks back on the challenges her husband faced and how they impacted her late better half.
Amie Patrick, wife of Pastor Darrin Patrick, spoke at a Pastors Collective Podcast together with Pastor Greg Surratt and Mike Cosper and talked about what she went through in the months following her husband's death.
Amie said she and her four children are presently going through counseling, and while it's "a very messy and complicated and unpredictable process, to say the least," she finds that it's "an enormously helpful place to process the journey of grief."
Darrin passed away on May 7 while target shooting with a friend. An autopsy report later said the cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Franklin County Sheriff's Department declared the case closed in July, ruling Darrin's death as a suicide.
Darrin was the founding pastor of The Journey church based in St. Louis. He also served as a former chaplain of St. Louis Cardinals in Missouri and as Vice President of a national church planting organization called Acts 29 Network.
In 2016, The Journey fired him because of reports of "pastoral misconduct," for which he apologized. He resigned as vice president of the Acts 29 Network after he was fired from his church.
Amie talked about how what happened to her late husband after he got fired from The Journey, the church that he founded. He went through a restoration ministry for 26 months at Seacoast in South Carolina, and eventually, he was allowed to go back to the ministry as a teaching pastor.
Amie said her husband's death came as a surprise to her, as she was "blindsided" by it. Because of what happened, she is now more committed to helping people, particularly those doing pastoral roles, understand more about spiritual and emotional care.
Although Amie witnessed closely how her husband battle against emotional struggles in the past four years, she still could not believe that the end would be that tragic. She saw, more than anyone else, how Darrin went through a very low and depressed state.
The late pastor's wife believed that people who commit suicide are not in a rational mental state as something inside them has deteriorated, leading them to commit such action. She admitted it wouldn't help to try to analyze the act from a rational perspective as the decision is irrational itself.
People who are left behind by those who commit suicide are often "still left with not really having answers."
"However, I will say that, even in these situations where people do have more answers, or reasons, or a note, or more clear signs, we still really don't know what's going on in a person's mind," she added.
She has come to terms with the fact that there are just some things in life that nobody can understand.
The grieving wife also reminded everyone to not be too confident of knowing what's in a person's mind. Even in those times when people seem to have more answers or knowledge on things, no human fully knows what's in the mind of a person.
Darrin is just one among the several reported cases in the US wherein churches lose pastors to suicide. Scott Sauls, senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, encouraged pastors to cultivate friendship and fight isolation.