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Mormon-affiliated group offers help, hope to suicide survivors

Left behind » Faith-based gatherings give believers and nonbelievers a place to talk, to weep, to feel.



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They didn’t realize the extent of his troubles until he shot himself in their backyard while his parents were at an out-of-state convention. The short suicide note Kourt left behind said, in part, that he couldn’t go on living without his older brother.

"Sometimes there are no answers," Lyn McGuire said. "Sometimes, with teenagers, it’s spontaneous, I think, and they don’t realize how final it is."

At a glance

Learn more about suicide support and prevention

To contact Ken and Lyn McGuire about their group for suicide survivors, call 801-201-1518. For more resources, visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website, https://www.afsp.org/. To go to the Utah chapter’s website, go to http://tinyurl.com/ce76um4.

To talk with someone, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free number 1-800-273-TALK.

LDS policy on suicide

“It is wrong to take a life, including one’s own. However, a person who commits suicide may not be responsible for his or her acts. Only God can judge such a matter.

“The family, in consultation with the bishop, determines the place and nature of a funeral service for a person who has died under such circumstances. Church facilities may be used. If the person was endowed, he or she may be buried in temple clothing.”

Source: Handbook 2: Administering the Church

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Though the McGuires still feel the loss of their sons, they actively decided long ago not to miss out on the rest of their lives because of it. Instead, they enjoy their two living adult sons and seven grandchildren.

They keep smiling photos of their two boys — forever children — throughout the house. And their personal emblem of hope, the dragonfly, fills their home in subtle ways.

In one room, a drawing of a small dragonfly marks a wall. In another, a small resin dragonfly pokes out from the dirt of a potted plant.

In their backyard, overlooking the mountains, a large stone — leading to a garden that the McGuires hope to one day finish — bears this poem by Lyn McGuire:

Welcome, weary traveler.

Cast your lot at my gate.

Dragonflies will carry your troubles away.

There is only tranquility within.


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As you leave, fill your soul with peace.

There is joy and happiness in sorrow.

This we know.

lschencker@sltrib.com

Twitter: @lschencker



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