STOP Suicide Poem

You Left Too Soon

I wrote this poem for my nephew who died by suicide at the age of 16. He was such a sweet kid and very talented. He taught himself how to play the piano and guitar and wrote a song at only 15 years of age. He left this world too soon.

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My father committed suicide a few weeks before my 12th birthday. Most of my life I couldn't have even begun to talk about it. I was the youngest child of 4 children, and I was the only boy....

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If You Would Have Known

Shelby N. Merchen © more by Shelby N. Merchen

Published by Family Friend Poems September 2020 with permission of the Author.

If you could have seen the devastation,
shattered hearts you'd leave behind, 
would you still have left this world that day?
Would it have made you change your mind?

If you'd known we'd cry so violently
and struggle just to breathe,
would that have made a difference?
Would you still have chosen to leave?

You left without a warning;
you left without saying "goodbye."
You left us with only questions.
The most important one is "why?"

Why did you believe
you had to face this world alone?
Why did you suffer silently?
We would have helped if we had known. 

How long had you been hurting
before deciding you were done?
I'm glad your pain has ended,
but our pain has just begun. 

So when you see us start to fall apart,
when our pain is too much to bear,
please take our hands and guide us;
remind us that you're there.
Help us hold on to the part of you;
you left us with your song.
Keep playing it in heaven.
We'll write the words and sing along.


more by Shelby N. Merchen

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • HarbingerRoad by HarbingerRoad
  • 1 month ago

My father committed suicide a few weeks before my 12th birthday. Most of my life I couldn't have even begun to talk about it. I was the youngest child of 4 children, and I was the only boy. This was more devastating than I ever realized until not that many years ago. I have subconsciously pushed people away all of my life without ever realizing what I was doing or why. It has devastated relationships throughout my entire life. We buried him and moved on without ever even acknowledging it like we could just move past it.
You can never make these things go away, but you do need to learn to survive it in a healthy way and not allow it to completely disrupt your life forever.
Actually, this is why I write today. I'm told that many things I right are a bit dark. But this is a great artform for expression. I write very honestly about things I've spent most of my life hiding from. Forcing myself to look at it and then sharing it with others is very therapeutic and cleansing for the soul.

  • Mika Morgan by Mika Morgan
  • 2 years ago

Ever since I read this poem, I've never attempted again. This saved my life!

  • Jessica T by Jessica T
  • 2 years ago

This poem is beautiful. On March 19, 2022, I lost a dear friend to suicide. Thursday, March 24th 2022 was her funeral, which was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. This poem describes so many things to me. I lost someone dear to my heart. As someone who has attempted suicide (multiple times), I truly am at loss of words for this loss of mine. I am a very descriptive writer, and I recently wrote a poem for her. I want to spread awareness for suicide/mental health.

  • Abby by Abby
  • 2 years ago

I recently attended my friend's funeral who took his own life. He was so young and needed me, and I felt like I could have done more. This poem was said during his service and it truly helped me find peace.

  • Wren by Wren
  • 3 years ago

Recently I've been down, and constantly thinking about suicide. But reading this poem, it gave me a glimpse of how it affects others that care about me, and how badly it would hurt them. I now think of this poem whenever i'm in a dangerous position, and wanting to die. It's a reminder that no matter how much I struggle, people are always there for me, and they would be torn through and through if I were to leave.

  • B. Van Der Marck by B. Van Der Marck
  • 2 years ago

Thank you that you have the courage to share this story. My 17-year-old son did not share and decided last August to leave us without warning. Our pain was, and still is, of unbelievable proportion. There is help out there, find the right one! Be true to you, that you need help. Do it for your loved ones, but mainly for yourself because nobody knows best how you feel but you! I understand this now. Too late, but if I can get my story out there, I hope people like you are listening and are able to do something about it.

Thank you so much for sharing that with me! You are never alone! And you don't have fight life's battles by yourself. Reach out to someone, anyone! There are people ready and waiting by the phone who care about you, and they don't even know you. My heart will forever be broken because my nephew made the choice to leave, maybe he didn't know how much he was loved. I will live with that guilt forever, but knowing that my poem has helped you, fills my heart! So again, thank you for sharing that with me! Never give up! You are important and stronger than you think!!!

  • Cheryl Margaret  Hix by Cheryl Margaret Hix
  • 3 years ago

"If You Would Have Known" about suicide and leaving others behind asking WHY? The words of blame placed on the death of someone they loved. That's not love. I suffer from depression, I have made suicide attempts, I lost my brother, several friends and my Grandfather. This is a silent killer. It's paralyzing when you spiral deep down with such intense pain, the hope that kept you going has vanished. We don't talk about it, we wear a mask and portray the person others want us to be and we truly want to know for ourselves. When someone dies as a result of suicide, its the most tragic of any death and brings many unanswered questions. I stopped asking "why" and I began to understand how much suffering they endured before death. Part of my grieving process is to allow my sadness to come and go, to know they are at peace and they are free from horrors of depression they never caused, yet they blame themselves. Learn to celebrate the life they lived and reflect on the memories you shared.

  • Christine Stewart by Christine Stewart
  • 3 years ago

This poem is exactly how the people left behind feel!! My partner of 10 years - father of our 2 beautiful children aged only 8 and 4 - committed suicide in July 2020, and everything in this poem is exactly correct! There is nothing offensive about it as it's all the things/feelings we go thru every min of every day!! Yes, I know he's now out of pain, etc., but our entire lives were crashed that fateful day!! We will never smile the same, never laugh the same, never love the same; because of his decision to end his life, he took ours with him!! My children will now grow up without their father, without our hero.

Let me clarify my meaning behind the words of my poem as I believe you have misinterpreted them. I am not placing blame on my nephew who died by suicide. If anyone, I blame myself for not making sure he knew how much he was loved and needed. That's what I mean by, "If you would have known." I think it is natural to ask "why?" because as you said, when you are that depressed, you wear a mask so the people around you don't know that you are hurting. It's no surprise that the loved ones left behind will try to make sense of the horrible tragedy. I apologize if you found my poem offensive, but I assure you I wrote it out of love and as an expression of the pain that I was feeling then and continue to feel every day that passes.

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