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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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...

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If You Would Have Known

Shelby N. Merchen ©

Published: September 22, 2020

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.


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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Wren by Wren
  • 2 months 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.

  • Shelby N. Merchen by Shelby N. Merchen, Littleton, CO Poet
  • 2 months ago

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
  • 9 months 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
  • 6 months 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.

  • Shelby N. Merchen by Shelby N. Merchen, Littleton, CO Poet
  • 8 months ago

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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