Husband Death Poem

Poem On The Stigma Of Losing A Loved One Through Suicide

On 27th June 2010 my husband, suffering from bi-polar, committed suicide.
I wrote this poem shortly after his death when I realized how difficult my family, friends and colleagues found it to discuss and sympathize with my loss.
The stigma attached to suicide still exists, unconsciously, in people's minds.
The death is seen a choice. Something avoidable and so somehow less tragic. It was a death seeped in anger on my behalf when all I really wanted was to mourn his loss.

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Hi Audrey, Thank you for responding and sharing your story with me. My husband also suffered from bi-polar, so I understand your fear and your pain. What got me through the many years was to...

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Suicide

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Published: June 2014

Suicide the headline screams
And everyone turns their head
Too frightened, too shocked, too ignorant
To acknowledge that he is dead

Whispers in the corridors
As slowly rumours spread
An overdose, a bridge, a rope
A gun put to his head

A visit to the state mortuary
Where platitudes are said
As they slowly draw the curtain
For a viewing of the dead

Widow standing silently
While poetry is read
Mourners walking one by one
To the harbor they are led

Flowers scattered on the sea
A brightly fragrant bed
Whilst seagulls cry overhead
He is dead, he is dead, he is dead

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Audrey Downey by Audrey Downey
  • 3 years ago

What a powerful poem. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I believe there should be even more sympathy for the family of someone who dies from suicide. Especially if the suicide is caused by a mental health issue. It is tragic. It is not their "choice"!! My daughter has bi-polar disorder and right now she is in a deep depression and I am terrified that she is going to hurt herself or commit suicide. I pray many times a day for our Lord to protect her from herself. Please know that you have my sympathy. I pray that God comforts you and eases your soul.

  • Derryn by Derryn
  • 2 years ago

Hi Audrey,
Thank you for responding and sharing your story with me. My husband also suffered from bi-polar, so I understand your fear and your pain. What got me through the many years was to constantly remind myself that there is the person and then there is the disease. When he was on a high or a low, that was the disease - beneath his actions or words, was the person I loved.

I'm not sure if this will help, but I spoke to a friend who was also bipolar depressive and she put the whole disease in perspective. She asked me how I would feel if I woke up one morning and was told that my son had been killed during the night. I replied, "Devastated," and she said, "That's what it's like to wake up each morning when you are bipolar." I hope and pray that you and your daughter have the support that you need to fight this disease each and every single day. Thoughts are with you.

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