**Trigger warning: This piece deals with sensitive subject matters including suicide, survivor grief, death, depression, supernatural beings, and anxiety. Please be advised when reading.**
Suicide is a growing mental health crisis that affects not only the person who ends their life, but also those they knew. Feelings of grief, anger, guilt, depression and anxiety, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts and completion may affect those left behind.
I have seen in others and felt in myself some of these effects. I have been affected by six suicides, both directly and indirectly. If you or anyone you know is having feelings and thoughts of suicide, please call or chat with Suicide Prevention. These feelings do not have to be the end.
Suicide Prevention Hotline and Chatline
- Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
Little by little, turn by turn, a piece removed, a lesson learned.
Dirt and water becomes mud, replacing breath, replacing blood.
Truth lies on the other side, only known by those who’ve died.
To this lie, all are bound, looking for some common ground.
To find the truth, some ran in haste, seeking solace in that embrace.
To make the fallen pieces fit, to the lie, they did submit.
Herein lies the lie of truth, of the other side, there is no proof.
Trade the pain that is known, for a wish of mercy shown.
But the sun for which you dream, may burn the soul into screams.
Or fall in darkness at the end, no consciousness left to pretend.
Where there was peace, now nothing left, but dirt and mud unsuppressed.
Dirt and mud, pain and blood, carried forward by the flood.
A friend was first to choose this path, from his pain he chose to pass.
Then one like a brother followed the same, and traded his breath for his sorrow to tame.
Both now are gone to leave the world cold, in a moment, their futures sold.
A note may as well be a scrap that is bare, no answers left; I’m still unaware.
It feels like years since I could sleep, inside my mind, ghosts rattle and creep.
To sleep means forgetting it all for the night, then newly remember with each morning’s light.
In the awakening, the weight on you falls.
Ghosts dressed like angels, promised hope that is false.
Every day takes more than I can give, smoke and ash where my heart used to live.
I can’t remember what was before now, help me make sense of all this somehow.
Because I’m so far down and can’t seem to get back, behind my eyes, all colors run black.
Death took my crayons from life’s coloring box, destroying the beauty from our nightly walks.
Now the flow more of me takes, my mind and soul it remakes.
Flood and fire in my chest, duality at its best.
As the mud falls back to dirt, stealing lives filled with hurt.
Breath and blood, dirt and mud, become as one, their lives unsung.
What am I, that I couldn’t see, the signs of the broken, who stood before me?
If Hell holds a place for those without sight, then it’s my name it surely will write.
Need more poetry? The MockingOwl Roost has many selections from contributors and staff around the world.
Julie Hazlett, of South Bend, Indiana, creates art using many materials from tinted mica powders to special effects makeup. When not creating this art “officially,” she is driven to learn the things and whys of life and the world.