Those You Left Behind

I’m going now, so I bid you good-bye if you like,
you can read about my demise in the Sunday paper
A tragic dramatic ending to my sordid life I leave no note but know
I go so not to cause more strife to those who love the me
They believe me to be.

You left me I suppose so I could be forever free,
at least ‘free’ from the physical you but not the fractured memories
of your melodic voice and blue eyes or the way you smiled at me

And so you left this world clothed in a suit of self hate,
when you went knocking, begging at the hallowed gates
I bet they made you wait before they turned you away
so in hell’s limbo you wander far from the daunting fray
of our shattered souls that fight to live every single day

Did you think..of those you left behind, how you broke our hearts
for we will never be the same now shrouded in shame… a mystery
forever asking ourselves why you slipped and fell apart

How selfish of you to leave us with nothing but self-blame,
how conceited to think of no one else only your own pain
While we are left to grieve forever in winter’s pouring rain.

©2019 Linda Lee Lyberg

Author’s Note: This is my first time to write Confessional poetry. On February 18, 1994 my husband of almost 7 years killed himself.  In this poem, the first stanza is in what I imagine to be his voice. The remainder of the poem is in mine and those he left behind. 


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51 Comments on “Those You Left Behind

  1. Suicide is final, and I always try to grasp why people do it… somehow I feel that it has to be when someone feels that they have run out of options… I also wrote of a suicide but not someone I know… and how I maybe was part of the cause by just (not) being in the office…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Suicide, sooner or later, touches us all. For we who survive, suicide never seems a viable option. Teen suicides are the saddest for me. Your poem is a heart breaker. I admire your honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Linda I am so so deeply sorry 😦 Losing someone is never easy. This is a powerful, poignant confessional poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow Linda. I’m so sorry for this loss. This is something I haven’t considered; that suicide brings with it several layers of pain..even more than grief (which is bad enough). This is raw…and pure in its honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Linda, how devastating. I understand the pain someone is in when they take such a final step, but in ending theirs, they leave a legacy of pain and devastation in their wake. I live in fear of this happening in my life, as someone close to me has mental illness and talks of suicide all the time. I hope I will not be alive if that happens, for I am no longer strong enough to bear the fallout. I am so sorry this happened to you. Your closing stanza reflects my thoughts on suicide as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My man will be gone 15 years tomorrow. If he walked in the door right now. I wouldn’t even ask him how he got here.. I just want him back. I can feel I am not alone here.. And neither are you. This was a heart wrenching read for me.. You wrote it beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This touches me deeply as my father attempted suicide 12 years ago…thankfully he’s still with us. I’m so sorry about your husband…be kind to yourself, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Linda, I am so sorry for your loss and anguish. You are brave to share it in this poem. The change of voice is very effective, as are the lines ‘And so you left this world clothed in a suit of self hate’ and ‘…we are left to grieve forever in winter’s pouring rain’.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is not easy to write like this. This was as honest and open as I have seen in a while and you expressed the emotion in a wonderful and healthy way. I cannot fathom the feelings that result form a tragedy like this, I would never be the same. Great writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh, the ache of the one being left behind is so well expressed here — such an emotional write, in how it binds the incidence with its aftermath of anger and sorrow. This is a powerful verse. Thanks for participating, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

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