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Youth Voices on Suicide

Fellowship Story Showcase

Youth Voices on Suicide

Picture of Jessica Seaman
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

As The Denver Post covers youth suicide, we believe it's vital to hear from teens facing this critical issue. In 2019, we asked teens across Colorado to write about their experiences with mental health and suicide through an essay contest. The five essays and poems found here are those we felt best represented this difficult subject. Their stories offer us a glimpse into the grief, pressures and other issues teens face today. They challenge us to rethink how we talk about an uncomfortable subject while offering a spark of hope.

By Katerine Bucaro and Kianna Kent

Editor’s note:This poem was selected as the winner of The Denver Post’s teen essay contest as part of an ongoing Crisis Point project on youth suicide in Colorado. The middle-school students wrote about the loss of mutual friend who died by suicide last year.

You promised me you wouldn’t go
but I understand your pain.
Sometimes we just feel so low,
and it kinda’ wrecks your brain.
I just wish I would have told you
how much you meant to me;
your smile lit up the whole room
I just wish that you could see.

Why’d you have to leave us?
Why’d you have to go?
I just don’t understand it,
that’s all I wanna’ know.
I wish I had been there
and picked up the phone,
but now you’re gone for good
and I feel all alone.
So tell me,
why do the best things always have to go?
What did we do wrong?
I don’t even know.
I don’t know if you hear us
but if you do,
we love you,
we miss you,
and we wanna’ be with you.

You promised me you wouldn’t go
but I understand your pain.
Sometimes we just feel so low,
and it kinda’ wrecks your brain.
I just wish I would have told you
how much you meant to me;
your smile lit up the whole room
I just wish that you could see.

You had so much to live for,
but now you’ve shut that door.
And no one came to rescue you,
the devil got the best of you
and now you’ve left us feeling blue
because we don’t know what to do
in this world
that doesn’t even have you.
You brought so much happiness,
but felt so much pain.
How could we not know?
What’s wrong with our brains?
We should have been there for you.
Through it all.
But we weren’t
and I’m sorry that we let you fall.

Katherine Bucaro and Kianna Kent are eighth-graders at Arvada’s Drake Middle School.

2019 Center for Health Journalism National Fellow Jessica Seaman is investigating how Colorado’s mental health systems address youth suicide. To learn more about her investigation, visit youthsuicide.denverpost.com.

[This article was originally published by the Denver Post.]