19 Poems About Losing a Loved One to Suicide

Updated

We don't know why you are searching for poems about suicide. With that said, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 if you are contemplating suicide. 

Jump ahead to these sections:

Unfortunately, some of you are turning to our blog to find a funeral poem for someone who took their own life. If this describes your situation, we are incredibly sorry for your loss. We hope that one of these poems will be appropriate for your loved one's service or provide solace to those who are hurting. 

Poems About Grief After a Loved One Dies By Suicide

Some of the poems we will feature come from amateur poets who had loved ones die by suicide. These individuals used poetry to express their sorrow, anger, guilt, befuddlement – and other emotions that come with this type of grief. 

We appreciate that these poets were brave enough to share their experiences and words with others going through the same thing.

1. "Poem to a Son" by H. Percy

This heartfelt poem is a tribute to a person named Matthew. The parent who wrote this poem was surprised by their son's suicide.

Here's the second stanza of this touching poem:

"Never in a million years
Did it ever enter my mind
There would be so many tears
That life could be so unkind."

2. "I Am a Survivor of Suicide Loss"

We wish we knew who wrote this survivor poem that features the image of a zebra. The poem attempts to describe this unique type of grief with animal imagery. It begins:

"I am a survivor of suicide loss, a 
Zebra among horses; distinct from
those who have lost a loved one by
Other means. I feel separated from
The herd, corralled by such loss."

3. "A Different Kind of Bereavement" by A. M. Maxwell

Search for this poem online if you lost a loved one to suicide. Like the previous poem, "A Different Kind of Bereavement" discusses how being a survivor of suicide loss differs from other types of grief.

It includes the stanza:

"Your loved one didn't want to go
In that they had a voice
But we are haunted by the thought
Our loved one had a choice."

4. "Tonight" by Kate Shand

The author of this poem gives herself the title, "grieving mom." This touching poem includes such stanzas as 

"Tonight I am a poet using words to express you
(as if I could find the rhyme or reason of you)."

And

"Tonight I am a perfume maker mixing up the smell of you
(as if I could capture the essence of you)."

The poem concludes with these lines:

"Tonight, I am a mother crying a mother's tears for you
(as if I could ever fill the gaping chasm of you)

"Tonight I feel so very small by the enormous loss of you."

5. "If Only" by Karen Howard

This poem describes a friend's regret when left by someone who committed suicide. You may have similar "if only" statements constantly running through your mind.

The poem begins:

"If only I'd stopped and knocked on your door;
If only I'd known you couldn't take any more;
If only I'd been there, if only I'd called;
If I'd not been so busy – and once again stalled."

6. "Never Forgotten" by Unknown

Unfortunately, we don't know who wrote this poem about loss caused by suicide. It includes this stanza:

"I know the pain became too much to bear,
I know you tried to see.
But the darkness hid you in a shadow,
As immovable as a tree."

7. "You Lost Your Fight" by Unknown

This particular poem is unique because the speaker acknowledges the pain their loved one was in before their death. It begins:

"Every day you fought the pain.
Every day you tried again.
But after time, it dragged out down.
The darkness it was all aroun'."

Poems About Suicide Prevention and Awareness

Perhaps your life experiences make you the perfect person to promote suicide awareness and prevention. Here are some poems to use in your ministry.

8. "A Rash Decision" by Unknown

This poem was written by a grieving parent who wishes to protect other parents from a similar fate. It concludes with the following lines:

"So your story I tell far wide.
Because if I can keep even one child by their parent's side.
Then your memory lives on.
Even though you're gone."

9. "The Dark Days" by P. Bodi

We appreciate P. Bodi's body of work that speaks openly about mental health issues. Consider following her on Instagram. Her poem that begins "The Dark Days" concludes with the following stanza:

"Know this weight will
Pass, and however long
It takes, give yourself
Kindness, give yourself
Grace."

We also appreciate this short verse by P. Bodi.

"Pain is not a competition,
There are no winners when
It comes to suffering.
We're all in this together.
In this growing and in this 
Recovering."

10. "Just Wait for the Sun" by Lisa Marks

This poem would make excellent lyrics for a song. It includes the following stanza:

"The storm always passes.
It won't last forever.
The rain always stops and gives way to good weather.
The brightest and warmest of days still to come.
Please wait for the sun.
The sunshine will come."

11. "Became" by Jodi Kucera

We appreciate this suicide prevention poem because it is directed at young people. It describes common feelings that teens and young adults experience and what becomes of those young people as they mature.

It begins:

"He was the geeky kid, carrying all of his books,
That became a scientist who found the cure for the disease that overtook.

"She was the quiet one, who was afraid no one would listen to what she had to say,
Who is now the author that writes her words for thousands to read on a page.

"He was the naughty boy, whose antics were a cry for help,
That became a cop because he knows how it felt.

"She was the nervous, anxious girl, who took on everyone's problems,
That wanted to help others and became a psychologist with a doctorate."

Poems About Surviving a Suicide Attempt

Here are some poems that celebrate life, survival, and getting through struggles. You might also appreciate these quotes about death

12. "Hope" by A. M. Maxwell

We love this poem that uses the image of a snowdrop flower to discuss suicide. Here's the first stanza of this beautiful poem about hope:

"Lone snowdrop, struggled to seek the light
Dark winter, covered, always night
Spring awaits, above ground it's drawn
To the light and air, clear, sharp morn
This year, alone, it pushed itself on
And persevered, the watery sun
Its reward, the battle won
O'er darkest earth, and light to come."

The poem continues by describing how the single snowdrop is not alone during the following spring. More flowers push their way through the earth.

13. "Hope is the Thing With Feathers" by Emily Dickinson

This is one of Dickinson's most famous poems. It begins:

"’Hope’ is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –"

14. "There Is No Night Without a Dawning" by Helen Steiner Rice

This short, encouraging poem continues:

"No winter without a spring 
And beyond the dark horizon
Our hearts will once more sing… 
For those who leave us for a while 
Have only gone away 
Out of a restless, care worn world 
Into a brighter day."

15. "The Guest House" by Rumi

We love this poem about embracing all emotions by the 13th Century Persian poet Rumi. Here it is in its entirety:

"This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond."

Famous Poems About Suicide From Famous Poets or Authors

Anne Sexton, Sara Teasdale, and Sylvia Plath are three famous poets who ended their own lives, but many more poets died from self-destructive behavior. Here are some poems about suicide by famous poets. They may not be appropriate for a funeral service.

16. "There Will Come Soft Rains" by Sara Teasdale

The end of humanity is the subject of this poem by Sara Teasdale. Ray Bradbury borrowed the title for a short story.

17. "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost

While this famous poem isn't specifically about suicide, it is about the loss of innocence and the life/death cycle.

18. "Suicide's Note" by Langston Hughes

This short poem reads,

"The calm, 
Cool face of the river 
Asked me for a kiss."

19. "Lady Lazarus" by Sylvia Plath

Plath wrote about her suicide attempts in "Lady Lazarus." Lazarus's name refers to a Biblical figure who was brought back to life by Jesus.

Select Your Loved One's Funeral Poem With Care

Some of you may be looking for funeral poems for someone who died by suicide or poems about grief. We hope we have helped you find something appropriate for your loved one's service.

The selection of a funeral poem should always be made with care. Make sure all of the immediate family members are given the opportunity to read the poem before it is printed or read at the service.

Icons sourced from FlatIcon.