Today I met you for the very first time,
Many questions need answers,
Seeing you are the victim of your own crime.
We are about the same age, your home similar to mine,
Pictures and favorite things,
you are not a hard person to define.
On the table is camera with an impressive lens,
A camera similar to mine,
Who knows, maybe we could have been friends.
The puzzle piece of your life summed up in a letter left on the floor,
Together our time will be short,
Absorbing your written thoughts, as I slowly close the door.
I am not here to judge you and can only assume,
Your thoughts consumed your soul,
your world, now this dark room.
Your life on paper, like a script from a show,
Every pain, hardship and sorrow,
Left to be found by me, someone you didn’t even know.
To this earth, this life, you are no longer bound,
Placing a small part of your burden on me,
This scene of sadness, in a letter left to be found.
You answer the question why and the how has been done,
The haunting torment ends,
for those who cared, it has only just begun.
Understand when I read this, there is no way for me to feel what you did,
A spirit gone and wasted ,
For me like before, these images hidden, secured with a tight lid.
I was summoned here today certainly not by my choice,
Putting your story in a stranger’s hands,
Trusting that I will now be your voice.
I don’t know your whole life or why you chose this day,
but who cared for you are now my concern,
And I will not let them see you this way.
If you can hear me, know I think you made a mistake,
Your tragedy now mine too,
The details with be softened, simply for your family’s sake.
What is going to happen now isn’t what you think,
The pictures and your story will be re-written,
Like others before and after, the effect will not grow, but shrink.
It is better me do this rather than someone who you knew,
A permanent solution to a temporary problem,
Their hearts broken, my next call waits with something new.
You may think I don’t care, but you committed your own crime,
There have been many before you,
Understand that this certainly is not my first time.
Quietly I speak hoping my words you can hear,
Many have traveled the same path,
Some who do my job, their memories met with my tear.
Make no mistake, with me this day will remain,
But your face and story will be placed with the others,
another link in an unfortunate chain.
In one quick action this life came to a tragic stop,
You took your own life today,
This life, this story, now retold by this stranger, this cop.
Suicide and suicide prevention have such profound effects on those around each tragedy. I have unfortunately had to deal with an unusual number of suicides as a police officer. As my career progressed, these suicides really hit home when my co-workers, my friends, decided that this was also their escape. The true answers and circumstances rarely, if ever, are brought to light.
I recently red an article regarding police officers that have considered either harming themselves or taking their own lives. This is a tough world. This article is eye opening. No longer should we be turning a blind eye to the epidemic of first responders and soldiers regarding the trauma that they face throughout their career. Bravado and toughness come with acceptance and help. Please get help. Please speak with your family and friends.
Also take a look at the article link below. Thank you for reading this difficult poem.