Aug 11, 2014

If Words Can Help ~ Goodbye Robin

Dust Calls

Tomorrow is a closed gate
vined with wilting dreams
my tears can no longer water.

Joy and sorrow are sisters
standing at my bedside
counting breaths until
dust calls for flesh and bone.

I feel my life fleeing hushed and
gentle like the gazelle
to a soon chiseled epitaph.

I am not afraid…the moon

waits to cradle me in its smile.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

(The line "I feel my life fleeing hushed and gentle like the gazelle" from Gabriela Mistral's poem, Dusk was the inspiration for this poem.)

I wrote this poem last night not knowing death would come to Robin Williams or the other souls that would make that journey. I have been at that desperate hour of suicide. Without Charlie I would not be here. He was a nineteen year old husband trying to catch a few hours of sleep with his hand wrapped around my wrist to keep me from roaming the night in search of death. We didn't tell anyone...our families didn't know...our friends didn't know. I medicated my pain with humor. I was screaming inside while showing the world a smile.

There is no sanity in suicide. It is a mind desperate to escape its thoughts, a body seeking escape from pain, the agony of feeling helpless in a world you are drowning in. It is not fair to those you leave behind.

Please, please reach out to those who struggle. Listen to them, encourage them, be there for them. I wrote this poem as peace for those who travel the valley to life's end and those who grieve..not for ending one's own life. But perhaps it can bring some comfort to those who are left with the pain of a loved one's suicide.

Goodbye Robin...You left us too soon.


If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide please know there are people who care. The world is much brighter with you in it. You are loved.

This is a link for suicide crisis organizations around the world.


  1. Susie, this is a beautiful and brilliant poem, so loving. I am speechless. One of your very best. I wish it could be read by millions. Thanks for shining a spotlight on how deep the pain goes and how desperate are those who cannot escape their thoughts. I thank God for that young husband of yours, holding onto your wrist as you slept, tethering you to the planet. I am saddened by Robin's passing. The sensitivity and depth of his emotional range, displayed in the roles he played to perfection, told me he knew a lot about pain and had a very huge heart. Too soon gone.

    1. Thank you Sherry...Perhaps my words will travel to where they are needed. That is my hope, my prayer. The rabbit hole of depression steals too many precious lives.

  2. susie, gracias for the sharing of you heart, for the sharing of your soul, for choosing to keep sharing yourself with us. i know we live in what some of us see as a cruel circus.
    i'm glad that some may see this life as something to behold for these are the ones that bestow joy to us who wish to remain in this mundane existence

    gracias mi amiga

    1. Thank you Marcoantonio...I feel the call in my poet's heart to share the pain and darkness that once held me..more than that I want to share there is light, hope, and love in a world that puts its emphasis on tragedy.

  3. And this is what makes you such a good writer. You writing comes from your soul, a place that's known both the darkness and the light. Thank you for sharing this. Hugs to you, my poet friend.

  4. Our sweet friend, Sherry, posted a link to your poem on Facebook, Susie. She is right about your beautiful poem and how it should be read by millions. It breaks my heart to learn that people have turned to suicide. You know that they must be consumed by darkness and feel that it's too hard to continue on. I'm glad that you survived those thoughts, Susie. Thanks for sharing that. How are friends and family to know if someone is suffering so when a happy face is all they see? Perhaps there are always signs if we look closer... I'll miss Robin Williams' presence here. My thoughts are with his loved ones.
    Gayle ~

    1. Thank you Gayle...It took years to find my way out of the darkness. Sadly there are those who can't.

  5. I liked your take on this, Susie. When you live a long life, some of it hard, like I have (so far), those sisters, Joy and sorrow, have made quite a few visits.
    I have also stood in a "Charlie'" place. We didn't talk much about that either, she was ashamed and I was NOT the hero, nor was the ER tech. Take your pick, "Jack" or "John", only one, was at my foot then.

    1. Jim, thank you. Life has no do overs...We must wake up each day and

  6. Replies
    1. Yes, Rosemary, thank God he was assigned to be my angel

  7. Words cannot express my gratitude to Charlie for holding onto you. How we all wish there had been a Charlie for Robin!
    Exquisite work, Susie. I'm so glad Sherry linked to you on Facebook.
    Luv, K

    1. Thank you Kay. I too wish someone could have reached Robin in his darkness and held him until he could see light...until the death star hand released his thoughts.