Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and a day to raise awareness on this issue. Whilst there are many poets and poems that have addressed this issue, I came across Derek Walcott’s Love After Love and was struck by how much hope it spoke — at least to me. The message and idea that this too shall or may pass, that somewhere down the line, it is possible to reach a place where one can see life with a better lens.
This aside, mental health and well-being is so, so important. If you feel you are not in a good place and aren’t coping, please reach out to someone or if you can’t talk to anyone in your life, please contact the NHS, or Samaritan helpline, or the national suicide prevention line for free 24/7 confidential support and help. You are loved, and are wanted. You matter and are important.
Love After Love
The time will come when,
with elation you will greet yourself
arriving at your own door,
in your own mirror and each will smile
at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger
who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread.
Give back your heart to itself,
to the stranger who has loved you
All your life…
Who knows you by heart.*
*NB: I have shortened the poem and made slight edits as this is how I read it. To read the poem in full, please check it out on Poem Hunter here, and you can listen to a reading by Tom Hiddleston here.