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Claire’s Song

14 Sep 2018 — 1 min read

BY Karen Poll


First National Physician Suicide Awareness Day

Sept. 14, 2018 - My daughter, Claire, was a bright, seemingly healthy teenager who had a zest for life and was always using the phrase YOLO, i.e. You Only Live Once.

However, by the age of 14 we started noticing changes. We didn’t realize at the time that they were some of the key warning signs of depression: personality change, agitation, and withdrawal. We attributed them all to normal teenage angst. We had no idea of the catastrophic storm that was brewing inside her. Claire ended her life the last night of ninth grade at the age of 15.  We found a note telling us how much she loved us, but that she had been depressed for some time.

A few months after her death, I decided to write a song in her memory. I wanted to document the person she was, and what severe depression can do to someone. It seemed to me that Claire’s depression had boxed up her mind with so much pain that she was only able to see one way out, while keeping her feelings hidden to others. I expressed this in the lyrics:


Teenage dreamer, part-time schemer

Hid your pain so well

Built a box, an airtight box

So no one could ever tell


I also wrote the song to express my own feelings of darkness after she was gone:


We’ll never see you, never touch you

Never hear your voice again

Now you’re gone and we’re alone

Not knowing what to do


I hope that listeners will understand the message of the chorus – “Could have told us, should have told us / Your story could have changed” – as a plea to tell someone, anyone, if they ever feel in distress.

Mainly, I wanted the song to tell the story of a beautiful young girl who appeared healthy on the outside, but was suffering in silence. I will always feel the pain of my loss, but help is always available, and no one should have to suffer alone.



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