May 22, 2019

Why did it happen and would I have stopped it?

Angela Chen


After the death of a close friend, I was left shocked, saddened but most of all guilty. Guilty that I did not do anything, guilty that I couldn’t have stopped her or be there for her when she needed me. Like most people, I wondered where it had all gone wrong.

But as the months went by, I was thinking to myself: Could I have done anything?
Suicide is the biggest killer for young people in the UK. This comes as no surprise to me since young people are facing ever mounting pressures with a bleak prospect ahead of them.

With young women especially, we are expected to look beautiful, perform well academically and behave in a certain manner for social acceptance. At the same time, jobs are harder to get, houses harder to buy and relationships are harder to find.

Therefore, would I as an individual been able to stop my friend from dying? We would never know. This poem explores the guilt, confusion and horror at the death of a young girl.