by Karen Poll
Our daughter, Claire, was a bright, seemingly healthy teenager who had a zest for life and was always using the phrase YOLO (You Only Live Once).
However, by the age of 14 we started noticing changes. We didn’t realize at the time they were some of the key warning signs of depression: personality change, agitation, 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, June 5, 2014. 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 wrote a song in her memory, Claire’s Song, because I wanted to document the person she was, and what severe depression can do to someone. It became clear to me that Claire’s depression boxed up her mind with so much pain that she was only able to see one way out; all the while keeping her feelings hidden to others.
I expressed this in the lyrics
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 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 doSo no one could ever tell
I hope 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 CLAIRESSONG to tell the story of a beautiful young girl who appeared healthy on the outside, but was unbearably suffering on the inside.
New Albany, Ohio