“There is no grief like the grief that does not speak.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
Writing about painful experiences is key to a successful recovery. If journal writing is not your bag, try your hand at poetry… yes, you! Writing a grief poem taps into your own private creativity. There is just something about the free, unstructured expression of emotions that writing poems provides…
Blackbird Singing: Poems and Lyrics, 1965-1999 Paul McCartney returned to his poetic roots by publishing a collection of poems and song lyrics entitled “Blackbird Singing”. It includes poems and lyrics from 1965-1999, many of which cannot be read without hearing Beatle melodies in your mind. But try to look at them all from a poetic standpoint, and you are in for a treat.
The book closes with poems dedicated to Paul’s late wife, Linda, who died of breast cancer in 1998. These memorial poems are tender and startlingly honest.
Cathy Sosnowsky, a college English instructor, produced a beautiful volume of poetry following the accidental death of her son Alex. Although a slim volume, “Holding On: Poems for Alex” speaks eloquently to the heart of any bereaved parent.
And we also have compiled a collection of classic and modern poems about grief and loss for you to explore. Just don’t forget to come back and read these poems about loss written by our readers below.
Writing a Grief Poem Can Help You Heal
You too can find comfort, expression, connection, and healing through the creative outlet known as poetry. Express your own thoughts and feelings in your own way. You can keep your poems private by writing them in a personal journal if you like.
Or, you can easily submit your own personal grief poem here at our website. There’s just something comforting in letting the world know about your pain in this way. You can use a stage name if you don’t want to use your own.
I suggest that you first write your poem on paper or type it into a simple word processor like Notepad. Then you can take your time and get it just right. Find a photo to go with it… it can be of anything, your lost beloved, or a beautiful outdoor scene. It really adds to your poem’s writing. Then, enter it all into our simple form on our contact page. Read poems others have written and then give it a try yourself. Might be just the thing you need today…
Grief Poems By Readers Of Recover From Grief
by Claire (Ireland)
On the 10th of November, ’87
God sent us an Angel down from Heaven
Big brown eyes and a smile so sweet
That was our darling Marguerite
She stayed with us til 2004
Then Jesus knocked suddenly on our door
He said: dear Mags, come take my hand
And come with me to God’s Heavenly Land
Next thing we knew
You were gone away
To a beautiful garden far far away
They say God’s garden is a nice place to rest
For the flowers he chooses are simply the best
So rest in peace Mags in that garden above
We send you our prayers and buckets of love
Each day is a day nearer to when we meet once more
Oh, the joy that we’ll feel as we reach that Shore.
We love you and miss you both night and day
We wish you never had gone away
But we know you are with God above
And the stars that shine are your beams of love.
Rest in Peace Mags, our precious brown-eyed girl.
Love always and forever, Mam
The Pink Carnation
by Debbie S. (Carlsbad, CA)
On the stand next to my bed
sits a pink carnation bloom,
I gaze at it and drift into a dream.
And in this flower’s meaning
you can take this as you wish,
If you listen close
you’ll see just what I mean.
In the dream
I see my mother,
placing flowers in a vase,
She smiles at me, in wonderment, I sigh.
In my hand, she sets one flower,
“Please hold it near your heart,
when you miss me most
hold tight, try not to cry.”
I woke up and was wishing,
“Dream, please don’t ever end.”
A dream about my mother is so sweet.
Carnations were her favorite
and she made that known to me,
when I leave this earth
I’ll bring them when we meet.
2000 years, so long ago,
this is what they say,
this flower’s special meaning is so rare.
My mom was trying to tell me,
that the bloom was meant for me,
It means a mom’s, undying love
and loving care.
On the stand next to my bed,
sits a pink carnation bloom,
I gaze at it, yet still, I start to cry.
I shut my eyes, and dream again,
My mom – she wipes my tears
and tells me, “Dear,
our love will never die.”
by Barbara (Whitehorse, Yukon Canada)
I saw the moon tonight
Not quite full – not yet
But coming into glory
And I thought of you
You left before the last full moon
And I gazed at it, in a clear cold sky
And wondered where you were
This is not a love poem, as such
I was not forsaken by a lover
Who left me for another
After ravishing me with
All the stuff poems are made of
No, this is not that kind of poem at all
But it is a poem about my mother
My mother, who left me
Who I loved eternally and completely
Who was there for me each and every day
Of my life?
And now she is gone
And my heart is broken
(Maybe like the one who was forsaken by a lover)
It hurts the same. It hurts so much. Maybe much more
For life will never be the same
I look to the moon to try to make sense of it
But I can’t
I miss you so much, my mother
by Melanie Drummy (Ireland )
Life can be hard
When you lose someone you love
feel like falling apart
But you’ve got to stay tough.
Think of the good times
That you shared
How much you loved them
How much you cared
Remember that bond
that you both had
Remember the happy times
when you’re feeling sad
I know it’s not easy
It’s hard to stay strong
keep the memories safe in your heart where they belong
Knowing one day
you will see them again
When God calls you home
and welcomes you in.
There they will be waiting
with arms open wide
to guide you safely
to the other side
Grief, it’s not something you just get over
by Louise Jo-Anne van Niekerk (South Africa )
Why I no longer care?
I am going through a change in my life and a clean-up of my past.
So as many may know, I have loved and lost a lot in the past 2 years.
I have changed after losing my parents and grandparents.
This has changed my perspective on life, my personality, and what is important.
If you can’t give me the time of day, I can’t give you any time either.
I look at the years I have wasted on unnecessary people and emotions, in the end, these are the things that matter the least.
The number of friends you have is the thing of the past, is not as important as it might have seemed 10 years ago, the quality face to face time you spend with these people are.
I think what this has done is changed me, and the change is not accepted or understood by many, that have not walked in my shoes.
You don’t know what I am going through or what mental complications I am dealing with.
I have realized one thing that after the funerals it normally you and your siblings fighting this grief alone.
Sorting out the difficult part of sorting through your parents’ belongings and accounts and realizing that your childhood, of been a daughter, grand-daughter has come to an end.
A new chapter has happened, no more family Christmas dinner planning, or Easter’s, even the small things like going to camp has changed, or the small road trips we did ever Sunday will never happen again.
No more fights over the little things, no more laughing at the stupid things.
Life is different, people are different and my outlook on life is different.
So, if I seem I have changed, I have, I need to cope, to continue….to love life, the new life I live in.
Please understand this is a new me and changed me, living this life is about me and my happiness, you might not understand, and you never will, until the day you walk in my shoes.
Written by Louise J van Niekerk, September 2019
Life happens …..
by Penny Balderas (Chicago IL )
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy
making other plans. Reality comes around. You
feel helpless then hopeless. There is a huge
empty hole where love used to be. You are lost
in thoughts & emotions. What do we do?
You feel incomplete. A part of you is gone forever.
Will I ever feel whole again? Your outlook is bleak.
You feel alone & lonely. This is my reality. I think so
much it begins to get confusing. Who am I?
Where are you?
Life goes on but without you. Everything has changed
There is no “we” or “us” it’s just me. I have no friend
partner or husband. I still don’t believe it’s over
No new memories to be made. It’s difficult to think
about & harder to accept,
Can I walk the path alone?
I have no choice now…..I am alone.
by Patricia Bunting (Leigh on Sea, Essex. UK)
In memory of Myshka
We had a lovely pussycat,
With a very pretty face,
But now wherever we go and look,
there’s just an empty space.
She loved it in the garden,
and the flying leaves she’d chase,
but now when we look out there,
there’s just an empty space.
She lived till nearly twenty-two,
at home in her own place,
so many beds in many rooms,
but now there’s just an empty space.
We really miss our pussycat,
and hate that empty space,
and what we wouldn’t do to see,
that pretty little face.
The long goodbye
by Sylvia (United kingdom )
In 2011 my mum may as well have gone to heaven; she had dementia you see.
We cared as much as we could but staying at home was not meant to be.
I had to make that awful decision one I will never forget the one that took mum into a world with horrors I will always regret.
The homes looked nice on the outside but inside there was no care; they made my life and guilt worse and caused me so much despair.
My mum looked glum she smelt and was wet but I was there to fight the horrible neglect.
We moved from one home into another what a waste of time one home was as bad as another was it because nothing was good enough for my mother.
All this time mum did not speak she could no longer talk and was very weak.
She did not know me the day or the year and visits always ended with me having a year.
Each time I left I whispered goodbye and asked the angels to take her and fly.
In 2016 we found another home and moved our dear mum it was much better and mum didn’t look as glum.
The home was clean there was no smell we felt like we had got mum out of hell.
They looked after mum better that I could have done but still, I felt very sad this dementia you see can’t be beaten and God it made me feel mad.
Mum was alive but no lights were on the mum I had once was already gone.
We continued the many goodbyes each time we left the feelings of helplessness I was so bereft.
At Christmas 2017 we got a call the end was nearly here we were able to sit several days with mum and whisper in her ear.
We held her hand though she didn’t understand and tried to keep her free from pain. I told her how much I loved and missed her over and over again.
The ending came with tears and pain and now mum has gone and I am hoping she is whole again.
Such a long goodbye filled my years with sadness and now mum has gone to a far better place I am left with the tears still down my face.
The fact that she suffered and the care homes were poor I am glad she is now through heavens doors.
I miss my mum oh so much but we lost her so long ago and now I cannot remember her without dementia and the woes. I am hoping healing comes to me and my good memories will grow.
I know I can live without her we have done it for many a year but now when I think I have lost her I hear a voice in my heart telling me no I am still here.
Rest in peace my darling mum this is a poem from your little one.
by Walter T. Brzezinski (Hellertown, Pa.)
Thinking back, a simple word,
Rarely used, but often heard,
To trigger your mind, a memory sought,
A favorite long, or flowers you bought,
Days at the shore, surfing to teach,
Gazing your beauty, eager to reach,
With my pen and prayer, others I lack,
The tools I use, to bring you back.
If I had to write a poem
by Mike Bonello (Malta)
If I had to write a poem
I would put pen to my thoughts,
and describe my inner feelings
as I should have but did not
Belying hurt and grief
I braved a face for all to see,
for it’s not fair to those who loved her,
and she loved them endlessly
The heart pains……and bleeds
but the soul rips through and through
till there’s no more tears to cry,
and darkness falls on you
then you will remember
of memories gone by,
you have endured the test of time
and squeeze a smile up in the sky
there was no doubt
we meant to wrinkle with old age,
leafing all those albums
reliving every page
but now she looks at me
and pushes me ahead,
for she wants not for me to falter
but strengthens me instead
if as they say Time Heals
I surely do not want,
I want her to live in me
this feeling of her warmth
when time knocks on my door
and grief will go away,
my heart will stop its beating
and I’ll know that it’s my day
and when this moment so awaited
will surely come to me,
with joy, I will embrace you
as our souls will be set free!
Alas a poem needs a poet
and a poet I am not
but I hope these few odd verses
will bring for us some solace
Lest we forgot
I have often thought about who he was
by Joyce Knock (Des Moines, IA)
Loved the ocean!
THERE was a boy
who liked butterflies
looking at the moon and stars through his telescope
cats, especially Ruthie
surfing in the ocean
taking things apart and putting them together again
working out with Reid
learning new things
practicing his bow and arrow and target shooting
having Hayden over
scanning the beach with a Geiger Counter
he found deep thoughts and asked provocative questions
didn’t always want to practice
the piano and violin
but played them beautifully
and just as he was on the cusp of young adult manhood
he was gone
it was quiet
the music stopped
however, he remains in our hearts
Finding a cure
by Walter T. Brzezinski (Hellertown Pa. U.S.A.)
Searching for a certain way,
To relieve the grief, as I wake each day,
Poetry, art, or travel to try,
It helps, but not enough, to satisfy,
Looking to Him, to find his cure,
His methods, that work for sure,
Seek other’s needs, more than you,
Comfort returns, in abundance too,
No password is needed, no matter the task,
Just bend a knee, and simply ask.
by Tyquasia Randolph (New Jersey)
I remember your smile
I remember the life found in your eyes.
I remember that summer before you passed
and how I would fall on my skates because I was moving too fast.
I remember the life lessons and golden nuggets you taught
and how in mid-sentence you would always lose your train of thought.
I remember the songs that we would sing
and all the joy that it would bring
I remember that goofy laugh that would always follow,
losing you was a hard pill to swallow
I remember being alone in my room when I found out
my mind filled with such doubt
There was no way that my favorite aunt could have been gone
The one who was like a mother to me, the one who said she would never leave me she had sworn!
I remember the love you gave that I tried to recreate
But no one could ever take your place
In me your love lives on
I’ll always remember that you taught me to be strong
When things get tough or just seem to go wrong
I will remember that in my heart you live on!
New year’s eve
by Walter T. Brzezinski (Hellertown Pa. USA)
I know you(‘re gone, just want to believe,
To feel your presence, on New Year’s Eve,
So the very best that I can do,
Is to find a way, to converse with you,
Just listen to my pen, as if you were here,
My words to you, while shedding a tear,
The pleasures I have, to reminisce,
Those tender moments, the midnight kiss,
The strange belief, with herring and wine,
Seeking good fortune, as we sat to dine,
I guess it worked, I never knew how,
With you and God’s help, I know better. Now.
by Walter T. Brzezinski (Hellertown Pa. U.S.A.)
How with grief, does one forget?
How with thoughts so firmly set?
How her face you constantly see?
How with her you would like to be?
How as you dream and talk to her?
How as you wake your mind a blur?
How as you stroll, and couples walk by?
How as you watch, politely sigh?
How to cope, with a minor task?
How with prayer, for help you can ask?
How as he listens, to your simple try?
How? He never rejects. Always a reply.
by Walter T. Brzezinski (Hellertown. Pa.)
Why her presence when she’s gone?
Why the love from far beyond?
Why her memories from week to week?
Why the young her face they seek?
Why they look to the trees above?
Why the blue and grey white dove?
Why the message that she sends?
Why our hearts she often mends?
Why we feel less the grief?
Why? Because. GOD sends relief.
I remember my son
Those days he was small were his best days of all. I Remember his laughter as he played with his brother, Hot wheels, tree climbing, and carving pumpkins in the fall. I remember as my son grew older, his love of nature and his love for God and God’s word grew.
Sometimes-ALAS! The deceiver entices and I remember with grief as my son gradually succumbed to his lies. Always praying – always hoping!
Jesus has taken him home where he’s free and rejoicing! No more pain, no more fear-no more addiction. Just heavenly comfort with Angels near. For now my son we’ll say goodbye but we’ll meet again in the by and by.
by Justin (Kalispell, MT)
I remember attending my grandfather’s funeral at the age of five.
And on that cold spring day, as we pulled into the cemetery drive,
I noticed there were covered chairs for those who were close and still alive.
I figured they were special seats for those at the head of the event,
Who sat there had a special honor is what it meant.
As the years came along,
My own father’s funeral could not prolong,
That those special seats had no honor, as I was wrong.
Rather, now being there where they sat,
I know the price and pain of where those folks were at.
Hopefully, you’ve seen how others’ pain was transformed into beautiful remembrance poems. I encourage you to write your own grief poem to begin the healing process.