Speak to Your Soul


             Grief is hard!


    Comfort your body and
   soothe your soul in our new


  • I WILL

    As long as I can I will look at this world for the both of us.
    As long as I can I will sing with the birds,
    I will laugh with the flowers,
    I will pray to the stars for both of us.

    ~ Author Unknown


    Found On A Tombstone in Ireland, dated 1889:

    "Death leaves a heartache difficult to heal;
    Love leaves sweet memories no one can steal." 

Poems for bereavement...


    "If you give up when it's deep winter,
    you’ll surely miss the promise of your Spring,
    the beauty of your Summer
    and the fulfillment of your Fall.

    Don’t let the pains of one season
    overshadow the joys of the rest of the year.
    Try not to judge life
    by one difficult season;
    cherish instead
    the exceptional seasons
    given you in love."

    ~Sec. Cerge Remonde, PMS


    Do not stand at my grave and weep;
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.

    When you awaken in the morning's hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry;
    I am not there, I did not die.

    ~ Author Unknown 

Poems for bereavement...


    I tell you, hopeless grief is passionless;
    That only men incredulous of despair,
    Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air
    Beat upward to God's throne in loud access
    Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness,
    In souls as countries, lieth silent-bare
    Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare
    Of the absolute Heavens. Deep-hearted man, express
    Grief for thy Dead in silence like to death--
    Most like a monumental statue set
    In everlasting watch and moveless woe
    Till itself crumble to the dust beneath.
    Touch it; the marble eyelids are not wet:
    If it could weep, it could arise and go.

    ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Poems for bereavement...


    Remember me when I am gone away,
    Gone far away into the silent land;
    When you can no more hold me by the hand,
    Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.

    Remember me when no more day by day
    You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
    Only remember me; you understand
    It will be late to counsel then or pray.

    Yet if you should forget me for a while
    And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
    For if the darkness and corruption leave
    A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
    Better by far you should forget and smile
    Than that you should remember and be sad.

    ~ Christina Rossetti 


    Said she, 'I will not live with grief from morrow unto morrow.
    My heart cries out for some relief, 'Good-bye, my little sorrow.'
    She closed the windows of her home and pulled down every blind.
    'I'm going forth, ' she cried, 'to roam. You, Grief, can stay behind.'
    'And I'll be gone the livelong day, expect me back to-night.'

    Grief wanly watched her go away into the warmth and light;
    With quickened step and brightened eyes she mingled with the throng.
    Instead of pale Grief's moans and sighs she heard Endeavour's song.
    She saw a sister, crossed the road and asked her how she fared:
    Then helped to lift her heavy load and in the burden shared.

    Throughout the day Self was suppressed whilst Service took its place.
    When she returned at night to rest - of Grief there was no trace!
    But Joy stepped forth and sweetly said,
    'May I now be your friend instead? '

    ~ Wilhelmina Stitch 

Poems for bereavement...


    You didn't die
    you just changed shape

    became invisible
    to the naked eye

    became this grief

    it's sharpness
    more real

    than your presence was

    before you were separate to me
    entire to yourself

    now you are
    a part of me

    you are inside my self

    I call you
    by your new name

    'Grief...Grief! '

    although I still call you

    ~Dónall Dempsey

Poems for bereavement...


    There’s an elephant in the room.
    It is large and squatting,
    so it is hard to get around it.

    Yet we squeeze by with,
    “How are you?” and, “I’m fine,”
    and a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.

    We talk about the weather;
    we talk about work;
    we talk about everything else—
    except the elephant in the room.

    There’s an elephant in the room.
    We all know it is there.
    We are thinking about the elephant
    as we talk together.

    It is constantly on our minds.
    For, you see, it is a very big elephant.
    It has hurt us all, but we do not talk about
    the elephant in the room.

    Oh, please, say her name.
    Oh, please, say “Barbara” again.
    Oh, please, let’s talk about
    the elephant in the room.

    For if we talk about her death,
    perhaps we can talk about her life.
    Can I say, “Barbara” to you
    and not have you look away?

    For if I cannot,
    then you are leaving me alone
    in a room—with an elephant.

    ~ Terry Kettering

Poems for bereavement...

    (Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood, 175-186)

    What though the radiance which was once so bright
    Be now for ever taken from my sight,
    Though nothing can bring back the hour
    Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
    We will grieve not, rather find
    Strength in what remains behind;
    In the primal sympathy
    Which having been must ever be;
    In the soothing thoughts that spring
    Out of human suffering;
    In the faith that looks through death,
    In years that bring the philosophic mind.

    ~ William Wordsworth 

Poems for bereavement...

  • From The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám 21

    Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and best
    That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
    Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
    And one by one crept silently to Rest. 

Poems for bereavement...


    Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.
    Let it not be a death but completeness.
    Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.
    Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.
    Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.
    Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words in silence.
    I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light you on your way.

    ~ Rabindranath Tagore


    Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
    Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
    I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
    I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
    The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
    And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane;
    But last year's bitter loving must remain
    Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
    There are a hundred places where I fear
    To go - so with his memory they brim.
    And entering with relief some quiet place
    Where never fell his foot or shone his face
    I say, 'There is no memory of him here!'
    And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

    ~ Edna St Vincent Millay (1892 -1950)  

Poems for bereavement...


    I have only slipped away into the next room

    I am I and you are you

    Whatever we were to each other

    That we are still

    Call me by my old familiar name

    Speak to me in the easy way you always used

    Put no difference into your tone

    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

    Laugh as we always laughed

    At the little jokes we always enjoyed together

    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me

    Let my name be ever the household word that it always was

    Let it be spoken without effort

    Without the ghost of a shadow in it

    Life means all that it ever meant

    It is the same as it ever was

    There is absolute unbroken continuity

    What is death but a negligible accident?

    Why should I be out of mind

    Because I am out of sight?

    I am waiting for you for an interval

    Somewhere very near

    Just around the corner

    All is well.

    Nothing is past; nothing is lost

    One brief moment and all will be as it was before

    How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

    ~ Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918,
    Canon of St Paul's Cathedral 

Poems for bereavement...



    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
    Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    He was my North, my South, my East and West,
    My working week and my Sunday rest,
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
    I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

    The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.

    O the valley in the summer where I and my John
    Beside the deep river would walk on and on
    While the flowers at our feet and the birds up above
    Argued so sweetly on reciprocal love,
    And I leaned on his shoulder; 'O Johnny, let's play':
    But he frowned like thunder and he went away.

    O that Friday near Christmas as I well recall
    When we went to the Charity Matinee Ball,
    The floor was so smooth and the band was so loud
    And Johnny so handsome I felt so proud;
    'Squeeze me tighter, dear Johnny, let's dance till it's day':
    But he frowned like thunder and he went away.

    Shall I ever forget at the Grand Opera
    When music poured out of each wonderful star?
    Diamonds and pearls they hung dazzling down
    Over each silver and golden silk gown;
    'O John I'm in heaven,' I whispered to say:
    But he frowned like thunder and he went away.

    O but he was fair as a garden in flower,
    As slender and tall as the great Eiffel Tower,
    When the waltz throbbed out on the long promenade
    O his eyes and his smile they went straight to my heart;
    'O marry me, Johnny, I'll love and obey':
    But he frowned like thunder and he went away.

    O last night I dreamed of you, Johnny, my lover,
    You'd the sun on one arm and the moon on the other,
    The sea it was blue and the grass it was green,
    Every star rattled a round tambourine;
    Ten thousand miles deep in a pit there I lay:
    But you frowned like thunder and you went away.

    ~ W. H. Auden

Return From Poems for Bereavement to "Music & Poetry"



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