Grief is a personal journey with no right or wrong way to process emotional healing. Everyone will need time to go through their experiences at their own pace. Grief is not a straight line. It might look different every single day.
Sometimes, we need poetry to help guide us through the painful unknowns. I hope that these pieces can speak to you and remind you that someone sees you in the darkness. I hope that these pieces help speak to the fact that while nothing feels okay right now, there are people who are here and who can relate to some of the pain that you’re going through.
“You have carried me
in your heart
all these years,
now, I’ll always carry you in mine.”
I love this piece because it serves as a beautiful reminder that our loved ones live on in our hearts. We can honor their memory by carrying them with us always and allowing their love to guide us through the darkness.
“Everyday I breathe,
I’m breathing for you.”
This piece is so short and profound, but I love the sentiment. Even through the pain of someone’s absence, each day that we find the strength to keep moving, we honor them. Through every breath and every moment, we walk through grief with the desire to keep going because we know that is what they would want for us.
Faraway Poetry (piece shared by 3 “A” Bereavement Foundation)
“After you left,
any sense: it felt like
the world was ending,
yet the sun kept rising
day after day.”
This poem speaks to the isolation that we often feel when we are grieving. It’s as though the world moves on, but we are so painfully stuck in one place. Nothing about our world is the same, but the days keep marching forward in defiance of our pain. It can be a comfort to know that others have experienced this and that we aren’t alone.
“what were you doing
when the world fell apart?
when it separated itself from itself
like an orange
when the whole transformed back into segments
where were you
when the world we knew
deserted us and said
no i cannot hold it together any longer.”
Oftentimes, we can remember exactly what we were doing or what led up to the moment that our lives changed forever. It is imprinted into our hearts like a painful tattoo that we can’t help but reflect on time and time again. Remember that it’s okay to talk about it, and it’s okay to reach out to loved ones or therapists to discuss the trauma of those circumstances.
“The sky cried with me today.
I let the rain come down hard
over me and felt you in every drop.
It’s as if even the heavens
know you belong on Earth.”
The imagery in this poem is a profound way to describe grief, with our tears and the rain both acknowledging the pain that we feel for our loss. The writer describes how they can still feel their loved one in the world around them, and it’s such a true sentiment. The people we love surround us, flooding our hearts with the ache of their absence. And, while this is painful, it can also be comforting to feel them in the world around us. It can serve as a reminder that they are always with us as we make sense of the next chapter of our lives.
“How do we go on
after the unthinkable happens?
How can we carry the burden of knowing
the world can be cruel and dangerous,
the future so unpredictable?
How do we grieve with empty arms
and a head filled with echoing memories?
We are stronger than we know,
and this is how we show it:
giving comfort in the midst of pain.
Loving more fiercely,
through our actions and the things we say.
Making the world just a little bit better,
every single day.
Never taking life for granted,
knowing that it can be snatched away.
This world may bring deep darkness,
but we are the bearers of light.
We’ll join our flames together,
and shine in the blackest of nights.”
I love the hope that is at the core of this piece. Grief is an unbelievably hard experience. It can feel isolating and lonely when you’re in the thick of it, and it can be hard to see any light when you’re being surrounded by so much darkness. But this poem serves as a reminder that our best chance of getting through the pain is by holding on to one another.
Grief is an extremely personal experience for everyone, but no one should have to walk through it alone. Grieve alone when you need to but know that there are people who can sit with you in your grief as well. It’s not a burden, and it’s not something you need to carry by yourself.
If you are currently missing someone, I am so sorry for your loss and the pain it has brought into your life. I know that nothing feels the same now and that you’re doing everything you can to make sense of the pain. My hope is that some of these poems will hold you in comfort and light. I hope they will show you that you’re never alone.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve, but I hope that these pieces of poetry might aid you on your journey to healing. My heart is with you, and poetry will always be a hand reaching out in the darkness when you need it.