While words can never fully express what someone means to us, language can still bring comfort, comfort, hope, and even inspiration after the death of a loved one. Here you will find a select collection of heartwarming and inspiring poems about death , grief, and loss.
'Come back to life again'
Mary Hall , American lawyer, 1843-1927
"If I die and leave you here for a while,
Don't be like other sick people
who lie awake for a long time in the silent dust and cry.
Come to life for me and smile
The nervous heart and the trembling hand make
Anything to comfort hearts weaker than yours
Complete these dear unfinished business of mine
And maybe I will comfort you with this!
'Vanity in the house'
Emily Dickinson , American poet, 1830-1886
'Hustle and bustle in the house
Tomorrow after death
The most solemn of the branches
Taken on Earth –
Sweeping the heart
And taking away the love
We will not want to use again
Until eternity …
'Disappearing from my views'
Henry Van Dyke , American writer, 1852-1933
'I am standing by the seashore. The ship is by my side
unfurls her white sails to the moving breeze and begins
by the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and stare until it finally hangs like a speck
white clouds where the sea and the sky mix.
Then someone next to me says: "Here he is gone."
Where have you gone?
It disappeared from my eyes. That's all. She's just as big on the mast
hull and mast as it was when he left me.
And it is also capable of taking your cargo of live cargo to your designated port.
Its reduced size is in me, not in it.
And just at that moment when someone says, "Here, she is gone",
there are other eyes watching her approach, and other voices
willing to accept a cry of joy: "Here it is!"
And die … '
'Don't stand on my grave and cry'
Mary Elizabeth Fry , American florist, 1905-2002
'Don't stand on my grave and cry.
I'm not there; I'm not sleeping.
I am the thousand winds that blow.
I am a diamond that shines in the snow.
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake up in the silence of the morning
I'm a meteoric rise
Calm birds flying in circles.
I am the soft stars that shine in the night.
Don't put yourself on my grave and cry;
I'm not there; I'm not dead. "
Thomas Bailey Aldrich , American publisher, 1836-1907
'I held your letter in my hand,
And even as I read
Lightning pierced the ground
The word is that he is dead.
How strange it seemed! His living voice
Spoke from the page
These polite phrases, laconic choices,
Carefree, resourceful, wise.
I wonder what died!
The man himself was here
His humility, his learned pride,
His soul is calm and clear.
Neither death nor time will fade
However, this sad matter must be …
As of now I can't talk to him
You can talk to me though!
'Death is nothing at all'
Harry Scott-Holland , British educator, 1847-1918
'Death is nothing at all.
Does not count.
I just slipped into the next room.
Everything remained as it was.
I am me and you are you
and the old life, which we lived so tenderly together, remained intact, unchanged.
Whatever we are to each other, we still remain.
Call me by your old family name.
Talk about me as lightly as ever.
Don't make a difference in your tone.
Don't use an obsessive look of solemnity or sadness.
Laugh at how we always laughed at the little jokes we liked together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
May my name always be a family name, as always.
Let it be said effortlessly, without a shadow of a shadow.
Life means everything it ever meant.
He's the same as always.
There is an absolute and continuous continuity.
What is this death but a minor accident?
Why should it be out of my mind because I'm out of sight
I'm just waiting for you for a little while
somewhere very close
just around the corner.
Things are good.
Nothing was hurt; nothing is lost.
A brief moment and everything will go back to the way it was before.
How we will laugh at the problem of separation when we meet again! "
'She has left'
David Harkins , British artist, 1958-
“ You can cry because she's gone
Or you can smile because she lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she comes back
Or you can open your eyes and see what's left.
Your heart may be empty because you can't see it
Or you can be full of the love you've shared
You can walk away tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow for yesterday.
You can only remember her that she left
Or you can cherish its memory and let it carry on.
You can cry and close your mind
be empty and look away.
Or you can do what she wants:
smile, open your eyes, love and move on. "