Bereavement Poems

In the Next Room

Death is nothing at all:
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 which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone:
Wear no forced air or solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the
little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
Just around the corner. All is well.
-Canon Henry Scott Holland

 

I think of you often
and make no outward show,
But what it means to lose you,
no one will ever know
You wished no one farewell,
not even said good-bye,
You were gone before I knew it,
and only God knows why.
You are not forgotten
nor will you ever be,
As long as life and memories last,
I will remember thee.
To some you may be forgotten,
to others a part of the past,
But to me who loved you dearly,
your memories will always last.
Nothing can be more beautiful
than the memories I have of you.
To me, you were someone special,
God must have thought so too!
If tears could build a staircase
and memories a lane,
I would walk all the way to Heaven,
and bring you back again.
- Anonymous

 

Dear Friend,
Please be patient with me; I need to grieve in my own way and in my own time.

Please don't take away my grief or try to fix my pain. The best thing you can do is listen to me and let me cry on your shoulder. Don't be afraid to cry with me. Your tears will tell me how much you care.

Please forgive me if I seem insensitive to your problems. I feel depleted and drained, like an empty vessel, with nothing left to give.

Please let me express my feelings and talk about my memories. Feel free to share your own stories of my loved one with me. I need to hear them.

Please understand why I must turn a deaf ear to criticism or tired clichés. I can't handle another person telling me that time heals all wounds.

Please don't try to find the "right" words to say to me. There's nothing you can say to take away the hurt. What I need are hugs, not words.

Please don't push me to do things I'm not ready to do, or feel hurt if I seem withdrawn. This is a necessary part of my recovery.

Please don't stop calling me. You might think you're respecting my privacy, but to me it feels like abandonment. Please don't expect me to be the same as I was before. I've been through a traumatic experience and I'm a different person.

Please accept me for who I am today. Pray with me and for me. Should I falter in my own faith, let me lean on yours. In return for your loving support I promise that, after I've worked through my grief, I will be a more loving, caring, sensitive, and compassionate friend-becauseI have learned from the best.

Love,
(Your name)
-Margaret Brownley

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

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 sun 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.
-Mary Frye

 

Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life. - John Muir

 

A brief candle; both ends burning
An endless mile; a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird
You're free at last. - Charlie Daniels ... written en route to the funeral for his friend, Ronnie Van Zant of the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

 

The timing of death, like the ending of a story, gives a changed meaning to what preceded it.
- Mary Catherine Bateson

 

Death is simply a shedding of the physical body like the butterfly shedding its cocoon. It is a transition to a higher state of consciousness where you continue to perceive, to understand, to laugh, and to be able to grow. - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

 

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome. - Isaac Asimov

 

Life’s race well run,
Life’s work well done,
Life’s victory won,
Now cometh rest. - Edward Hazen Parker

 

Death is the mother of Beauty; hence from her,
Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams
And our desires.
-Wallace Stevens

 

There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.
- Aeschylus

 

Grief is itself a medicine. - William Cowper