Poems to Help with Grief and Loss

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Loss is a part of life, and while we may think we are ready to lose someone or something, that is not really the case. In fact, psychologists say that one can never be really ready for such things.

Whether you have lost a loved one, have gone through a break up, or have had any experience of loss, you will have to go through the process and/or stages of grieving. Based on an article by Julie Axelrod of PsychCentral, the five stages of grieving are:

  • Denial and Isolation
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

These stages may not occur in order, and they may happen in a cyclical fashion. What’s important, however, is that you allow yourself to grieve. Going through those cycles, acknowledging your loss, and facing your emotions are all essential to regaining a healthy mental and emotional state.

I believe that part of going through the grieving process is finding your own ways to let your emotions go, as well as strengthening yourself mentally and emotionally.

Recently, my mom passed away after a year-long battle with stage IV gastric cancer. The past year has taken a heavy toll on the family, but her passing hit everyone even harder. The members of our family have their own way of coping. For me, reading poems help, and I’d like to share them with you. Hopefully, if you’re in a similar situation, these will help you, too.

Poems

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye

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.

This poem has been put to music, and it’s hauntingly beautiful.

Remember by Christina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can go 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 planned:
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.

By Herself and Her Friends by Joyce Grenfell

If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone,
Nor when I’m gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must, Parting is hell,
But Life goes on, So sing as well.

A Time for Everything; Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, The Bible

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Related reading: 10 Quotes to Give You Courage

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