Poetry about grief and death often hold lines that provide the following for the reader: Healing, Comfort, Hope, Affirmation of love, Beauty, Forgiveness, Assurance that the loved one is safe and free, Certainty that in spite of death there will be reunion again....
There are also countless poems to help those who are not in grief understand how to relate to those who are agonizing over the death of a loved one. Many of these strive to explain the aspects of grieving. There are also poems that just convey the sorrow felt when a loved one passes away. Poems are often read at funerals and memorial services, along with eulogies.
A Poem for the Grieving "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's rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not die..." ~Author Unknown
Beyond the Sunset Should you go first and I remain to walk the road alone, I'll live in memories garden dear, with happy days we've known. In spring I'll wait for roses red, when faded, the lilacs blue. In early fall when brown leaves fall, I'll catch a glimpse of you. Should you go first and I remain, for battle to be fought. Each thing you've touched along the way will be a hallowed spot. I'll hear your voice, I'll see your smile, though blindly I may grope, The memory of your helping hand will buoy me on with hope. Should you go first and I remain, one thing I'll have you do: Walk slowly down that long long path, for soon I'll follow you. I want to know each step you take, so I may take the same. For someday down that lonely road you'll hear me call your name." ~Author Unknown
Many poems allude to the hope that loved ones separated now by death will not always live this way. As the poems below show, poetry offers a hope, often due to belief in life after death in Heaven with God, a hope that separation will cease when the living also dies and joins the deceased in life eternal.
When I Must Leave You "When I must leave you for a little while Please do not grieve and shed wild tears And hug your sorrow to you through the years. But start out bravely with a gallant smile; And for my sake and in my name Live on and do all things the same, Feed not your loneliness on empty days, But fill each waking hour in useful ways, Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer And I in turn will comfort you And hold you near; And never, never be afraid to die, For I am waiting for you in the sky!"
He Only Took My Hand "Last night while I was trying to sleep, My son's voice I did hear I opened my eyes and looked around, But he did not appear. He said: "Mom you've got to listen, You've got to understand God didn't take me from you, mom He only took my hand. When I called out in pain that night, The instant that I died, He reached down and took my hand, And pulled me to His side. He pulled me up and saved me From the misery and pain. My body was hurt so badly inside, I could never be the same. My search is really over now,I 've found happiness within, All the answers to my empty dreams And all that might have been. I love you all and miss you so, And I'll always be nearby. My body's gone forever, But my spirit will never die! And so, you must all go on now, Live one day at a time. Just understand-God did not take me from you, He only took my hand."