Poetry for Grief and Mourning

Poems about death and dying, love and loss, grieving and healing

When someone you love dies, the grief you feel can be overwhelming. Some find writing poetry or keeping a journal to be a helpful way to express emotions while grieving. Sometimes, just reading a beautiful poem or elegy can bring comfort. Here are a few poems on death, dying and the grief that follows that may provide inspiration, comfort or catharsis as you mourn. Please feel free to share your own original poems of grief, loss, death, dying in the comments section below.

1914, V. the Soldier

The Angel of Patience

Annabel Lee

April Rain Song

The bustle in the house

The Christian's Goodnight


Crossing the Bar

The Day is Done

Dulce et Decorum Est



The House of Life: 73. The Choice, III

The Little White Hearse


The Old Familiar Faces

Only a Dad

Rain on a Grave

A Reminiscence

The Sailor's Grave at Cloo-ose, V.I.

Spirits of the Dead

There Will Come Soft Rains

The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls

Vigil Strange I Kept on a Field One Night

Warm Summer Sun

Images via Flickr Creative Commons. Top: Pankaj Kaushal. Bottom: alessandro silipo.


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Comment by Vicki on November 28, 2012 at 1:07pm

Missing Grandpa!

Missing Grandpa at birth, although still alive. Missing Grandpa at first word, now gone. Missing Grandpa at first steps, still no sight of him. Missing Grandpa on the first day of school. Missing Grandpa through the toughest time of my life for a 5yr old. Missing Grandpa during highschool. Soon I will missing Grandpa on my graduation day, or my special day of becoming someones bride, and the celebration of my first child. On these days I'll miss him, that wonderful man he was. His absence I'll have to deal with on my own time, like I have everyday for the past 16yrs, and so on. Only, Missing Grandpa! 

~Vicki H.

Comment by Ken on November 15, 2012 at 5:38pm


Come back to see me, I've got so much to say,
Little things I never told you before you went away.
Come back to see me, we've got so much to do,
I'd really like to hold you cuz I'm still in love with you.
Come back to see me, even if only in my dreams,
You left me only yesterday or that's the way it seems.
Come back to see me, I miss you more than you could know,
And, I can't figure out just why you had to go.
Come back to see me, that's what I want the most,
I won't be afraid, I'll know that you're a ghost.
Come back to see me, and maybe I'll stop crying,
I still can't get over the fact that you were dying. 

Comment by Ken on November 15, 2012 at 4:05pm

I had a dream

I had a dream last night, I dreamt of someone dead. And, when I woke this morning, it was still there in my head. Then I tried to return to sleep, wanting to dream on. But, like my love one who had passed on, the dream I had was forever gone.

Comment by Michael Gelb on November 8, 2012 at 12:14pm

Prints of Love

By (Joeysguy) Michael A Gelb

Loving someone from the start

Leaves an imprint in your heart

That imprint of someone you love

In your mind of someone who’s now up above

Maybe something that they left behind

Brings back memories in your mind

That someone who passed and left a mark

An imprint we can even see in the dark  

Maybe just something we found

It might just be a foot print on the ground

The memories of time that has passed by

It might make you tear up and even cry

Just a hand print on a wall

Might be a thought that you recall

From your memories of a time you knew

They always have meaning to you

Looking at a picture of your love and you

Leaving an imprint of that day you said I do

Could some imprints be from above

As a kiss to someone they love

Comment by Michael Gelb on November 8, 2012 at 12:12pm

Yes It’s Love

By Michael A Gelb (Joeysguy)

When you can’t take your eyes off of someone

Did their face glow like the sun

On the first time that your hands did touch

Did your body tingle and you felt that inner rush

After that first time that you kissed

That separation, that feeling of something missed

That special someone is always in your mind

You don’t want to leave them far behind

Every time that person is around

Do you feel your heart pound

Your heart races so very fast

It’s a feeling that you want to last

For that person you want to do so much

To keep close and always in touch

The time comes to let them go

You release them ever so slow

You tried to protect them from any harm

They die and slip away from your arm

You want to be with them in that other life

This could have been your husband or your wife

With that person now in the heaven above

Your feelings still, yes it’s love





Comment by JESSICA LYNN HEPNER on May 20, 2012 at 2:35pm

My Angelious Grace – I Love You
By Jessica Lynn Hepner
I never had the chance,
To say to you goodbye.
Now I am left with a huge whole inside of me,
That nothing can ever heal, not even time.
But, for you, I will live on
I believe that is the least that I can do.
You have blessed my life in so many ways
Before God had to call for you.
I know on the other side
We shall meet again.
I know our love is eternal,
And it never never has to end.
This is just a leave of absence for us,
And some day I will get to finally hold you,
Then I can tell you all the things I never got to say,
And do for you all the things that I never got to do.

Comment by catherine a. perry on January 22, 2012 at 8:50pm

So Let Me Say Goodbye
Let me lie here next to you,as time is fading oh so fast,
The angels are near and will be taking you from me
So darling let me lie here next to you so I can say goodbye,
Thank you dear for years of your love and taking such great care of me;
Bringing me flowers when I was sad or just to see me smile;
You would do anything to make me happy and make life a little easier;
so let me lie here next to you,as time is fading oh so fast;
The angels are near and will be taking you from me,
So darling let me lie here next to you so I can say goodbye;
Let me tell you before you go how sorry I am that I was not always there;
if I did not always show you the love you deserved,but I loved you and only you;
I am sorry for any heartache I may have caused you,
And hope that you have forgiven me and that you are at peace,
So let me lie here next to you,as time is passing oh so fast,
The angels are near and will take you from me,
So darling let me lie here next to you so I can say goodbye;
These last few years were not kind to you, as one thing after another
has taken over you and left you unable to go on;
Our hearts are breaking because God has called you home;
and we do not want to let you go;
So let me lie here next to you,for time is fading oh so fast;
The angels are here now to take you away from me;
So give me one last kiss my darling,close your eyes,let the angels take you home,
One day,my darling we will meet again,in heaven.
Dedicated to the loving memory of my husband of 42yrs
Mr.Ronald E. Perry
Feb.02,1944 - Sept.05, 2009
By Catherine A. Kitchens Perry

Comment by catherine a. perry on January 22, 2012 at 8:07pm

                               Fly Away Bluebird

                    Fly fly away beautiful bluebird

                    Fly the wide blue yonder,of god's great wonders

                    Fly through the heavens,pass the stars of his universe

                    Search God's home for my loved one

                    She will be easy to find,she's at the right hand of God

                    She's the one with the brightest halo and the sweetest smile

                    When you find her,whisper in her ear,tell her I'm here,

                     Still loving and missing her,

                     Day after day and year after year,forever,

                     So fly, fly away beautiful bluebird,she's waiting.

                     Dedicated to the loving memory of my dear aunt

                     whom died in 1959 during the birth of her daughter

                     whom survived               

                      By Catherine A. Kitchens Perry

Comment by Terry Hume on July 8, 2011 at 4:43pm


For Dad


Before spring,

we longed for the warmth of summer

but it was too late this year

to expect

a pardon

disease had spread

the length of your days

We agreed upon bluebirds

( your form of reincarnation)

to help buffer the loss.


The ducks came back

this spring

four feathers afloat in the pool

proves their presence

like the nest I found

high in the tree

sheltering eggs.

Comment by Sharon P on February 2, 2011 at 9:34pm
Thank you Pam
Comment by Pam Brooks on January 30, 2011 at 12:07am
Sharon, I really like that poem.
Comment by Sharon P on January 13, 2011 at 6:33pm

A poem I came across yesterday to post on my blog in memory of the 5th yr since my brother's death.



Broken Chain:


We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name. In
life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same. It broke our hearts
to lose you, you did not go alone; for part of us went with you the day
God called you home. You left us peaceful memories, your love is still
our guide, and though we cannot see you, you are always by our side. Our
family chain is broken and nothing seems the same, but as God calls us
one by one, the chain will link again.

Comment by Liza Smith on January 4, 2011 at 12:20am

Here's a poem that I find comforting:


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 you always used

Put no difference into your tone

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

Laugh as we always laughed

At the little jokes we always enjoyed together

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was

Let it be spoken without effort

Without the ghost of a shadow in it

Life means all that it ever meant

It is the same as it ever was

There is absolute unbroken continuity

What is death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind

Because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you for an interval

Somewhere very near

Just around the corner

All is well.

Comment by Maggie-David's little sister on December 14, 2010 at 4:07am

A beautiful poem that gets me through...




May your spirit soar in freedom
From the fears that gripped so tight.
May you find the peace your searched for
As you wandered, lost, in the night.

May your tortured mind be clear and calm
And your tender heart be warm.
May you have no need for strength now.
May there never be another storm.

May the music of the angels                                        

Be the sweet sounds that you hear.
As you're rocked in Heaven's cradle

May you never shed another tear.                          

I'll wear your memory proudly,
My only brother...my true friend.
May my love for you reach Heaven above                 
Until we meet again.

Comment by Michael C. Owens on November 11, 2010 at 2:58am
Connected spirits like twins born years apart

You intuitiive to my survival, my life, my heart beat

As though you heard the beat in the womb

Guardian protector of light my sister, my friend

What is it but love that distracts wrath

Turning it your direction telling demons "Stow It"

And knowing wood splintered into your flesh

A given sacrifice offered freely sparing my flesh

Only to be given later again and again as willingly

I am dying again one more time of grief, lungs stop,

Breath stops, heart will stop

Twin soul skips school hearing Tunkasila call

I am struck from behind shaply, unexpectedly

A fist hard blow of your hooky from 7th grade into my back

My heart beats again and breath of life sucks into lungs

The heart still not knowing how to live, beating a

Drum to learn to live

Later My sister, My friend alone, broken, abandoned

Afraid, you sent me all you had in the world, everything to you

When I was physically broken by another's carelessness

And senseless violence. Again saving me.

You gave so much, sacrificed everything of nothing that you had

I keep dying to myself, the heart still learning to live

Only your voice in the wind on Spirit's mist may save me now

if I listen. Still I live and cannot live.

I know you understand. I always knew as I am

So connected to you that down inside you gave so much

Because you knew the same pain and couldn't figure out how to live

I doubt dying taught living. Living teaches that.

I am certain your heart taught giving and sacrifice.

I also knew deeply that all you every really wanted was to be loved!
Comment by Holly S on October 12, 2010 at 8:01pm
God, can you give this to my daddy?
Dear daddy
Im your first daughter, u never got to hold
God took you back to heaven, at 35 u were not very old,
Some coward hit u with his car, and just drove away?
I was still inside my mommys belly, and there your love would stay,
I know your watchin over us, i can see your beautiful smile,
Mommy says you will be here for quite awhile,
I know u love us, even from above
For there is nothing stronger than my daddys love:)
love Lilly

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