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I need a poem to help a grieving widow
Posted by: KP (207.203.132.---)
Date: July 21, 2003 11:08AM

My grandfather recently passed away and my grandmother is very lonely. I'm looking for a poem that might help her manage her grief. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

Re: I need a poem to help a grieving widow
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: July 21, 2003 01:22PM

Re: I need a poem to help a grieving widow
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: July 21, 2003 01:23PM

Sorry, I don't know what that wasn't clickable. Courtesy of Glenda:

Should You Go First
by Albert Kennedy "Rosey" Rowswell

Should you go first and I remain,
To walk the road alone,
I'll live in memory's garden, dear,
With happy days we've known.
In Spring I'll wait for roses red,
When fades the lilac blue,
In early Fall when brown leaves call
I'll catch a glimpse of you.

Should you go first and I remain,
For battles 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,
To finish with the scroll,
No length 'ning shadows shall creep in
To make this life seem droll.
We've known so much of happiness,
We've had our cup of joy,
And memory is one gift of God
That death cannot destroy.

Should you go first and I remain,
One thing I'd have you do:
Walk slowly down that long, lone path,
For soon I'll follow you.
I'll want to know each step you take
That I may walk the same,
For some day down that lonely road
You'll hear me call your name.

Re: I need a poem to help a grieving widow
Posted by: Chesil (
Date: July 21, 2003 04:25PM

Henry Scott Holland 1847-1918
Canon of St Paul's Cathedral

Death is nothing at all

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you,
W whatever we were to each other, that we still are.
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 of solemnity or sorrow,
laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Pray 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 trace of a shadow in it.
Life means all that it ever meant,
it is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity,
why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you
somewhere very near
just around the corner.
All is well

Re: I need a poem to help a grieving widow
Posted by: Julia33 (
Date: July 23, 2003 02:46AM

It depends on the person concerned, obviously, but a friend of mine found this helpful when her husband died. Probably best in the immediate aftermath, when anger is still strongly part of the grief.

Dirge Without Music
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,--but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the
love, --
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Edna St.Vincent Millay

on Dirge without music - Julia's post
Posted by: ilza (200.162.247.---)
Date: July 23, 2003 08:29AM

this has always been my favorite (grieving ) poem

- the 'other side of the wall' kind of poem means nothing to me
but it seems to work to a lot of people ...

Re: I need a poem to help a grieving widow
Posted by: jenniferlayne (
Date: August 11, 2003 10:31AM

I suppose I'm stuck on Rilke--I recently have a friend who lost his
son--and Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet #8 is what I'm sending him.
It's not exactly poetry, but I think anything Rilke writes is poetry, and
he has a very gentle but grounded voice. A pertinent excerpt from this

"How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginnings of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.

So you mustn't be frightened, dear Mr. Kappus, if a sadness rises in front of you, larger than any you have ever seen; if an anxiety, like light and cloud shadows, moves over your hands and over everything you do. You must realize that something is happening to you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. "

In letter #8 he speaks of sadnesses as being moments of transition and
transformation -- and somehow I think this is a comforting thought.


Re: I need a poem to help a grieving widow
Posted by: beakerless (
Date: August 21, 2003 01:35PM

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

ALL are not taken; there are left behind
Living Beloveds, tender looks to bring
And make the daylight still a happy thing,
And tender voices, to make soft the wind:
But if it were not so--if I could find
No love in all this world for comforting,
Nor any path but hollowly did ring
Where 'dust to dust' the love from life disjoin'd;
And if, before those sepulchres unmoving
I stood alone (as some forsaken lamb
Goes bleating up the moors in weary dearth)
Crying 'Where are ye, O my loved and loving?'--
I know a voice would sound, 'Daughter, I AM.
Can I suffice for Heaven and not for earth?'

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