16 Beautiful Poems About Loss To Help You Grieve

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult and heartbreaking experiences.

It is often made more difficult by the sense of isolation that comes from not being able to express the pain and sadness of the loss with others who may be struggling too.

Fortunately, for those who feel silenced by grief, poetry can often step in and speak where they cannot.

RELATED: 32 Beautiful Funeral Poems For Mom

The following collection of poems about grief explore loss and the void left behind by the death of a loved one. These poems about loss will be helpful and comforting to anyone struggling with the death of a loved one.

poems about loss

1. The Color of Mourning

We use black as the color of mourning
Black as the color of grief
Black for our lives that will never be the same
Black for the walking shock that borders on disbelief

Because I cannot believe I will not see you again
I cannot believe you are gone
That I will never again hear your laugh, like a fairy’s
Or watch your slow smile grow like the dawn

I will miss you this fall, when you are not by my side
To watch the trees, turn into gold
I will miss you next spring, when I am still all alone
As the flowers bloom soft, bright, and bold

I think every day for the rest of my life
I will be missing you so very much
Missing the way our eyes used to meet
The way our hands used to reach out and touch

Because black is the color of absence
A vanishing that has left just a hole
The color of all the things we will not get to do
Of the long gaping wound in my soul

2. Parting

To my dear friend
Who was always with me
In sunlit days and dreary nights

With all my flaws
Accepting my mistakes
Always unconditionally

Stay safe
Where you may go
I hope you think of me
As I think of you every day
And pray

3. Abecedarian for a Lost Father

A life without you seems almost not worth living
Beautiful as the life I have built with your support has been
Crushed by your absence, crushed by your loss
Devastated beyond words to be facing the future alone
Even as I walk through the world with your memories in my heart
Facing down demons, armed with the lessons you taught me
Grinning to myself about the jokes we shared, little moments
Half remembered, but wholly beloved
I will never stop loving the years I got to spend with you
Just as I will never stop mourning the years that we will not have together
Knowing how you would have loved to watch my children grow
Losing to them at chess just like you always “lost” to me
My kids will know you, though, through stories and jokes and
Nicotine-smelling letterman jackets that still hang in my closet
Over the years the smell will fade, as I fear my memories will
Photographs becoming creased and out of focus
Quilts that have been forgotten, folded at the bottom of a trunk
Remembering might become work, but it will be work I love
Sitting on the porch on a summer’s night, watching the lightning bugs
Telling stories about a father who towered above all other fathers
Underappreciated, perhaps, in his time, but never unloved
Vilified by a rebellious teenager who would come to regret harsh words of anger
Wept over by an adult who still cannot comprehend the hole
You have left in their heart by leaving so soon, too soon
Zooming across the cosmos, on to your next great adventure

4. Wedding Rings

The wonderful thing about wedding rings
Is you buy them in twos, as a set
Never one to be found without the other
Always there, always twinned, so you never forget

They are a symbol of love as a two-person deal
A stamp for the beginning of a new coupled venture
That say, loud and clear, we are in this together
A promise of partnership for each great adventure

Yet now, here I sit, a lone twinless twin
Left without the partner I promised my heart to
And the ring seems much duller, less shiny, less golden
As if it is sadder now that we are apart, too

I do not think I will ever take it off
Or tuck it under my shirt on a chain
Even though I do not know if I will ever find another
Or open my heart up and find a way to love again

Me and my wedding band, nevertheless, will soldier on
Through all the tears and trials that lie ahead
The two of us will spend our nights alone once more
Longing for the partner with whom we always shared a bed

5. What I Never Noticed Until It Went Missing

I know you never liked the darkness
Never loved the night or wore black clothes
And in the sadness, I see all around me these days
The shining sunshine of your soul really shows

We could not have loved your light more
While we had it here with us
But it was not until it was extinguished forever
That I realized exactly how much

I relied on your smile to bring joy to my days
Needed your good sense to keep me on the level
It was your brightness that kept the house from feeling too stuffy
Your neatness that kept me from looking so disheveled

Now I might as well wear the same shirt every day
Make dinner with just a can of beans
There was only one person I was hoping to impress
By making sure there were not holes or stains on my jeans

I guess what it is that I am trying to say
Amidst all of this talk about laundry
Is that I miss you, my darling, every single day
And I only just realized all the ways that you made my life lovely

6. Haiku for a Funeral

Crowd all dressed in black
Mourners gathered at the church
Day of love and loss

Roses on the grave
Tossed by everyone who loved
A wonderful man

Remembered fondly
In a dozen eulogies
Read from tear-stained cards

Will be sorely missed
By so many that he touched
With a giving heart

Someday we will laugh
At our joyous memories
But today we weep

For the memories
We will never get to have
With the man we loved

7. One Day Without You

I brushed my hair this morning,
And I wished you were there with me.
I watched the rain clouds forming,
And I wished you were there to see.

I went to work and then came home,
And I wished you were there to greet me.
I thought about going out for a roam,
But you would not be there to meet me.

Then after dinner I looked at the stars,
And I wished you were there to show me
All the constellations you could see from afar
Where I just saw lights that glow faintly.

I needed you there to point out the pattern,
To make them fall into place and make sense.
But you are gone, and with you, my guiding lantern,
My greatest friend and my greatest defense.

When I brushed my hair this evening,
I wished you were there with me.
I do not know how I will cope with your leaving,
But I guess I just have to wait and see.

8. Preparations

We are lucky we knew this was nearing
If luck applies in situations like these
I thought I was prepared for you disappearing
Thought all the planning might put me at ease

Because we did plan it all carefully
The funeral, the burial, the grave
And though that has helped at least partially
It was a very small comfort it gave

I was not prepared to drink coffee alone
Not prepared for a cold, empty house
Not to walk into restaurants as a party of one
Or to walk all through life without a spouse

No more in the mornings to wake up and kiss you
Nothing could have prepared me for how much I miss you

9. A Rainbow of Roses

Red roses for romance, of course, for the love of my life
Red roses to remember my bright, beloved wife

Orange roses for passion, for a fierce, long-held desire
Orange roses for all the long years that could not put out the fire

Yellow roses for a friendship that grew into so much more
Yellow roses in remembrance of a woman I will always adore

Green roses for the harmony of our long life together
Green roses to wish you peace and luck on your journey toward forever

Blue roses for the mystery of your infinite layers
Blue roses to accompany a grieving family’s prayers

Purple roses to lay at your feet, to recognize your majesty
Purple roses for a queen, a matriarch who ruled our family

White roses for a marriage and for hope that this will not be the end
White roses for the innocence of a life spent in love with my best friend

Black roses last of all, and dark, as dark as a widower’s grief
Black roses for the sadness of a shadowed soul, that may never find relief

Poems about loss and grief

10. What Remains

In an instant
Irretrievably lost
There is just blankness, a space

Lost you
Without a trace
Only my memories
And the lingering scent of your

In rooms
You used to fill
With your vivacity
A sense of well-being and joy
Gone now

Left here
Alone with me
And my heartbroken heart
Just the smell of your perfume
And love

11. The Best Laid Plans

I think sometimes of all the plans
That you and I had made
Nothing grand or exciting or too out of hand
By some measures, they were probably too staid

We had planned to replant the entire back garden
And add in more lilies and azaleas
You had plans to finally start in
On cleaning up all your paraphernalia

I wanted to organize all of our books
And start giving boxes of them away
You wanted to make sure our study still looked
Like we went in there and read every day

Small plans, perhaps, and trivial to some
Who prefer to dream on a much grander scale
But it was enough to exercise my green thumb
And let you learn how to brew your own ale

It was alright by me that we mellowed with age
Because we were doing our mellowing together
But now I find myself suddenly at a new stage
One that we did not plan for, really ever

I am alone now, with an unplanted yard
And books I might never start packing
We never had plans to mend a broken heart
Or to seem ok when I am really just acting

But the best laid plans of mice and men
Always seem to go awry
And the one thing we never planned for, my friend,
Was having to say goodbye

12. Dress Shirt

I had to purchase a dress shirt
To wear on my way to the church
It looks mighty fine
And I thought on the drive
I look very good when my heart hurts

13. The Most Important Things I Remember

I do not know if it was love at first sight
I cannot remember now
I do not remember what I was wearing that night
Who introduced us, or how

But I remember the first date that we had together
At a Chinese place a few blocks uptown
And I think that my heart will remember forever
How much it hurt it each time that you frowned

I remember the day that we decided to get married
I remember wanting to shout it to the sky
I remember the first time our child, I carried
I remember wiping a tear from my eye

The things I remember about you, my love
Are sometimes grand and sometimes quite silly
I remember how you fainted at the sight of blood
How you loved anything lacy or frilly

It is these little, gentle things
That I find give me the most comfort
The little songs you used to sing
And other details of seemingly no import

These are the things I hold on to
In the night when I miss you most of all
The little intangible pieces of you
That I replay to ease the withdrawal

Of not having you breathing gently by my side
For the first time in so many decades
But at least I have the best things in my mind
To keep you with me until my memory fades

14. The Empty Chair Around the Table

There is an empty seat at the table these days
Where a dear old friend used to sit
It gapes like a wound, but nobody says
Anything at all about it

What is there to say about an absence, a hole
A place defined by what is not there?
An awkward pause, a conversational lull
Where someone should have filled in the dead air?

There are jokes that are not told anymore
But we all think of the one who should tell them
And in moments when we all would have laughed before
There are tears, and hands trying to quell them

Silences seem to sit heavier now
And leaving has become hard to do
As we sit around the table, looking for words,
To fill in the chair that was supposed to hold you

15. Grieving

Grinning at the memories of good times gone by
Reeling from the pain of a sudden empty place
Ignoring the urge to scream at the universe, asking why we cannot have you back
Everything reminds me of you, even the cracks in the sidewalk
Venting and crying only releases so much of the pain
I want to sleep all day so I can dream that you are still here with me
Never seem to stop looking up and expecting to see you there
Glimpses of you will haunt doorways for the rest of my life

16. Firsts

After a while, there stop being ‘firsts’
As you know someone more and more time
No first time getting lost, no first almost fight
No first moment of calling you mine

After a few months, the firsts get less frequent
After years, they are almost all done
We had our first meet, our first date, our first kiss
I never wanted there to be a last one

But now I am marking some much darker firsts
Ones that do not bubble and fizz with excitement
Things like the first spring that we have not gone strolling
The first summer nights you have not enlightened

This will be a sad year full of very sad firsts
Firsts all marked out because you are missing
But I must carry on, and when I see the first lilacs
I will think of you and start reminiscing

More Poems for Loss:

  • Loss of Pets Poems: This collection of beautiful and comforting loss poems will help you express your grief and sadness after the loss of a beloved pet.