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What falls away is always. And is near.
--from Theodore Roethke's The Waking

Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief
as we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very
opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront
the experience of meaninglessness itself.
--from Joan Didion's memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking

from A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L'Engle
That which perishes is not lost.

The Wish to Be Generous by Wendell Berry
One of those poems about death that is also clearly about how to live.

The Well of Grief by David Whyte
The need to turn toward the deep darkness of grief.

Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye
The spirit of the deceased lives on; it does not die.
(Click here to listen to the poem set to music by Lizzie West.)

Autumn by Suzanne Ehst
Yearning for the release of Autumn.

The Afterlife by Billy Collins
Everyone enters the afterlife of their imaginings in this poem that ends up being a poem about living.

When Death Comes by Mary Oliver
The poet imagines entering into death with the same curiosity and wonder as she has lived her life.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes by Emily Dickinson
A striking depiction of the inward transmutation of grief.

A Poem on Grief by John O'Donohue
An incredible depiction of loss…and of coming to terms with loss.

On Death, without Exaggeration by Wislawa Szymborska
Life wins.

In the Afterlife by Mark Strand
A short piece that captures the fading of one's memory, the uncertainty of permanence.