The AVBOB Poetry Competition | Can Healing Be Found in Poems on Death?

Can Healing Be Found in Poems on Death?

In the days and months after the death of a loved one, grief takes up so much space that it as feels as though there’s not even enough room left to breathe. Like a shadow continually trailing the mourner, that sorrow of loss haunts each action – whether brushing your teeth or buying groceries. All the mundane, day-to-day chores are suddenly saturated with pain and nothing seems as though it will ever be normal again. All we can do is take comfort in knowing we are not alone; that so many others have felt this same grief too. While poring over death poems may seem grim, it might also be one of the best ways to begin your healing journey. Here, we look at a few reasons why.

Poetry Transcends the Unspoken

Losing a close relationship is not an experience that can be plastered shut or comforted with condolences. Nobody knows what to say to someone in grief – the experience is so vulnerable and raw that consolation becomes awkward. All those texts and visits from friends and family almost go by unnoticed because no amount of hearing, “this too shall pass” even scratches the surface of the despair. Death poems, on the other hand, forego all the social niceties and shoot straight to heart. The author of that impactful piece not only knows a loss much like your own, but they are not afraid to explore their feelings. This kind of introspection may enable you to do some soul-searching of your own, allowing you to reach into the recesses of your experiences.

Giving Shape to Invisible Feelings

Emotions are not tangible. They are formless and unseen, yet forceful enough to lead armies. Suppressing your feelings of grief may cause you to sit with unresolved questions and heartache. Identifying your experience, however, is a good way to face it head-on. Death poems provide us with a method of articulating what it is we are going through and may even help us to recognise an emotion we did not realise we had. The result is a form of closure because you have taken the time to deal with the ache.

You Become Comfortable with the Language of Loss

Language changes after someone you love passes on. “Is” becomes “was”, and “are” becomes “were”. Death poems, as complicated as they may be to digest, often encourage us to accept our bereavement through a new language. Words like “death” may not mean much, either, but the imagery and metaphors in poetry allow us to better take hold of the experience in our minds. Through the pain of the poet, we can begin to learn the language of loss and get acquainted with this foreign dialect.

While we know that poems are not enough to absorb the pain, we do believe that poetry is an excellent place to start when in search of healing. Our vast collection of poems covers a variety of themes, such as death, love, and hope. If you would like to have a look at our inspiring, uplifting, and profound library, visit us here.