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A Tribute Poem Honoring the Lives of Those We Have Loved and Lost

A Tribute Poem Honoring the Lives of Those We Have Loved and Lost

As I do my best to keep hope alive after my brother's death, I get the sense that the love we shared isn’t going anywhere. I've loved, but in some way, I haven't lost. There’s still pain, but also a lightness. If you want to feel lighter after loss, read this poem. It's for you, and the person you still love.

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” — Rumi

There are times when all I can do is think of the ones I love who are no longer here with me like they were once before.

The times that really stick with me, though, are the times when I stop thinking about the past and the future, and simply feel. Only feel. I feel my presence mingle with theirs, and I know something in my heart that my head will never quite understand.

The poem I penned today is a tribute to my brother, Mark; today is his birthday. His life is the whole reason Healing Brave exists.

This poem is dedicated to life, and more of it than we may be used to or familiar with.

“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief — But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.” — Hilary Stanton Zunin

A Tribute Poem for Those We Have Loved and Lost

Lighter still


Silent and bold

Were the words you spoke

When you told me that

Death isn’t

What it seems to be.


Still, I miss you.

I love you.

I want you here.

Maybe, you are here—

In another way,

Somehow more real than ever before.

Maybe, you’re more.


Still, I hurt inside.

I still cry.

I still wish you were here

Like you were before.


I live for you and

I honor you and

I’ll carry you with me

Until this grief subsides for good and

Until we’re together again,

As similar as we were before—

This time, maybe again, closer than we

Ever were before the earth.


I wonder if you’re lighter now,

Not held down by the weights I can’t remember

Not carrying—

No gravity, past or future to

Hold you down.

I wonder how beautiful you are still;

Then I feel you here with me, and

I don’t need to wonder anymore.

“Death does not hold us down,”

You said to me.

Maybe, you found more.


You’re the only thing I carry that

Makes me feel lighter.


What do you think of how I’ve done

Since you’ve gone?

Has your heart smiled when

Mine broke free?

Is it you who sent the rain when

I broke down and slammed the door?

I’m sorry for having run away at first;

I feel that you understand.

I’m learning to stay now.

I’m learning to find my way.

And I’ll never forget you.

I’ll always breathe life with you.

As long as I have a past and a future,

With my heart, you’ll stay,

Breathing too.


And when there’s nothing left to carry

I will not be afraid,

For you will be there too.

Until then, dear friend,

In my presence, I will rise to

Meet you as we both are.

I’ll do my best to see you with my heart so

I can drop the weight and fly

With you for a while.

And when I have to come back down to earth,

I’ll carry you as lightly as I can.

I’ll try to remember that

Until what I thought was the end,

I’m the one who is being carried.


. . .

Tell me:

Which part of this poem did you need to read today?

Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I'd love to know. 

With all my love,


P.S. Nights are hard. Get my book Sleep Affirmations if you need some more love. You might find exactly what you need… or, well, maybe it’ll find you.

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