Updated date:

How to Move Forward After Death - a Poem about Loss

Victoria Lynn has loved writing poems since she was a little girl observing her friends around her. This has continued into her adulthood.


How to move on after death . . . ?

Nobody knows what it feels like to lose another person in this life, or to lose any such important thing in life...until it happens. I've felt it. I've also learned that most people don't know what to say to you when you experience such a loss. And maybe I'm the same way. Is there really anything we can say to help someone lost in the muck after such a loss as death?

Read poetry for National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month! Read and share! Hope you enjoy this one! #23

Moving On?

Everyone else seems to have just moved on…

They ask “How are you?” as if they’ve forgotten.

Like it’s just another day

Another empty, hollow, meaningless, “How are you?”

One foot in front of the other

Trying to see past the gray haze.

I feel like I’m screaming but everyone just keeps hurrying by

How are you? I’m fine, I’m fine. Go on…

Go on to your luncheon, your whatevers,

Go shop for your precious treasures.

Buy and spend, eat and sleep. Do what you do

For another day. Another day lost.

Everything moves—traffic, people, even the clouds…

Yet I’m stuck in a fog that feels it will smother me.

How can they just keep going? Going where?

Busy, busy. Doesn’t even matter. Doesn’t.

Smiles and pleasantries. Back and forth.

Good morning. What’s so damn good?

Smile. Chatter. Chatter. Keep talking.

Lips moving that I don’t hear.

They say life goes on. Show me.

Goes on with what? And to what?

Goes on how? Why? And how?

By moving one dead foot in front of the other?

Yeah, I like your new ring.

Sure, your blouse is pretty.

Great haircut, nice color.

Guess it goes on for some.

Other Poems about Death & Moving On

  • Don't Ask Me How I Am -Poem
    After someone dies, how do you answer the over-used "How are you?" Does anybody really care? Based on personal experience, this poem explores the question of how someone may really feel inside.
  • Death Changes Everything - Poem
    Death changes everything. This is a poem I wrote about the changes that occur after death touches a person. In this case, the poem commemorates the feelings after my three year old nephew died.

© 2011 Victoria Lynn


Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on February 01, 2013:

bizarrett81--I'm glad this poem touched you and that you could relate. That's how I felt when my nephew died. I hope that sharing it with others is helpful to them. Thanks so much.

Elizabeth Barrett Kearney from Maine on February 01, 2013:

Powerful and perfectly said... I've lost a few family members this year, all of them at different parts of the country that I was not able to get to, so it has been hard to accept that they are gone when I could not say goodbye. I love your descriptions of life continuing for everyone else around you while you are in a fog... that is so how it is. i am voting up and sharing this, especially with my father, who lost his sister, a cousin, and his mother in law in a matter of months...

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 03, 2012:

Thanks, carmaluda, for the nice comment--and for reading!

carmaluda from New Zealand on June 03, 2012:

Oh I can so relate to the thoughts you have captured with words in this. Beautiful poem Victoria... really beautiful.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 26, 2012:

Thanks, Faith Reaper, for your words. Surreal and foggy is a great way to describe the time afterward. Just being there is best, knowing someone cares. Thanks so much.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 24, 2012:

rajan--Sorry about losing your dad. I know that it surely does hurt after even 20 years. It IS hard to know how to respond to others. I think a hug and touch and just being there is best. Thanks, my friend.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on April 24, 2012:

Victoria, I am so very sorry for your loss, especially a young family member is so difficult. I lost my dad suddenly to a stroke, and it was surreal, as if I were in a fog or something. I couldn't cry at first, but then when I went back to work, someone said something to me that I don't even remember, and then I just brokedown and cried and cried, and I just couldn't stop for the longest while, which really made everyone else so uncomfortable, but, oh well. People really do not know what to say at a difficult time like this, but just knowning someone cares and is there to listen if you do want to talk can be comforting. God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 24, 2012:

Victoria, life carries on no doubt. But it changes the one who has suffered the loss of a dear one. Time dull the pain but it is still there and there are times when this pain still overpowers one. I lost my dad 20 years back but that pain is still there.

Most of us do not know how to respond to the other's loss. Most times a hug, a touch says more than words.

Excellent, beautiful poem.

Voted up too.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 24, 2012:

Wow, snigdhal, what a comment. I've wondered about the theory of souls that you mention. All that is so interesting to me. I have wondered if my nephew's work was done here and so God took him back. I do believe that I will see him again one day, and that does make me feel better. Your words are very comforting. Thank you for reading the poem and sharing....

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 24, 2012:

Oh, Debbie, what a tough loss. I can't imagine losing my brothers. We're all around that age. It would be torture. Thanks for the input. So sorry for the loss of your sister.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 24, 2012:

Very insightful comments, rahul. Thanks!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 24, 2012:

Thanks, Sunnie, for your always kind words. I think what you said to your friend was just right. I think that echoing back what the person is saying and just being there for them is the best thing. There is nothing we can say at such a time to make them feel better. Thanks for all your comments. I do appreciate it, Sunnie.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 24, 2012:

Nights Dream--I'm sorry for the loss of your wife. What pain, but I'm glad to hear that you are healing. Time is sometimes hard to take when there is such pain. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 24, 2012:

Dzy--I think I would be like that if I lost my mother. I can't imagine. Does it not get easier in some ways in that the pain is not as sharp? But you're right in that the wound is permanent. Thanks for your comments and votes.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 24, 2012:

Thanks, Vellur. You are right about the scar that remains.

snigdhal from hyderabad - India on April 24, 2012:

dear victoria ,

Its a wonderful poem , mostly because its true . First off , I am really sorry for your loss . There is no bigger sorrow than a life that has been shortened for no apparent reason . It shakes the very grounds of our reality . The pain may never go away , but look ahead one must even if it feels that we died with them , because that is the ultimate truth .

On another note , i dont know if you believe in re -incarnations and the theory of souls , but certain tribes in africa do not celebrate birth or mourn death . When they lose someone they hope that the deceased has finished their karma and may finally attain freedom from the cycle of life . They also do not celebrate birth because that means that a soul has taken a bodily form as it still has to balance out some unfinished karma .

An aunt of mine also said something wonderful about someone i lost recently suddenly .She said his work here was done . His beautiful soul was probably needed elsewhere . Just a few things that even if untrue make us feel tremendously better :) . God bless .

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 24, 2012:

justateacher--That must have been so tough to lose your mother and uncle so close together. I agree with you in that people are meaning well, but I wanted to convey what it feels like, anyway, for the person who experiences the loss. I'm glad you understood it and could relate. Thanks so much for your input!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 24, 2012:

Thanks, lifelovemystery, for your nice comment.

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on April 24, 2012:

Victoria. when my sister died so unexpectedly it almost killed me she was my best friend. she was 45 years old and left an eleven year old daughter. I could not stand it or understand how the world kept going. I went into a deep depression and it was not pretty.. It was down right awful. You spoke the truth here everything I thought then and sometimes still..

Great Hub


Jessee R from Gurgaon, India on April 24, 2012:

Very beautiful! Utterly sad! Feel sorry for the loss!

It's never easy to move past an immovable rock such as loss of a loved one! Others, not our own do not understand that, do not like us taking that much time... not realizing that it is not easy!

Great one Vic!

Sunnie Day on April 24, 2012:

This is one of the hardest things for a person to know what to do. I recently sort of there for a friend of mine as she sat by her mother who passed. When I said near my friend I meant she was in Washington and I could only be on the phone or text her as she sat by her mothers bedside. With each Text she sent I found it so difficult to know what to say. I mostly just repeated back what she would say, as I didn't want my words to be over bearing or say the wrong thing. If she said I cant believe I am sitting here watching my mother pass before my eyes. I would say I know it must be so hard to watch your mother pass before your eyes. Then I would say I am here. I pulled this out of the hat and still do not know if I helped or not. I remember getting a text at 1 am saying..she is gone. I think all we can do is sit by someone with a listening ear and open arms. I am so sorry about your little nephew.

Thank you Victoria, great hub,


Michael Phoenix from Allentown, pa on April 24, 2012:

I lost my wife over 4 years ago. For over 4 years, I existed, not alive. I finally was able to move on and put it behind me. In my experience, time has healed the wounds. We have to give them the time to heal. Very beautiful.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on April 23, 2012:

I feel your pain--I know your loss and your grief. They have been my companions as well theses long years. My mother died suddenly and unexpectedly in 1998, and it took me 3 years to get over being in shock....and to this day, I'm having trouble parting with her things. It still hurts, and I feel that giving away or selling the stuff is like throwing her away.

Her death is still a huge hole in my heart. People say, "It gets easier." No, it doesn't. Not really, not ever. Your poem expresses that perfectly. It's a permanent pain; a part of you has been wrenched free.

Voted up, beautiful and awesome.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on April 23, 2012:

Loosing someone is like a scar left behind that never heals. The pain slowly dulls away but the scar is there foreever to stay.Your poem rings true of the suffering endured when someone passes away. Great work.

LaDena Campbell from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on April 23, 2012:

Great poem that I could have written, as well. After losing my mother and a favorite uncle only months apart, I got the questions quite often...sometimes I just wanted to slap a person for asking one of those questions...I had to remember that these people meant well and were not trying to make things worse..

Michelle Orelup from Las Vegas, NV on April 23, 2012:

Beautiful poem.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 23, 2012:

It IS difficult sometimes, kelleyward, but it can be very therapeutic to write about the feelings associated with the death of a loved one. Thanks for your comments, Kelley.

kelleyward on April 23, 2012:

It's so difficult to deal with the death of someone you love. Thank you for writing a profound poem about loss. Voted up and shared. Take care, Kelley

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on November 02, 2011:

Hey...a breakup is different, although I did have a breakup once that I thought was a soulmate that just disappeared...and I thought that would kill me. Still, after my nephew died, that was so abrupt and changed my life even moreso. Yes, dear Moms, everyone tries to help, but nobody knows the pain that anybody else feels. I read Tidal Wave. I felt it. I'm following you now.

Lissette from Central Florida on November 02, 2011:

Thank you Victoria. I had someone say that they relate to the loss of my husband because of how they felt after a recent break up. I had a mini battle inside of myself then remembered that they don't know any better and they really think that they are helping and chose to act in light not darkness.

I would love for you to read my hub called Tidal Wave to see if you feel the same commonality I felt with yours.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on November 02, 2011:

Moms-Secret--I'm sorry you feel so alone. I'm sorry for your loss. It really is a lonely feeling, no matter how much people care. We just have to know that people care, I guess, no matter what they say or do. I can say that a hug or a touch on the shoulder is helpful, but no empty platitudes like "It was God's will." Maybe we have to realize that nothing will really help us to feel better for a while....My heart goes out to you.

Lissette from Central Florida on November 01, 2011:

Nice Victoria,

There are so many of us, but to look around we are alone in this. I am trying so hard to understand that. How can so many people be going thru this same thing and all have the same problems with the normal world? Why don't we all know how to deal with the bereaved? I can't say that I did before this horrible, life altering experience. I never had any one loose love. I never had to know what to say or what to ask. I can't say that I would have chosen the right things. I know that my heart bleeds like yours. I am up too late like you. Life doesn't make sense right now and I have never felt so alone in the world as I do now.

Thank you for the hub.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on October 23, 2011:

Hey,SheilaKay. It's nice to find a 3 a.m. kindred spirit! This poem portrays how I felt at the time. I'm glad I was able to convey that.

SheliaKay from Marietta, Ohio..... but born and raised in Northern Ohio on Lake Erie on October 22, 2011:

This is wonderful. I loved it. Not too many poems hit me the way this one does maybe it's because I am in that fog and I get my 3am inspirations as well. Vote up, awesome.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on October 04, 2011:

Thanks for reading, DimitriLive. Hope it's helpful!

DimitriLive from Dallas, Texas on October 04, 2011:

I know! I know, too!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on October 03, 2011:

It is what it is Victoria. There is no magic pill or potion. Can't undo what's happened and who we lost. I keep their memories alive by speaking about them. I did write a hub on my parents a few months ago, it's one of my favorites. Thanks again for this hub :)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on October 03, 2011:

For me as well, snakeslane. Writing is a very helpful outlet.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on October 02, 2011:

Thanks Victoria Lynn, writing seems to be a good creative way to work through grief and loss, it's helped me in the past.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on October 02, 2011:

Sunshine--you've lost parents and brothers. I can't imagine that. I'm so sorry that you have, and I'm amazed that you can be so positive in spite of it. How do you do that? Have you written any hubs on how to do that??

Thanks for your sweet words and condolences. I always appreciate your sweet spirit.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on October 02, 2011:

Unless someone has been through losing a loved one or anyone they truly cared about they can't understand. We never get over loss. We keep their memories alive by talking about them and sharing stories. I always share stories about my parents and brothers, it's how I keep their memory alive. Thanks for the hub Victoria. It serves as reminder that we should never ignore the fact that someone is in pain due to their grieving, they most likely want to and need to talk! Losing a child is the worst pain. My heart goes out to your family.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on October 02, 2011:

Sometimes I think that people just don't know what to say after time passes. It's not first and foremost in their minds as it is in yours. I cannot imagine losing my mother, snakeslane. Your pain must be so great. I dread the day I have to go through that. Thanks for stopping by. I hope that your writing is therapeutic in some way for you....

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on October 02, 2011:

Thank you for writing this Victoria Lynn. I liked your comment on how people just assume you must be over it, when possibly you may never be. I speak for myself here, still wading through so much unresolved grief after losing my mom last November. Nothing prepares us for this kind of loss. Thanks for sharing.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on August 31, 2011:

You're welcome, delmer47. I wrote this a month or so after my nephew died. I think it's good for us to know that other people have similar thoughts and feelings. Glad you read it.

delmer47 from Nebraska on August 31, 2011:

I felt this way after my dad passed away 6 years ago. Thank you for posting this Victoria.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on August 23, 2011:

Oh, Justice. How painful. I'm terribly sorry for your loss. That is so tragic. And you're right. Even when we move on, we are changed. Our perspective is different. Everything is different. I hope you have some sort of peace now, and I hope you can start writing again. Maybe that's what you could do. Just start--whatever comes to mind, no matter how stilted the writing may start. Maybe it will flow again one day....Thanks for commenting. I wish you the best.

JusticeBlaze on August 23, 2011:

I had my own version of A.M. poems and after a long night of drinking, crying, and raging I burned them all. I think that is when I got blocked.

JusticeBlaze on August 23, 2011:

My loss is over 5 years old. I lost my pregnant girlfriend in a car wreck that I survived. I still feel this way everyday even if my life has carried on. Tragedy and loss effects us in ways we never could have known before our tragic event happened. Mine has taken my writing from me for one. I'm so blocked up my words will not spill like they once did. That is the 1 thing that would help if I could just write again. You really nailed the pure emotion and hatred that you obtain for the rest of the world for not feeling what you feel.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on August 20, 2011:

Aw, epi, I'm honored that my words moved you and made you think. You are such a great writer. Thanks for visiting. Always a pleasure to see you here.

epigramman on August 20, 2011:

..everyone deals with it differently that's for sure - and I love your words here so direct and honest and blunt but yet at a true loss perhaps to explain how you really feel - I lost my two best friends in life, my mum and dad, and now I live in this world without any family, anywhere - and believe me, life does carry on, it just depends on how one deals with it, but life does carry on, and it is up to that individual to decide when and where ......

love your writing though, you make me think, and feel and I come away here today - quite moved by your words.

lake erie time 2:49pm

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on August 19, 2011:

I'm sorry to hear of your loss, WillStarr. It's hard to know what to do for people, because they grieve differently. Does she like to talk about it? some people don't. But I do think that most people want to know that people care. I'm not a parent, but I'm an aunt, and I think of the things that meant something to me when my nephew died. A brief phrase to say "if you need to talk," a simple card, a hand on a shoulder, a food item....Maybe remembering the birthday or even the anniversary of the death. That made a difference to me when a couple of friends remembered and said they were thinking about me. I don't know if that helps. I feel for you and your sister.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on August 19, 2011:

My kid sister suddenly lost her youngest adult child, a daughter, a few months ago (she has one daughter left), and I'm not sure what to do for her. I have two sons, and I cannot imagine life without either one of them, so I cannot put myself in my sister's place.

I'm at a loss.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on August 19, 2011:

Oh, Paula! So sweet of you to read my stuff! I do feel better this year, but it was just the anniversary of when it happened, so I was sharply reminded and pulled out this poem that I actually wrote several months after it happened. I'll gladly take the hugs!

Paula Doak Browning on August 19, 2011:

Oh Vicki....The pain you're feeling just stabs through my heart. Be kind to yourself my friend. A day will come where the hurt won't be so sharp. Take all the time you need to get there. Hugs to you from Cali.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on August 19, 2011:

Yes, Barbara Kay, such a loss changes everything. Thanks for the encouragement and hope. Arlene--I do take comfort in that they're in a better place. Thanks to both of you for your comments.

Arlene V. Poma on August 18, 2011:

There are no deadlines when it comes to a loss because everyone grieves differently. There are things in life which will remind you of your loved one and your loss. But at the same time, as you carry on with your life, you represent the loved ones who are gone. I do my best to be a good person. It brings me peace to know that my loved ones are in a better place.

Barbara Badder from USA on August 18, 2011:

Life can be hard when you are facing a loss. Believe me though that someday you will feel whole and move on. It may take awhile, but it does get easier. You'll still keep missing the person, but the pain eases.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on August 18, 2011:

CBM--I'm so sorry for your loss. It IS painful when a person feels they are alone in their loss. Even now, the images of my nephew's funeral and my family grieving flashes in my head--when I'm at home, when I'm at work--and I wish someone around me could also see it and share in it. Thanks for sharing your loss and your comfort from your friend. I am okay. It just hits me, ya know?

CBM1987 on August 18, 2011:

I know I'm a bit late at posting... I lost a friend I grew up with from 13 all the way up... She lost her life to a careless driver.

I've never let go... I've never forgotten... The pain and the tears I cry still come... About six months ago I ran into a mutual friend... and we cried together... shared our pain... she felt exactly the same as I. It was comforting knowing we had that together... what everyone else seemed to ignore. I still cry for my friend... I still write my friend letters even though she's passed.. and when I pray I speak to her as well not just god... I apoligize for your loss I know how hard and how dark it can be I hope you are okay

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on August 18, 2011:

Losing someone IS a very raw experience, and it changes the whole world. Writing helps to heal, even tragedy. Thank you, TruckstopSally, for your kind words.

Truckstop Sally on August 18, 2011:

Your emotions are so raw and honest. I truly cannot imagine your loss, but I hope you have some healing. So very tragic.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on August 18, 2011:

Thanks, saddlerider. You always say the right things. And you say them so well. Many hugs back to you.

saddlerider1 on August 18, 2011:

Nothing like a good Irish Wake, we greave, we celebrate that person in their passing and the life they lived and enjoyed while they were with us. We drink our Guiness, sing our songs and bury our dead.

We remember them YES of course but life does goes on and we don't keep asking the people left behind, how is life treating you, no way. We respect their loss and we celebrate the living with them. That was a good rant, and deservedly so. Hugs

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on August 18, 2011:

binaya, you are correct. Sometimes it is just so painful to accept and survive. thanks. good to see you again.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on August 18, 2011:

Ah, Fennelseed, I am so sorry for your loss. Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of my 3 year old nephew's death. I'm an aunt, not a mother, so I can't imagine your pain, but I see my brother, my parents, and their pain, and I feel my own and the feeling that my view of life has changed forever. Life goes on, life goes on.... People don't see the pain that lives on in others. I am so sorry for your loss. I will also look at your hubs. As writers, I'm glad we can reach out and help each other.

Binaya.Ghimire on August 18, 2011:

Death is not only the ultimate truth but also a strong feeling that we cannot escape no matter what.

Annie Fenn from Australia on August 18, 2011:

This could be me talking, something that I am having trouble getting my head around as a grieving mother is that the world goes on and my son's passing is of no consequence, no consequence at all. And it makes me so mad. The question I often get by people who know me is “What’s wrong?” Like, oh, are you still grieving? This is exactly what you have described so well here. If you are newly bereaved my heart goes out to you. It is a hard, hard road. You are welcome to have a look at some of my hubs (mostly poems), as they may be of some use. All the best, Fennelseed.

Related Articles