United in Courage & Grief 

Sometimes all you need is to reflect in your mind one poem that says,
"I can make it through."

- Maya Angelou

In addition to a touch on the hand or arm, or a hug and spoken words of comfort, written words can be more effective than spoken condolences at reaching the part of a person's heart which is grieving. Poems can provide solace and reach a person on a deeper level than with just the spoken word or a simple touch. Writing poetry can be a way of releasing painful stored emotions by trying to make sense of what is often the insensible. Poetry can help us  realize we are not alone or unique in our grief or desolation. "Someone else has lived through these intense emotions, felt what I am feeling and survived. I am not alone in these feelings of grief." As Poetry Therapist John Fox so eloquently explains:

Poems speak to us when nothing else will. Poetry helps us to feel our lives rather than be numb. Poem making helps us move through grief, life transitions and illness by providing comfort and sustenance on this difficult journey. At other times of loss and grief, your writing may be a necessity. Drawing from a well of feeling within your bones and soul, these words from within can help you cope in your daily life. Like the wind that echoes a rock face smooth, you can record your truth and loss with your words.
Since it's inception, the Journey of Hearts website has utilized the healing effects of poetry to aid in helping visitors to this site through the grieving process. Many of our poems have been reprinted as memorials in newspapers, yearbooks for those who have died, or spoken at funerals or memorial services.

Since there are so many poems to aid in healing process on the Journey of Hearts site, I have only included a small section on this page, with links to other poems on the site that people may find helpful.

On the day of the attack, we received an e-mail from someone searching the web for sympathy poems that could be used
at a vigil she planned for that day. Christine found the poem I had written several years ago, "A Better Place" on our
website and read this aloud as part of their remembrance. I felt honored that the poem written in a different context
several years before would be one that would reach her heart, and help her express what she was feeling. I realized that there were other poems on the website that might be helpful.

Poems about the Event or Feelings
  • September 11, 2001: The Day Our World Changed
  • Omega
  • Anguish 
  • Lady Liberty Cried
  • Poems about Healing
  • A Better Place
  • In Memory of You
  • The Messenger

  • Other Poems on Journey of Hearts

    "The Poems about the Event or Feelings" deal with the events of the tragedy, written by several visitors to our site. If you are feeling sensitive about the events, read "Omega" with care, out of all of these poems it may be the one that could trigger flashbacks to the events of September 11, 2001. "The Poems about Healing" and "Other Poems of Loss." In creating these pages, I felt that we have seen too many images of the events, hence I am letting the words "speak" for themselves, without images.

    Poems about the Event or Feelings
    September 11, 2001: The Day Our World Changed
    Planes crashing into buildings
    in pictures from a disaster film
    before our actual eyes
    On the small screen filling our homes
    with scenes of terror so horrifying
    they must be simulated
    Unable to comprehend
    how anyone willingly could commit
    these brutal acts of terror
    Yet these images of harsh reality
    become etched into our memory
    As we watch the destruction
    of a way of life

    The laughter of my young daughter
    pulls me from the barrage of images
    and back into the reality of our day
    Too young to know what has happened
    yet sensing the anxiety in the air
    Focusing on the exploration of her world
    with a simple request of "Out"
    Her small hand placed trustingly in mine
    to guide her on way
    A little voice of hope for the future

    A nation, a world in tears
    united in grief and loss
    A tragedy so large
    the loss so pervasive
    the depth of emotions so great
    no words can truly convey the mood

    The sacrifice of so many lives
    from so many countries
    As we struggle to make some sense of the senseless
    and look to answer the question
    Yet many others saved
    by acts of kindness from strangers
    and in the mission thwarted
    by last heroic acts of sacrifice and bravery

    The eagle like the mighty phoenix
    emerges from the ashes
    bruised, but not beaten
    stronger than ever
    Out of the rubble of destruction
    Seeds of hope
    Stories of courage
    Heroes emerge
    Our country unites

    To learn and to change
    so that it never happens again
    To keep the memories of the events and the people alive
    but to also keep living
    If not for ourselves
    for our way of life
    for our freedom
    for our children


    © 2001 Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS

    Letters overflowing inboxes
    Busy conversations
    Coffee perking
    Elevators climbing
    Plants watered

    It is the day beginning
    on Tuesday
    the last Tuesday

    Empty tables
    at Windows on the World
    waiting for
    glittering chats and
    gleaming silver

    The world waiting for trade
    for the exchange of
    who owns what and where
    and for who will win and who will

    And the morning drifted by
    as mornings do
    with nothing outstanding
    nothing understanding
    that this is all
    the mornings there would be

    A shudder, a powerful pull
    a push, a gust, a split
    an opening into sky and flame
    and smoke beyond all night
    and dust beyond all deserts
    and a clutching of the building
    on itself
    as it tried within its bones
    to stand

    And its heart was melting
    and souls were flying

    And a sound
    of twin pain
    was to its side
    another scrape of
    metal on metal and glass
    on glass and the whoosh
    of air and fuel and flame
    and the pall of smoke
    that ate the breath
    of everything that

    Side by side
    they stood
    two terrible wounds
    pulling them apart
    the steel without gleaming
    the steel within melting
    their people
    all their dear and lovely people
    that they knew
    that they harbored
    every day every Tuesday
    every floor, every suite
    all of this falling slowly
    surely down in a
    measured sure death

    and suddenly one
    without the ability to stand
    and in its falling
    lasted lifetimes
    centuries of hopes
    sighs dreams
    falling with pictures
    with eyeglasses
    with outboxes whose papers
    far beyond their
    intended destinations
    into forever

    And the other
    the one who waited
    still stood for awhile
    and at last let go
    nothing to do but fall
    nowhere to go but where
    the other had gone
    no reason to stay
    the lonely sky without its twin
    too much
    too long
    too alone

    And as it fell
    and all within
    part of its terrible death
    there were years in its falling
    there were centuries of conversations
    and eons of memories
    and civilizations of laughter and tears
    and birthdays and life celebrations
    and first days and last days
    and the middle that we know
    as life

    and as it fell on itself
    bone by bone
    of its very existence
    becoming dust
    the sky wrenched and twisted
    and pulled away
    from the sound
    the awful
    and tried to withdraw
    from the smoke
    that was the life breath
    of the building
    and of its children
    those it harbored
    every day

    and the silence became unattainable
    any more
    for those watching
    mouths open
    the silence only belonged
    to those
    whose last desperate day
    was that day
    as they left
    the highest place
    they had ever been
    to go to
    the truly
    highest place

    and wings of angels
    and feathers
    going up
    the clear blue sky
    far above the smoke
    far beyond the
    terrible groan and roar
    far into where we believe heaven is,
    far into where we believe
    all hands were awake, alert
    and pulling them upwards
    out of the pain
    out of the grief
    and into the music
    of peace.

    This poem was written on September 
    16, 2001 by Susan Godman Rager
    in honor and in memory of those lost 11 september 2001.
    © 2001 SG Rager sgrager@ragerlaw.com

    It begins as an affliction
    in the center of my soul.
    A scarcely detectable awareness.
    A hungry gnawing sensation.

    The feeling emerges
    slowly at first.
    Barely perceptible.
    A constant ache.

    It begins to permeate,
    radiating to all levels
    from core to periphery.
    Filling me with agony and grief.

    My hands begin to tremble
    in reaction to the pain.
    I scream in anguish
    for it to stop.

    It spreads, enlarging
    becoming all-consuming, ravaging.
    Distilled to a searing, burning sensation.
    Bowels turning...tearing.
    Heart pounding...shattering.

    The break point is reached,
    I can endure no more.
    Tears of anguish flow.
    Sobs of grief,
    Releasing some of the torment.

    The pain subsides,
    but still lingers.
    Barely perceptible.
    Never abating.
    Never leaving.
    Ever present.

    © 1996 Kirsti A. Dyer
    It is only by going down into the abyss
    that we recover the treasures of life.
    Where you stumble,
    there lies your treasure.
    The very cave you are afraid to enter
    turns out to be the source of
    what you were looking for.
    Joseph Campbell
    Lady Liberty Cried
    Another bright September day
    Another sun-filled sky
    She stands her ground with endless pride
    As planes above her fly

    She looks upon her children
    Her loved ones dear to heart
    As they go through their normal chores
    Some only just to start

    But soon the peace was shattered
    As men so filled with hate
    Soon turned their rage to senseless acts
    To meet their horrid fate

    First one and then another hit
    Impossible to seem
    Two other impacts hit elsewhere
    As in a horrid dream

    Tho some did fight the evil
    As heroes they had died
    And as the proud twins met their fall
    The Lady Liberty cried

    © "Amalthea Celebras"  K.C. Fahel  11 September 2001
    Poems about Healing

    A Better Place

    Cry for me no more
    the many tears of sadness
    My time in this world was over
    and it came for me to pass.

    Bring the photos of old time
    and see them not with tear-filled eyes
    But with eyes of joy and laughter
    and smile once more with me.

    Know that I am in a better place
    one without disease
    without hatred and without death
    This kingdom I now call home

    I wait here for you
    When your time comes to pass
    to ease the transition
    from the old to the new.

    Cry for me no more.
    Remember only the laughter.
    For I am in another realm
    And I wait to see you again.

    © 1999 Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS
    In Memory of You
    I find an old photograph
    and see your smile.
    As I feel your presence anew,
    I am filled with warmth
    and my heart remembers love.

    I read an old card
    sent many years ago
    during a time of turmoil and confusion.
    The soothing words written then
    still caress my spirit
    and bring me peace.

    I remember who you used to be
    the laughter we shared
    and wonder what you have become.
    Where are you now,
    Where did you go,
    When the body is left behind
    and the spirit is released to fly?

    Perhaps you are the morning bird
    singing joyfully at sunrise,
    or the butterfly that dances
    so carelessly on the breeze
    or the rainbow of colors
    that brightens a stormy sky
    or the fingers of afternoon mist
    delicately reaching over the mountains
    or the final few rays of the setting sun
    lighting up the skies
    edging the clouds with a magical glow.

    I miss your being
    but I feel your presence,
    In whatever form you choose to take,
    however you now choose to be.

    Your spirit has become for me
    a guardian angel on high
    guiding, advising, and watching over me.

    I remember you.
    You are with me
    and I am not afraid.

    © 1996 Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS
    The Messenger
    From an Angel on high
    a tender message of love was softly whispered into the ear
    of this humble scribe....
    Weep not for me
    now that I have passed.
    Remember the laughter, the affection, the joy
    not just the recent tears.
    Cherish the memories, our hopes and dreams.
    Hold fast to the love that we shared.
    Be happy with the time we spent together
    and being anew.
    For I am not really gone,
    I am closer than ever before.

    As the morning sun rises
    and throughout the busy day...I am with you.
    Until the setting sun disappears on the horizon
    and we watch the day turn into night...I am here.
    You may feel a faint breeze stir round your head, while you slumber
    as I gently kiss your forehead, "Good night."
    The stars that shine so brightly in my heavenly sky
    help me watch over you and keep you from harm.

    I am the wind in the trees
    and the song of a bird.
    I am moonbeams in a midnight sky
    and a glorious rainbow after the storm.
    I am morning dew
    and freshly-fallen snow.
    I am a butterfly flying overhead
    and a puppy happily at play.
    I am a smile on a stranger's face
    a gentle touch
    a warm embrace.

    Listen to the wind for my message of love.
    Watch the sun rise and set in the sky with me.
    Feel my essence encircle you with warm memories.
    Open your heart to know...I am not gone.
    Reach deep into your soul...You will find me.
    I am here.
    Have no fear.
    I am with you,

    © 1998 Kirsti (Angel scribe)
    Other Poems of Loss on Journey of Hearts
    From Visitors
  • Please See Me Through My Tears http://www.kirstimd.com/please.htm
  • Heaven and Earth http://www.kirstimd.com/mccombs.htm
  • In My Heart Forever http://www.kirstimd.com/forevertr.htm
  • Please Listen and Just Hear Me http://www.kirstimd.com/hearme.htm
  • Classic Poems of Grief and Loss

  • All is Well http://www.kirstimd.com/Allwell.htm
  • I do not Sleep http://www.kirstimd.com/sleep.htm
  • The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying http://www.kirstimd.com/dyingc.htm
  • The Day God Called You Home http://www.kirstimd.com/callhome.htm
  • The Beauty of Death http://www.kirstimd.com/gibran1.htm
  • Part I - The Calling http://www.kirstimd.com/gibran1.htm
  • Part II - The Ascending http://www.kirstimd.com/gibran2.htm
  • Part III - The Remains http://www.kirstimd.com/gibran3.htm
  • Life is a Journey http://www.kirstimd.com/life.htm
  • Remember Me http://www.kirstimd.com/remberme.htm
  • For All Who Mourn http://www.kirstimd.com/mourn.htm
  • We Remember Them http://www.kirstimd.com/weremem.htm
  • Other Blessings, Prayers, Lyrics, & Quotes
    Blessings Index Page
    Poetry to Ease the Acute Loss and Grieving Process http://www.kirstimd.com/medpoem.htm
    Omega. Northern Neck of Virginia Law Page http://www.ragerlaw.com/omega.HTM
    Anguish http://www.kirstimd.com/anguish.htm
    Lady Liberty Cried. Snow Owl & Silver Unicorn's Poetry Page http://members.tripod.com/snowowlsilverunicorn
    A Better Place. http://www.kirstimd.com/kristin.htm
    In Memory of You http://www.kirstimd.com/memory.htm
    The Messenger http://www.kirstimd.com/message.htm
    Other Resources and Information:
    United in Courage and Grief - Introduction Page
    Why does my heart feel so bad?
    What is Different about this Event?
    The Importance of Telling the Story
    Wake-up Call for the World
    Health Concerns for Witnesses
    Blessings, Lyrics, Poems & Quotes
    Remembering Our Children
    Helping Children to Cope with Tragedy
    More Resources
    Ways of Helping & Coping
    Creatively Expressing Grief
    Share your thoughts in the new Message Forum Transformations on the Journey
    Page posted October 7, 2001.
    In Memory of all those lost and forever missing from the events on September 11, 2001, the day our world changed.
    The flower garland is © AngelicArtestry and is used with permission.
    The ribbon art was created by Alon Cohen. Available at: http://people.bu.edu/xrpnt/ribbons/
    All material, unless otherwise specified, is © 1997-2001 by Journey of Hearts A Healing Place in CyberSpace. Information on this site may be shared with others, but is not for general distribution by for-profit ventures.
    To contact the Domain Designer email to griefdoc@kirstimd.com  To return to original home page.