How to Write a Poem in Memory of My Sister

Contributor: Michele Meleen
woman writing poem

A poetic tribute to a sister who has passed away can be a moving and personal part of any funeral or memorial service. It doesn't matter if your tribute poem is world-class literature; it comes from your heart and expresses special memories or impressions of your sister who has died. Even those who have never written poetry can write a poem to remember their sister in a few simple steps.

Gather Inspiration for a Tribute to a Sister Who Died

The best way to find inspiration for a tribute poem is to gather tangible reminders of your sister.

  • Photo albums or pictures are a great place to start as they can trigger long-forgotten memories of small and large events during her life.
  • Longer letters or e-mails about her can also be a wonderful way to call your sister to mind.
  • Some siblings keep journals where new and old entries can help highlight the most important parts of your sister's life.

Capture a Memory

Do a little writing about the sister who has passed where you describe her favorite traits or a favorite memory of her. A whole poem can be written about a very small moment in time or a very small characteristic. Examples of how to turn a single memory into a moving poem about missing a sister who has died include:

  • Maybe a brother wants to write a tribute poem for his artist sister and his poem focuses on a favorite picture she drew for him.
  • Another poem might focus on the way your sister smiled or the way she would tell scary stories during camping trips.
  • A sibling could talk about a phrase or quote from their sister and how it has impacted their life.

Starting the Poem

Poems do not have to be a certain length and they don't have to rhyme. A poem is just an impression or collection of impressions about something, described in words. If rhyme comes naturally, feel free to use it in the tribute poem. If a simple blank verse seems more appropriate, use that. Don't be afraid to edit the poem if a different word would describe something better or would work as well but make the poem read more smoothly. Start your poem by writing down:

  • One word that best captures your sister's spirit
  • Her favorite quote or phrase
  • A song lyric she loved
  • One sentence detailing how much you love your sister

Handling Emotions

You may find that writing the poem brings out strong emotions. Have plenty of tissues on the computer desk or bedside table and don't hesitate to take a break from writing if the emotions are too much. Writing a poem can be a great way to work through emotions like sadness, loneliness, or even anger. Don't worry about possibly making others sad or about anything besides remembering the special sibling relationship that's been lost. Tribute poems are deeply personal and it may be difficult for others to hear, but it may be healing for those who knew your sister the best.

Presenting a Poem in Memory of Your Sister

Some funeral homes will print poems on small cards for the people who attend the funeral to take home with them. A printed presentation of the poem is great for those who are not comfortable with public speaking and it can be printed anonymously if you prefer it that way. Options for presenting your tribute poem include:

  • A reading at the memorial or graveside service
  • On a keepsake item such as a necklace or urn
  • A section inside the printed bulletin or funeral program
  • On a plaque at the gravesite or in your home

Sample Sister Tribute Poems

Reading an example of a tribute poem for a sister can give you inspiration and an idea of how to format your poem. Standard bereavement poems can also serve as useful examples of how to capture your feelings in verse. You can even get inspired by best friend poems for a sister or other sibling poetry that's intended for the living.

It's Your Turn to Be Taken Care Of

A caretaker through and through,
when giving and loving were needed,
I could always run to you.

My sister by birth,
but a mother at heart,
you seemingly took care of everyone on Earth.

We called you "Mom"
as a joke and compliment,
ever vigilant in keeping everyone calm.

My sister, my friend, my love,
my light and my other Mom,
It's your turn to be taken care of.

The Picture You Drew

When I was two
and you were ten
there was this picture you drew.

You said it was for me,
a rainbow with gold
to brighten my day
and show me the way.

From brother to sister,
from friend to friend
I'll cherish this picture
until the end
when it leads me to you
once again.

Poetry and Mourning

Writing poetry can be a great way to work through the intense emotions that happen when someone dies. Losing a sibling can be deeply traumatic, especially if the loss is sudden and unexpected. Writing a poem about a lost sister can help you process the loss and begin to understand and fully experience your grief.

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How to Write a Poem in Memory of My Sister