Funeral & Memorial Poetry

 

The Power of Poetry at Funerals

 

Have you ever paused for a moment and thought about the power of poetry?

Many people feel that poems have little meaning for them, because they were bored by them at school; yet somehow, at the right moment, just a few simple lines of verse can stop anyone in their tracks.

Because funerals are a time for reflection we need to take time to think freely and Poems can play a significant part in that.

Can poetry be used instead of prayer at a funeral?

 

Yes…

Poetry plays an important part in the bereavement process because it is very powerful at making people think and reflect. Therefore those with little or no religious aspect in their lives can find meaning in written words. It helps people reflect and contemplate their loss; it also helps contextualise their own existence.

For those of faith, poetry enhances the comfort and insight gained from prayer.

Either way, poetry  helps people come to terms with their loss, because it is perfect at preparing them for the adjustments that must inevitably come.

I’ve put together a few short videos of poems that are often used in funerals. Also there are some I have written myself. I’ll add more over time.  if there is a poem that resonates with you that you don’t see here,  leave me a message, and perhaps I can certainly consider adding to the collection.

In the meantime, take the time to listen, to reflect and perhaps they will inspire, comfort or simply calm you.

 Scroll down and find a poem you like, click on the image to open up a video performance or simply read.

Click here to get in touch and request a poetry reading

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Can I share or use this poetry?

All the poems I share on my website or social media have been in the public domain and are sometimes used at funerals. Wherever known, I do give credit and thanks to the author. If you know the author of any I have marked as ‘unknown’, then let me know, and I will amend the page.

If you chose to share or use the poetry at a funeral or memorial service, please give the author credit.

Many of these poems are original to me; please feel free to share those or use them if they seem right for your service. All I ask is that you give credit to me as the author.

I Carry Your Heart With Me – Poem for Funerals by EE Cummings

I Carry Your Heart With Me – Poem for Funerals by EE Cummings

I Carry Your Heart With Me by E E Cummings
This beautiful poem was not originally written a memorial or funeral piece.
However, the wistful nature of the echoing lines implies the loss of a deep love.
I have to admit forgetting about it, until it was chosen recently by a family for their loved one’s service.
I carry your heart with me (i carry it in
My heart) i am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done By only me is your doing, my darling)
I fear No fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want No world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
And it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
And whatever a sun will always sing is you
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud And the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows Higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

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Sarah’s Toasty Blessing – Memorial Poem

Sarah’s Toasty Blessing – Memorial Poem

Sarah’s Toasty Blessing

I recently conducted a Celebration of Life service for a unique lady who was, among many things, a wine expert.

I built the service around a vines’ life cycle and the production of wine. We used this specially written blessing rather than a traditional ‘committal’ speech.

We, of course, said farewell by toasting her with a perfectly chilled glass of bubbly.

Her family have kindly permitted me to share this with you all.

Enjoy

Sarah’s Toasty Blessing by Marc Lemezma

May you journey on a path facing southward.
May your vines climb strong toward the Sun.
May all life’s problems drain away through the soil.
May your harvest be second to none.

May you age and be riddled to perfection.
May your bubbles rise strong to the top.
May the cage that holds you soon be loosened.
May your cork fill the room with its pop!

May your glass be full of happiness.
May the company you keep bring you fun.
May your bubbles gush like leaves in the wind.
May they dance like angels on your tongue.

May you drink enough to be merry, yet
May your memories of me remain.
May you find in the fridge one more bottle,
For when we meet here, sometime again

Ciao Bella!

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Last Journey – Funeral Poem by Timothy Coote

Last Journey – Funeral Poem by Timothy Coote

We are all familiar with the idea that life is a journey.

This poem cleverly uses the analogy of a train ride to symbolise both the idea of death being the final leg of our travels, with the concept that life has a natural order, and that we must accept that some of us will depart sooner than others.

It is a perfect choice for the funeral of railway enthusiasts; I read it just last week at the funeral of a retired railway engineer.

Enjoy, feel free to share and always credit the author!

There is a train at the station
With a seat reserved just for me
I’m excited about its destination
As I’ve heard it sets you free

The trials and tribulations
The pain and stress we breathe
Don’t exist where I am going
Only happiness I believe

I hope that you will be there
To wish me on my way
It’s not a journey you can join in
It’s not your time today

There’ll be many destinations
Some are happy, some are sad
Each one a brief reminder
Of the great times that we’ve had

Many friends I know are waiting
Who took an earlier train
To greet and reassure me
That nothing has really changed

We’ll take the time together
To catch up on the past
To build a new beginning
One that will always last

One day you’ll take your journey
On the train just like me
And I promise that I’ll be there
At the station and you will see

That life is just a journey
Enriched by those you meet
No-one can take that from you
It’s always yours to keep

But now as no seat is vacant
You will have to muddle through
Make sure you fulfil your ambitions
As you know I’ll be watching you

And if there’s an occasion
To mention who you knew
Speak kindly of that person
As one day it will be you

Now I can’t except this ending
And as it’s time for me to leave
Please make haste to the reception
To enjoy my drinks, they’re free!

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Death Is Nothing At All – Funeral Poem by Henry Scott Holland

Death Is Nothing At All – Funeral Poem by Henry Scott Holland

Death is Nothing at All by Henry Scott Holland

There are several variations of this poem in existence. That is often the case for poems, especially those written for funerals.

They often affect the listener deeply and are simply recalled from memory, rather than being written out in full.

No matter which version, this poem connects the speaker (representing the deceased) with the listener (the person left behind) and reminds that they remain close, perhaps just a breath away.

Enjoy, feel free to share and always credit the author!

“Life means all that it ever meant.

It is the same as it ever was.

There is absolute and unbroken continuity.

What is this death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you, for an interval,

somewhere very near,

just round the corner.”

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Funeral Memorial Poem – Feel No Guilt In Laughter – Anon

Funeral Memorial Poem – Feel No Guilt In Laughter – Anon

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Funeral Memorial Poem – Feel No Guilt In Laughter – Anon
Funeral Memorial Poem – Feel No Guilt In Laughter – Anon

Life goes on after death, and those of us left have to eat, drink, love, laugh, work and cry.

So we should not feel guilty about the normal human feelings and emotions we experience as we go about our lives.

This poem gives us that message, clearly and simply.

Feel no guilt in laughter, he’d know how much you care.

Feel no sorrow in a smile that he is not here to share.
You cannot grieve forever; he would not want you to.

He’d hope that you could carry on the way you always do.

So, talk about the good times and the way you showed you cared,

The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared.

Let memories surround you, a word someone may say Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day,

That brings him back as clearly as though he were still here,

And fills you with the feeling that he is always near.
For if you keep those moments, you will never be apart

And he will live forever locked safely within your heart.

Can I share or use this poetry?
All the poems I share on my website or social media have been in the public domain and are sometimes used at funerals. Wherever known, I do give credit and thanks to the author. If you know the author of any I have marked as ‘unknown’, then let me know, and I will amend the page.
If you chose to share or use the poetry at a funeral or memorial service, please give the author credit.
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Funeral Poetry – Look For Me In Rainbows by Conn Bernard

Funeral Poetry – Look For Me In Rainbows by Conn Bernard

This beautiful poem is becoming popular for inclusion at funerals, although it was originally a song.

Time for me to go now, I won’t say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, way up in the sky.
In the morning sunrise when all the world is new,
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

Time for me to leave you, I won’t say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, high up in the sky.
In the evening sunset, when all the world is through,
Just look for me and love me, and I’ll be close to you.

It won’t be forever, the day will come and then
My loving arms will hold you, when we meet again.

Time for us to part now, we won’t say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, shining in the sky.
Every waking moment, and all your whole life through
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

Just wish me to be near you,
And I’ll be there with you.

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Funeral Memorial Poem – Remember Me – By Margaret Mead

Funeral Memorial Poem – Remember Me – By Margaret Mead

A touching poem, reflecting on loss and the emotional journey we go through after losing someone.

To the living, I am gone,
To the sorrowful, I will never return,
To the angry, I was cheated,
But to the happy, I am at peace,
And to the faithful, I have never left.

I cannot speak, but I can listen.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore gazing at a beautiful sea,
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity,
Remember me.

Remember me in your heart:
Your thoughts, and your memories,
Of the times we loved,
The times we cried,
The times we fought,
The times we laughed.
For if you always think of me, I will never have gone.

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Funeral Memorial Poem – If You Had Not Been There To Love Me by Marc Lemezma

Funeral Memorial Poem – If You Had Not Been There To Love Me by Marc Lemezma

Love is the the most persistent force on Earth. When we lose our partner, the person we love, everything we have together remains.

This poem is from a lover who has passed to their partner who remains – asking them to hold on to those memories to keep the love alive.

When a tree falls in the forest, and there’s nobody around, would that tree even exist; would it ever make a sound?

If I’d not been there to see your smile or sense your breathing quicken, would our love have been an empty space; would it never really happen?

If I’d never felt you near me or that tingling when we touch, would our paths had never crossed; would you not miss me just as much?

If recollections were just photographs never taken out and seen, would the universe erase them all; would it wipe my memory clean

If you had not been there to love me and I had never drawn a breath, would you not be here to mourn me; would I have never known my death?

But these things are more than memories; grab hold for they exist, so you’ll know when your world is falling down, our love will still persist.

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Funeral Poem – Desiderata – by Max Ehrmann

Funeral Poem – Desiderata – by Max Ehrmann

This is a wonderful poem, it has much to teach us about life. Although it was not specifically written for funerals, it is often read on such occasions as it is meaningful and sobering.

Today I had the privilege to read it at the funeral for the father of a friend – so this is dedicated to Mike.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy

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Funeral Poem – Changing Faces by Marc Lemezma

Funeral Poem – Changing Faces by Marc Lemezma

All manner of sudden and shocking changes can leave us mere mortals flummoxed and feeling trapped. Putting on a brave face, we try and get on with life, failing to recognise and accept the new reality before us.

This original poem is a piece of advice from the person who has died, aimed at those left behind. Allow yourselves the chance to cry, and this will help you move on.
I saw your face change and was
Concerned as to what made you sad
Then, realisation of my situation
I’d run out of the time that I had

But you, you’re frozen in time
Though strong, you barely can move
Allow a tear to well in your eyes
There really is nothing to prove

Tears do not belong to the weak
Because they carry the banner for the strong
Every single drop that you shed
Will free you and move you along

So when you, in time, accept I am gone
And release me into your heart
I’ll look at your face; it might just change again
Ready to make a new start

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Funeral Memorial Poem – I Am Free by Shannon Lee Moseley

Funeral Memorial Poem – I Am Free by Shannon Lee Moseley

When we struggle to let someone go after they pass away, it is worth remembering their life; what they achieved, what they enjoyed and what they brought to life. This wonderful poem gives us such a reminder, hopefully making it easier to let them move on to the next place.

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free,
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day, to laugh,
To love, to work or play.
Tasks undone must stay that way
I’ve found that peace at the close of the day.
If parting has left a void, Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah, yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish for you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savoured much
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me,
God wants me now,
He set me free.

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Funeral Memorial Poem – Instructions – By Arnold Crompton

Funeral Memorial Poem – Instructions – By Arnold Crompton

This is a moving piece of poetry, it follows an unusual form without much rhyming.

However, it still paints a picture of the world the departed friend wishes to remain in his place. A world where we all recognise what matters, and what does not.

A lesson learned and shared beyond the grave.

When I have moved beyond you in the adventure of life,
Gather in some pleasant place and there remember me
With spoken words, old and new.
Let a tear if you will, but let a smile come quickly
For I have loved the laughter of life.
Do not linger too long with your solemnities.
Go eat and talk, and when you can;
Follow a woodland trail, climb a high mountain,
Walk along the wild seashore,
Chew the thoughts of some book
Which challenges your soul.
Use your hands some bright day
To make a thing of beauty
Or to lift someone’s heavy load.
Though you mention not my name,
Though no thought of me crosses your mind,
I shall be with you,
For these have been the realities of my life for me.
And when you face some crisis with anguish.
When you walk alone with courage,
When you choose your path of right,
I shall be very close to you.
I have followed the valleys,
I have climbed the heights of life

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Funeral Memorial Poem – Epitaph on my own Friend Robert Burns

Funeral Memorial Poem – Epitaph on my own Friend Robert Burns

Sometimes poetry benefits from brevity.

This is such a piece, it is wonderfully written and magically succinct. Easy enough for anyone, even a grieving relative, to attempt with minimal trepidation.

An honest man here lies at rest,

As e’er God with His image blest:

The friend of man, the friend of truth;

The friend of age, and guide of youth:

Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,

Few heads with knowledge so inform’d:

If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;

If there is none, he made the best of this.

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I’m There Inside Your Heart – Funeral Memorial Poem – Anonymous

I’m There Inside Your Heart – Funeral Memorial Poem – Anonymous

This poem was chosen for a funeral I conducted recently. It is simple, but very succinctly puts across the feeling of oneness we hope to hold on to with those we have lost.

I’m There Inside Your Heart – Anonymous

Right now I’m in a different place
And though we seem far apart
I’m closer than I ever was…
I’m there inside your heart

I’m with you when you greet each day
And when the sun shines bright
I’m there to share the sunsets, too…
I’m with you every night

I’m with you when the times are good,
To share a laugh or two,
And if a tear should start to fall…
I’ll still be there for you.

And when the day arrives
That we no longer are apart
I’ll smile and hold you close to me…
Forever in my heart.

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Funeral Poem for a Child – Angel by Christelle Dardagos

Funeral Poem for a Child – Angel by Christelle Dardagos

The most difficult of funerals are those for children. In the last year I lost my own son, although he was 27 he was still our baby and the pain was intense.

Losing a younger child or baby will of course be unimaginably painful.

This beautiful poem succinctly and subtly says so much about such a situation. It could be used for a boy or a girl, or even in the right place for an adult.

Tear drops, slow and steady,

The pain so real and true,

God took another angel,

And that angel, dear, was you.

Angel wings, upon the clouds,

Your body softly sleeps,

Hush now little angel,

No more tears you have to weep.

Little prayers are sent to you,

The short life you led;

Your family will never forget you,

So rest your little head.

I know God will look after you,

Now you are truly alive,

Your spirit soars beyond the moon,

Your legacy will survive.

You’re beautiful, you’re endless,

Now stretch your wings and fly,

You’re loved by so many,

It will never be goodbye.

Close your pretty eyes,

No more tears, just go and rest,

Let your soul lie peacefully,

We know you did your best.

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Funeral Poem – By Herself & All Her Friends – By Joyce Grenfell

Funeral Poem – By Herself & All Her Friends – By Joyce Grenfell

Joyce Grenfell is recognised and remembered for her comedy genius, both as a writer and performer.

This meaningful and touchingly funny poem sums up in a few seconds the same message others take minutes to explore and explain.

Genius!

If I should go before the rest of you

Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone,

Nor when I’m gone speak in a Sunday voice

But be the usual selves that I have known.

Weep if you must, Parting is hell,

But Life goes on, So sing as well.

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Funeral Poem – A Song of Life – By Amelia Josephine Burr

Funeral Poem – A Song of Life – By Amelia Josephine Burr

This beautiful poem is a message to all of us who remain. We must make the most of our lives, enjoy the thrills, work hard, love and be part of the bigger picture. When we can say we’ve done that, our passing will be simpler to understand and accept.

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.
I have run and leaped with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast.
My cheek like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I have kissed young love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end.
I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend.
I have known the peace of heaven, the comfort of work done well.
I have longed for death in the darkness and risen alive out of hell.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I give a share of my soul to the world where my course is run.
I know that another shall finish the task I must leave undone.
I know that no flower, nor flint was in vain on the path I trod.
As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on God.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

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Funeral Poem – Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep – Mary Frye

Funeral Poem – Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep – Mary Frye

At first glance you might think this poem is about denial; not accepting the death of a loved one.

I see it differently. It is about acceptance. The author reminds us that we can take solace in the beauty that surrounds us. But first we must acknowledge the loss.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

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Funeral Poem – Last Will And Testament by Will Scratchmann

Funeral Poem – Last Will And Testament by Will Scratchmann

This is a funny and witty funeral poem with a serious message. It forms a contract between the author (the deceased to be) and his family about what he wants, how he wishes to be remembered and what he valued. Enjoy

I suppose, one day, I will be dead and go to meet my maker,
So have this note set in my hand, there for the undertaker,

Don’t dress me in a shroud of white or rouge my cheeks all red,
It is not right, to look a fright, e’en though you’re stone cold dead.

Give me a brand new five pound note and a Visa credit card,
I want to buy a proper plot in old St Peter’s yard,

And as I sit upon my cloud and look down at the earth,
I’ll watch you use my worldly goods for festival and mirth,

And that will make me smile a smile, and have a laugh quite hearty,
To hear you say, the bugger’s dead, let’s have ourselves a party.

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Stop All The Clocks – Funeral Blues – Funeral Poem by W.H.Auden

Stop All The Clocks – Funeral Blues – Funeral Poem by W.H.Auden

This poem is as fascinating as it is deceptive. It may seem familiar to you because it was used in the movie “Four Weddings and a Funeral”.

The opening lines fool you into thinking this may be a funny or humorous piece. However, line by line, the author’s anger, grief, and desolation become ever more apparent.

Published by W.H.Auden in 1938, it was initially part of a play and was considerably longer. It deftly explores the anger and resentment the author feels towards the rest of the world. Whilst they go about their business, as usual, he is bereft.

This new shortened version is sometimes spoken at funerals, especially by or on behalf of the deceased’s partner.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

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Funeral Poem – Idyll – by Siegfried Sassoon

Funeral Poem – Idyll – by Siegfried Sassoon

Sassoon is perhaps best known as a war poet. His poems are sometimes difficult reads, because of the brutality of the topic.

This poem, is more gentle and has inspired many readings at funerals.

It counteracts his other work with a message of hope and dreams; there is a glimmer of reconciliation in these words.

Perhaps they can be nought but a dream, only time will tell. Yet the author continues to dream of each new day.

In the grey summer garden I shall find you

With day-break and the morning hills behind you.

There will be rain-wet roses; stir of wings;

And down the wood a thrush that wakes and sings.

Not from the past you’ll come, but from that deep

Where beauty murmurs to the soul asleep:

And I shall know the sense of life re-born

From dreams into the mystery of morn

Where gloom and brightness meet.

And standing there Till that calm song is done,

at last we’ll share The league-spread, quiring symphonies

that are Joy in the world,

and peace, and dawn’s one star.

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There is No Light Without a Dawning by Helen Steiner Rice – Funeral Poem

There is No Light Without a Dawning by Helen Steiner Rice – Funeral Poem

A small Easter gift for you. At this time of year, Christians contemplate loss and renewal.

We realise without one there cannot be the other, just as day follows night.

This brief but strong poem by Helen Steiner Rice is often spoken at funerals. It reminds us of that universal truth.

These words will have impact for everyone, no matter what your faith, or even if you have none.

No winter without a spring And beyond the dark horizon

Our hearts will once more sing ….

For those who leave us for a while Have only gone away

Out of a restless, care worn world Into a brighter day.

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Funeral Poem – Millennial Memorial by Marc Lemezma Celebrant

Funeral Poem – Millennial Memorial by Marc Lemezma Celebrant

About 20 years ago, I first experienced a somewhat prescient dilemma. Nowadays, this problem is more greatly amplified.

I needed to add an important business contact into the phonebook on my old Nokia mobile phone, but I could not! The SIM card could only hold 20 numbers; mine was full.

I looked to see which I could delete; all were for people I needed to call regularly, except one; my sister.

She had died six months earlier, and although her number was by then disconnected, I could not bring myself to delete her entry. It simply felt wrong, like I was dismissing her memory.

Today, our lives are being managed on phones, tablets and apps, leaving the correct way to reach closure just as unclear to many.

Millennial Memorial by Marc Lemezma

I can click and look at your profile picture
I can read your words online
I can hear your tone in your voicemail greeting
I can replay it a thousand times

I can smile at a childish photo filter
I can laugh at the comments you made
I can like what so many said about you
I can replay every level you played

I can plough through unanswered emails
I can delete whole shelves full of spam
I can cancel direct debits and bank transactions
I can see you once fell for a scam

I can re-read each time you texted I love you
I can scroll past where you made me cry
I can hover my finger over the delete all button
But I’ll pause, so I can keep you alive

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Funeral Poem Where Did I Go (I’m In My Element)  By  Marc Lemezma

Funeral Poem Where Did I Go (I’m In My Element) By Marc Lemezma

This poem of mine was inspired by observing families trying to rationalise where there loved ones have gone.

Perhaps they are in specific places, or maybe dispersed among the elements.

No matter where they are, we can be sure they are in our hearts.

I hope you enjoy listening to it.

Do you look up and wonder, where did I go
Do I drift with the clouds in the sky
Or should I dance with the birds in wild murmuration
Do their wings form my image as they fly

Did I rush down the head-race and into the stream
Am I caught in cold current flow
Or shall I drift in a pool in warm saturation
Where my essence feeds reeds as they grow

Or can I be felt in the ground that you walk on
Am I where ashes haphazardly lie
Or should I hide in the ground at your chosen location
And enrichen the soil with my life

You know; you saw; those curtains did close
And when I go, that next moment brings sorrow
Or should I see this as my last contribution
To the cycle of life that we follow

But there is no need to search; I float all around you
I lived in your life from my start
Perhaps you could see this as just a migration
I’m in my element, and I live in your heart

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Funeral Poem – Pardon Me for Not Getting Up By Kelly Roper

Funeral Poem – Pardon Me for Not Getting Up By Kelly Roper

A fun poem, but one also tinged with sadness. Enjoy!

Oh dear, if you’re reading this right now,
I must have given up the ghost.
I hope you can forgive me for being
Such a stiff and unwelcoming host.

Just talk amongst yourself my friends,
And share a toast or two.
For I am sure you will remember well
How I loved to drink with you.

Don’t worry about mourning me,
I was never easy to offend.
Feel free to share a story at my expense
And we’ll have a good laugh at the end.

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The Dash Funeral Poem – by Linda Ellis

The Dash Funeral Poem – by Linda Ellis

A quirky, but well respected poem that is becoming popular for funerals. The message is clear and simple to understand, are you living your best life?

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth
and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash.
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile…
remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash,
would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

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Funeral Poem for Mum – Anonymous

Funeral Poem for Mum – Anonymous

This is a lovely poem that a client has recently chosen to to read at a funeral, dedicated to their late mother. I can’t trace the author, so if you do know who it is – let me know 🙂

I would say this is probably more likely to be read by a daughter, I have chosen to add it to my collection today on Mother Day!

The beautiful nurse featured in the opening is my late Mother, Joan.

I hope you enjoy.

You were someone I could talk to;
That no one can replace.
You were someone I could laugh with;
‘Til tears ran down my face.
You were someone I could turn to;
When I needed a helping hand;
You were someone I could count on;
To advise and understand.
You were someone I thought more of;
As each year came to an end.
You were my dearest mother;
And also my dearest friend.
Thank you for the memories;
That are yours and mine alone;
For they recall so many special moments;
That you and I have known

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Funeral Poem  – My Journey’s Just Begun by Ellen Brenneman

Funeral Poem – My Journey’s Just Begun by Ellen Brenneman

This lovely poem is another message to the living from a person who has passed away. This time it is a reminder of more than life simply going on. It tells of a new existence and relationship, founded on the love that existed in life.

Don’t think of me as gone away
My journey’s just begun
Life holds so many facets
This earth is but one

Just think of me as resting
From the sorrows and the tears
In a place of warmth and comfort
Where there are no days and years

Think of how I must be wishing
That you could know today
How nothing but your sadness
Can really go away

And think of me as living
In the hearts of those I touched
For nothing loved is ever lost
And I know I was loved so much

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Funeral Poem One At Rest by A J Stanley

Funeral Poem One At Rest by A J Stanley

A lovely poem by AJ Stanley, a conversation between the deceased and those that knew him. A reminder to cherish what was and embrace what is. A reminder that a well-lived life is full of love and other happy memories.

Think of me as one at rest,
for me you should not weep
I have no pain no troubled thoughts
for I am just asleep
The living thinking me that was,
is now forever still
And life goes on without me now,
as time forever will.

If your heart is heavy now
because I’ve gone away
Dwell not long upon it friend
For none of us can stay
Those of you who liked me,
I sincerely thank you all
And those of you who loved me,
I thank you most of all.

And in my fleeting lifespan,
as time went rushing by
I found some time to hesitate,
to laugh, to love, to cry
Matters it now if time began
If time will ever cease?
I was here, I used it all,
and now I am at peace

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Traditional Gaelic Funeral Blessing – May The Road Rise Up To Meet You

Traditional Gaelic Funeral Blessing – May The Road Rise Up To Meet You

Traditional Gaelic Funeral Blessing – May The Road Rise Up To Meet You

I’ve heard this traditional Irish blessing read at a few funerals lately. Although brief, it carries much meaning. Here shared today for 17th March!

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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Funeral Poem – Ever by Meghan O’Rourke

Funeral Poem – Ever by Meghan O’Rourke

This is poem, with an unusual meter and sonnet-like structure, deals with the toughest part of bereavement. Denial. The author struggles with comprehending the finality of death, and the meaning of loss plays in her head.

If you look beyond the complex structure – there is a deep resonance with the internal fight we all face after losing someone.

Even now I can’t grasp “nothing” or “never.”
They’re unholdable, unglobable, no map to nothing.
Never? Never ever again to see you?
An error, I aver. You’re never nothing,
because nothing’s not a thing.
I know death is absolute, forever,
the guillotine—gutting—never to which we never say goodbye.
But even as I think “forever” it goes “ever”
and “ever” and “ever.” Ever after.
I’m a thing that keeps on thinking. So I never see you
is not a thing or think my mouth can ever. Aver:
You’re not “nothing.” But neither are you something.
Will I ever really get never?
You’re gone. Nothing, never—ever.

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Funeral Poem – Let Me Go by Christina Rossetti

Funeral Poem – Let Me Go by Christina Rossetti

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not for long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that once we shared
Miss me, but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It’s all part of the master plan
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick at heart
Go to the friends we know.
Laugh at all the things we used to do
Miss me, but let me go

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Funeral Poem – She Is Gone by David Harkins

Funeral Poem – She Is Gone by David Harkins

This is a very popular poem for funerals, it helps us understand and come to terms with our loss.

It is easily adapted to “he” or “they”, so can suit any person we have lost.

You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

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Funeral Poem – Let Me Die A young Man’s Death – By Roger McGough

Funeral Poem – Let Me Die A young Man’s Death – By Roger McGough

Roger McGough is one of my favourite poets, I love his sense of humour.

He penned this sideways look at death back in the 1960s, I am sure it would not have been used in funerals then!

How times have changed – for the right person this very funny poem would be appropriate.

In more recent times he has written a new poem in answer to this one, “Not for me a young man’s death” A stark reminder of the folly of youth!

Let me die a young man’s death
not a clean and in-between
the sheets holy water death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I’m 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I’m 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber’s chair
may rival gangsters
with ham-fisted Tommy guns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I’m 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a young man’s death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
‘what a nice way to go’ death

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Funeral Poetry – Laugh With Me Once More

Funeral Poetry – Laugh With Me Once More

Poetry has a way of connecting to our inner thoughts in ways that might not seem evident at first glance. I wrote this short poem for a recent funeral service. It speaks of the dreams and aspirations the couple shared, and how those plans for the future can still bring hope beyond the time we face alone.

If you care to, climb with me
High up on the hill
I’ll take you to that place where we once stood
And wait for you until

Then if you care to, follow me
Along the busy road
I’ll walk you through those memories
And we’ll pause where the river flowed

Now if you care to, hold my hand
As we watch along the shore
Let’s drift together, to the heart of the sea
And you can laugh with me once more

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Funeral Poem – The Star by Catherine Turner

Funeral Poem – The Star by Catherine Turner

This simple poem explores the acceptance of loss and the birth of new hope.

We can acknowledge our loved one’s presence equally in what was, what is and what will be.

A light went out on Earth for me
The day we said goodbye
And on that day a star was born,
The brightest in the sky
Reaching through the darkness
With its rays of purest white
Lighting up the Heavens
As it once lit up my life
With beams of love to heal
The broken heart you left behind
Where always in my memory
Your lovely star will shine

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Funeral Poem – Afterglow by Helen Lowrie Marshall

Funeral Poem – Afterglow by Helen Lowrie Marshall

Afterglow by Helen Lowrie Marshall is a very popular poem for funerals. I used it recently at a funeral for a lady who loved the sun and having happy times with friends.

You’ll understand why I suggested it when you hear it.

I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.

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