funeral-poems

Looking for that special Funeral Poem or Reading?

Many of the funeral poems and readings include here bring comfort and solace to those that read them and may help put into words some of the most difficult and painful emotions and feelings associated with death and bereavement.

 

Afterglow

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.

– Unknown


The Journey of My Life

It was beautiful as long as it lasted
The journey of my life.
I have no regrets whatsoever
save the pain I’ll leave behind.

Those dear hearts who love and care…
And the strings pulling at the heart and soul…
The strong arms that held me up
When my own strength let me down.

At every turning of my life I came across good friends,
Friends who stood by me,
Even when the time raced me by.

Farewell, farewell my friends
I smile and bid you goodbye.

No, shed no tears for I need them not
All I need is your smile.

If you feel sad do think of me
for that’s what I’ll like when you live in the hearts
of those you love, remember then
you never die.

– Rabindranath Tagore


The Fallen Limb

A limb has fallen from the family tree.
I keep hearing a voice that says, “Grieve not for me.
Remember the best times, the laughter, the song.
The good life I lived while I was strong.
Continue my heritage, I’m counting on you.
Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through.
My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest.
Remembering all, how I truly was blessed.
Continue traditions, no matter how small.
Go on with your life, don’t worry about falls
I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin.
Until the day comes we’re together again.

– Unknown


All Is Well

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away into the next room,
I am I, and you are you,
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still,
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the same easy way which you always did,
Put no difference into your tone;
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect, without the shadow of a ghost on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity,
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am just waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well.

– Henry Scott Holland


Farewell My Friends

It was beautiful as long as it lasted, the journey of my life, I have no regrets whatsoever, save the pain I’ll leave behind.
Those dear hearts who love and care, and the heavy with sleep ever moist eyes, the smile in spite of a lump in the throat and the strings pulling at the heart and soul,
The strong arms that held me up when my own strength let me down, each morsel that I was fed with was full of love.
At every turning of my life I came across good friends, friends who stood by me, even when the time raced me by.
Farewell farewell my friends, I smile and bid you goodbye.
No, shed no tears, for I need them not, all I need is your smile, If you feel sad, do think of me, for that’s what I’ll like, when you live in the hearts of those you love, remember then…… you never die.

– Gitanjali Ghei


Feel No Guilt in Laughter

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 or 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.

– Unknown


Footprints

One night I dreamed I was walking
Along the beach with the Lord,
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints.
Other times there was only one.
This bothered me because I noticed
During the low periods of my life when I was
Suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord, You promised me,
Lord, that if I followed you,
You would walk with me always.
But I noticed during the most trying periods
Of my life there has only been
One set of prints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
Have you not been there for me?
The Lord replied,
The times when you have seen only one set of footprints
It was then that I carried you.

– Mary Stevenson


God's Garden

God looked around his garden
And found an empty place,
He then looked down upon the earth
And saw your tired face.
He put his arms around you
And lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful
He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering
He knew you were in pain.
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids
And whispered, ‘Peace be thine’.
It broke our hearts to lose you
But you didn’t go alone,
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.

– Unknown


He Is Gone

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

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

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
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 him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on

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

– David Harkins


Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

– Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Do not go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

– Dylan Thomas


Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

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 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.

– Unknown


Early Death

SHE pass’d away like morning dew
Before the sun was high;
So brief her time, she scarcely knew
The meaning of a sigh.

As round the rose its soft perfume,
Sweet love around her floated;
Admired she grew–while mortal doom
Crept on, unfear’d, unnoted.

Love was her guardian Angel here,
But Love to Death resign’d her;
Tho’ Love was kind, why should we fear
But holy Death is kinder?

– Hartley Coleridge


Farewell

Farewell to thee! but not farewell
To all my fondest thoughts of thee:
Within my heart they still shall dwell;
And they shall cheer and comfort me.
O, beautiful, and full of grace!
If thou hadst never met mine eye,
I had not dreamed a living face
Could fancied charms so far outvie.

If I may ne’er behold again
That form and face so dear to me,
Nor hear thy voice, still would I fain
Preserve, for aye, their memory.

That voice, the magic of whose tone
Can wake an echo in my breast,
Creating feelings that, alone,
Can make my tranced spirit blest.

That laughing eye, whose sunny beam
My memory would not cherish less; —
And oh, that smile! whose joyous gleam
Nor mortal language can express.

Adieu, but let me cherish, still,
The hope with which I cannot part.
Contempt may wound, and coldness chill,
But still it lingers in my heart.

And who can tell but Heaven, at last,
May answer all my thousand prayers,
And bid the future pay the past
With joy for anguish, smiles for tears?

– Anne Brontë


Funeral Blues

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 forever: 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.

– Wystan Hugh Auden


High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, –and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of –Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

– John Gillespie Magee, Jr


If I Should Go Tomorrow

If I should go tomorrow
It would never be goodbye,
For I have left my heart with you,
So don’t you ever cry.
The love that’s deep within me,
Shall reach you from the stars,
You’ll feel it from the heavens,
And it will heal the scars.

– Unknown


Life Goes On

If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower
Nor inscribe a stone
Nor when I am 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

– Joyce Grenfell


Let Me Go

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 the friends we know.
Laugh at all the things we used to do
Miss me, but let me go.
When I am dead my dearest
Sing no sad songs for me
Plant thou no roses at my head
Nor shady cypress tree
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet
And if thou wilt remember
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not fear the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on as if in pain;
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

– Christina Georgina Rossetti


Not, How Did He Die, But How Did He Live

Not how did he die, but how did he live?
Not what did he gain, but what did he give?
These are the units to measure the worth
of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

Not, what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer,
to bring back a smile, to banish a tear?

Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
but how many were sorry when he passed away

– Unknown


Remember

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

– Christina Rossetti


Cradled in Love (Baby Poem)

Cradled in love we conceived you,
Cradled in love we felt your presence.
Cradled in love we cherished our dreams,
Then cradled in love we lost you.
Cradled in love we say goodbye.
Cradled in our arms you will never be.
Cradled in our hearts you remain,
Cradled in love.


Baby Poem

Sometimes love is for a moment,
Sometimes love is for a lifetime,
Sometimes a moment is a lifetime.


There Is No Night Without A Dawning

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

– Helen Steiner Rice


Today Is A Gift

Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart
To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.
Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you twice, it is your fault
Great minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses much more;
He who loses faith, loses all.
Beautiful old people are works of art.
Learn from the mistakes of others
You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
Friends, you and me … You brought another friend … and we started our group … our circle of friends … and like a circle … there is no beginning or end …
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.

– Laszlo Kotro-Kosztandi


What is Dying

I am standing upon that foreshore, a ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, “there! she’s gone!”
“Gone where?” “Gone from my sight, that’s all”, she is just as large in mast and spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side; just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at that moment when someone at my side says, “there! she’s gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “here she comes!”
And that is dying.

– Bishop Brent


In Remembrance

We miss you in do many ways
we miss the things you used to say,
and when old times we do recall
it’s then we miss you most of all.


Responses For A Cremation

Into the freedom of wind and sunshine
We let you go
Into the dance of the stars and the planets
We let you go
Into the wind’s breath and the hands of the star maker
We let you go
We love you, we miss you, we want you to be happy
Go safely, go dancing, go running home

– Ruth Burgess


Responses For A Burial

Into the darkness and warmth of the earth
We lay you down
Into the sadness and smiles of our memories
We lay you down
Into the cycle of living and dying and rising again
We lay you down
May you rest in peace, in fulfilment, in loving.
May you run straight home in God’s embrace.

– Ruth Burgess