Poems for Funerals

Here is a selection of poems that may be suitable for a funeral, or that may give some comfort to those who are grieving.

In some cases the author is unknown, or listed incorrectly.  If you know the author, please email me

Autumn Rain – Mary Frye, 1932

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 that swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

Afterglow – Helen Lowrie Marshall

I’d like the memory of me
To be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow
Of smiles when day 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 I leave
Behind – when day is done.

(with thanks to Helen’s grandchildren Paul and Peggy Marshall, for letting me know the author of this poem, and for sending me the correct text.
The poem was originally published in 1958 in a book of original poems entitled
“Close To The Heart” (ISBN 0-385-08261-4).  Helen wrote 11 books of poetry during her life.)

The Fallen Limb – Author Unknown

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.”

To My Father – Georgia Harkness

A giant pine, magnificent and old
Stood staunch against the sky and all around
Shed beauty, grace and power.
Within its fold birds safely reared their young.
The velvet ground beneath was gentle,
and the cooling shade gave cheer to passers by.
Its towering arms a landmark stood, erect and unafraid,
As if to say, “Fear naught from life’s alarms”.

It fell one day.
Where it had dauntless stood was loneliness and void.
But men who passed paid tribute – and said,
“To know this life was good,
It left it’s mark on me. Its work stands fast”.
And so it lives. Such life no bonds can hold –
This giant pine, magnificent and old.

A Butterfly Lights Beside Us – Author Unknown

A butterfly lights beside us, like a sunbeam …
and for a brief moment, its glory
and beauty belong to our world …
but then it flies on again, and although
we wish it could have stayed,
we are so thankful to have seen it at all.

My Mother Kept a Garden – Author Unknown

My Mother kept a garden
A garden of the heart;
She planted all the good things,
That gave my life its start.

She turned me to the sunshine,
And encouraged me to dream:
Fostering and nurturing
The seeds of self-esteem.

And when the winds and rains came,
She protected me enough;
But not too much, she knew I’d need
To stand up strong and tough.

Her constant good example,
Always taught me right from wrong;
Markers for my pathway
To last my whole life long.

I am my Mother’s garden,
I am her legacy.
And I hope today she feels the love,
Reflected back from me.

A Loved One’s Lament – Ron Wood

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
I’m following the path God has laid you see.
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, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way
I found that peace at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish 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 peace to thee
God wanted me now; He set me free.

(with thanks to the author Ron Wood for contacting me with the correct title and authorship of the above poem)

Inside Our Dreams – Jeanne Willis

Where do people go to when they die?
Somewhere down below or in the sky?
‘I can’t be sure,’ said Grandad, ‘but it seems
They simply set up home inside our dreams.’

Not In Vain – Emily Dickinson

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

This Heritage

They are not dead,
Who leave us this great heritage
Of remembered joy.

They still live in our hearts,
In the happiness we knew,
In the dreams we shared.

They still breathe,
In the lingering fragrance windblown,
From their favourite flowers.

They still smile in the moonlight’s silver
And laugh in the sunlight’s sparkling gold.

They still speak in the echoes of words
We’ve heard them say again and again.

They still move,
In the rhythm of waving grasses,
In the dance of the tossing branches.

They are not dead;
Their memory is warm in our hearts,
Comfort in our sorrow.
They are not apart from us,
But a part of us
For love is eternal,
And those we love shall be with us
Throughout all eternity.

If I Should Go  – Author unknown

If I should go tomorrow,
It would never be good-bye,
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 your scars.

Stone Can Be Broken

Stone Can Be Broken
Our love for you is not written on paper, for it can be erased.
Nor is our love for you etched in stone, for stone can be broken.
But our love for you is inscribed in our hearts, where it shall remain forever.

The Comfort and Sweetness of Peace – Helen Steiner Rice

After the clouds, the sunshine,
after the winter, the spring,
after the shower, the rainbow,
for life is a changeable thing.
After the night, the morning,
bidding all darkness cease,
after life’s cares and sorrows,
the comfort and sweetness of peace.

Wonderful Mother – Patrick O’Reilly

God made a wonderful mother,
A mother who never grows old;
He made her smile of the sunshine,
And He moulded her heart of pure gold;
In her eyes He placed bright shining stars,
In her cheeks fair roses you see;
God made a wonderful mother,
And He gave that dear mother to me.

Poem for Mother  – Author unknown

Your mother is always with you…
She’s the place you came from, your first home…
She’s the map you follow with every step that you take.
And nothing on earth can separate you.
Not time, not space…
Not even death will ever separate you from your mother…
You carry her inside of you.

Gone Fishing – Dalmar Pepper

I’ve finished life’s chores assigned to me,
So put me on a boat headed out to sea.
Please send along my fishing pole
For I’ve been invited to the fishin’ hole.

Where every day is a day to fish,
To fill your heart with every wish.
Don’t worry, or feel sad for me,
I’m fishin’ with the Master of the sea.

We will miss each other for awhile,
But you will come and bring your smile.
That won’t be long you will see,
Till we’re together you and me.

To all of those that think of me,
Be happy as I go out to sea.
If others wonder why I’m missin’
Just tell ’em I’ve gone fishin’

The following poem was sent to me by Alex Jamieson – she wrote it for her mother.

Please be strong while I’m away
Have faith in all that is today
Although I’m gone, I’m with you always,
And when you smile, I’m there

Please don’t cry for you can’t see me,
I’m always there for when you need me
Although I’m gone, you’re in my heart,
And when you smile, I’m there.

Forgotten I know that I will not be,
I know that you think often of me
We’ll meet again, for now in prayer,
For when you smile, please know I’m there.

Gone Too Soon – Michael Jackson

Like a comet
Blazing ‘cross the evening sky
Gone too soon

Like a rainbow
Fading in the twinkling of an eye
Gone too soon

Shiny and sparkly
And splendidly bright
Here one day
Gone one night

Like the loss of sunlight
On a cloudy afternoon
Gone too soon

Like a castle
Built upon a sandy beach
Gone too soon

Like a perfect flower
That is just beyond your reach
Gone too soon

Born to amuse, to inspire, to delight
Here one day
Gone one night

Like a sunset
Dying with the rising of the moon
Gone too soon

Gone too soon

Psalm 23 – Version suitable for Sailors

The Lord is my pilot, I shall not drift
He guides me across the dark waters.
He steers me through deep channels.He keeps my log.
Yes, though I sail ‘mid the thunders and tempest of life,
I shall dread no danger, for He is with me;
His love and His care, shelter me.
He prepares a quiet harbour before me.
He anoints the wave with oil,
My ship rides calmly.
Surely sunlight and starlight
Shall guide me on the voyage I take,
And I will rest in heaven’s port forever.

Requiem – Robert Louis Stevenson

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe –
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
The birthpace of valour, the country of worth
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe –
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.

Farewell to the mountains high cover’d with snow;
Farewell to the straths and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods;
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe –
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.

If Roses Grow in Heaven – Kirsten Preus

Don’t think of her as gone away,
Her journey’s just begun.
Life holds so many facets,
This earth is only one.
Just think of her as resting
from the sorrows and the tears,
In a place of warmth and comfort
Where there are no days and years.
Think how she must be wishing
That we could know today,
How nothing but our sadness
Can really pass away.
And think of her as living
In the hearts of those she touched,
For nothing loved is ever lost
And she was loved so much.

(thank you Kirsten for contacting me to let me know that you are the author of this lovely poem, and for giving me the correct title of the poem)

Poem for Wayne – Samuel Hill, age 10

Just one little peek into heaven
Is all I’m asking for today.
I just want to know how Wayne’s doing
And heaven seems so far away.

Is he playing on the clouds with angels?
Is he laughing and happy today?
Does he miss me? I guess only he knows.
Oh why does heaven seem so far away?

If you just let me look for a moment
To catch a glimpse of Wayne’s smiling face
I promise I won’t try to take him
I know, he’s in a better place.

Just one little peek into heaven
Is all I’m asking for today.
I just want to know how he’s doing
And heaven seems so far away.

Away – James Whitcomb Riley

I cannot say and I will not say
That she is dead – she is just away.
With a cheery smile and a wave of a hand
She has wandered into an unknown land,
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be since she lingers there.

 

Dirge Without Music – Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

One at Rest – Author unknown

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
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.

The answer to life’s riddle
In life I never knew,
I go with hope that now I will,
And even so will you.

Oh, foolish, foolish me that was,
I who was so small,
To have wondered, even worried,
At the mystery of it 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.

The Day You Left

With tears we saw you suffer,
As we watched you fade away,
Our hearts were almost broken,
As you fought so hard to stay.

We knew you had to leave us,
But you never went alone,
For part of us went with you
The day you left your home.

Her Old Bones Creaked – Jamie Samms

Her old bones creaked
And her pace was slow,
But her smile was blindingly bright.
Her mind was sharp
And her voice was kind,
Her manner was a true delight.

The world had changed
In the winters she’d known
But she bore their weight with pride.
She shared her wisdom
And passed the goodness on,
Using her love of life as her guide.

She did not bow to time,
Using life as her stage,
She sought each morning’s joy
And she was never defeated by age.

Foot Prints in the Sand

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 were
one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see 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 have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there has only been one
set of footprints 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 in the sand,
is when I carried you.”

Death is nothing at all – Canon Henry Scott Holland

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, we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way which you have always used.
Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow 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 but waiting for you, for an interval somewhere very near,
just around the corner.
All is well.

Though I am Dead – Anonymous

Though I am dead grieve not for me with tears
think not of death with sorrowing and tears;
I am so near that every tear you shed
touches and tortures me though you think me dead.

But when you laugh and sing in glad delight,
my soul is lifted upward to the light.
Laugh and be glad for all that life is giving
and I, though dead, will share your joy in living.

Memories and Peace – Gloria Matthew

Why smile in such sadness?
It’s because of the memories
Of laughter shared in the past.
The humour of life, the fun and the joy,
The reminiscences certain to last.

Why relief in such sadness?
It’s because there is peace
With no more chance of pain
No one can hurt, nor take away
There will never be fear again.

Some Time at Eve – Elizabeth Clark Hardy

Some time at eve when the tide is low,
I shall slip my mooring and sail away,
With no response to the friendly hail
Of kindred craft in the busy bay.
In the silent hush of the twilight pale,
When the night stoops down to embrace the day,
And the voices call in the waters’ flow-
Some time at eve when the tide is low,
I shall slip my mooring and sail away.
Through the purpling shadows that darkly trail
O’er the ebbing tide of the Unknown Sea,
I shall fare me away, with a dip of sail
And a ripple of waters to tell the tale
Of a lonely voyager, sailing away
To the Mystic Isles where at anchor lay
The crafts of those who have sailed before
O’er the Unknown Sea to the Unseen Shore.
A few who have watched me sail away
Will miss my craft from the busy bay;
Some friendly barks that were anchored near,
Some loving souls that my heart held dear,
In silent sorrow will drop a tear
But I shall have peacefully furled my sail
In mooring sheltered from storm and gale
And greet the friends who have sailed before
O’er the Unknown Sea to the Unknown Shore.

High Flight – John Gillespie Magee Jr

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 ever 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.

Because I Fly – Grover C. Norwood

Because I fly
I laugh more than other men
I look up and see more than they,
I know how the clouds feel,
What it’s like to have the blue in my lap,
to look down on birds,
to feel freedom in a thing called the stick…

who but I can slice between God’s billowed legs,
and feel them laugh and crash with His step
Who else has seen the unclimbed peaks?
The rainbow’s secret?
The real reason birds sing?
Because I Fly,
I envy no man on earth.

Something Beautiful Remains – Martha Vashti Pearson

The tide recedes, but leaves behind
Bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down but gentle warmth
Still lingers on the land.

The music stops and yet it lingers on
In sweet refrain.
For every joy that passes
Something beautiful remains

(with thanks to Martha’s niece Jennie for letting me know the author of this lovely poem.  Martha passed away in 2011, aged 89.  Her poems can be purchased in ebook format here.)

Those Who Love

It’s always those who love the most
Who most miss the one they love,
When comes the parting of the ways,
And clouds loom dark above;

But tears will pass, your skies will clear
Then will you smile again,
And comfort find in memories,
Which now bring bitter pain.

from Break, Break, Break – Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand,
and the sound of a voice that is still.

Adapted from 2 poems by Anne Bronte: Farewell and Untitled

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.

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 ever, their memory.

That laughing eye, whose sunny beam
My memory would not cherish less;
And oh, that smile! whose joyous gleam
No mortal language can express.

Life seems more sweet that thou didst live,
And men more true that thou wert one:
Nothing is lost that thou didst give,
Nothing destroyed that thou hast done.

Earth hath received thine earthly part;
Thine heavenly flame has heavenward flown;
But both still linger in my heart,
Still live, and not in mine alone.

Crossing Over – Author Unknown

Oh, please don’t feel guilty
It was just my time to go.
I see you are still feeling sad,
And the tears just seem to flow.
We all come to earth for our lifetime,
And for some it’s not many years
I don’t want you to keep crying
You are shedding so many tears.
I haven’t really left you
Even though it may seem so.
I have just gone to my heavenly home,
And I’m closer to you than you know.
Just believe that when you say
my name, I’m standing next to you,
I know you long to see me,
But there’s nothing I can do.
But I’ll still send you messages
And hope you understand,
That when your time comes to
cross over,  I’ll be there
to take your hand.

It is right to weep – Author Unknown

It is right to weep and mourn
but not for thyself –
for they have gone to a better place.
The tears release the tension:
take courage – remember happy days
you shared – and though you are sad
carry on as they would have you,
living, loving, laughing, caring,
God is with you though you may not know it.
He will help you through your lonely days;
just open your heart and let Him come in.

Warm Summer Sun – Mark Twain

Warm summer sun, shine kindly here;
Warm southern wind, blow softly here;
Green sod above, lie light, lie light;
Good night, dear heart, good night, good night.

The Road Not Taken Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

A Silent Tear – Gaynor Llewellyn

Just close your eyes and you will see
All the memories that you have of me
Just sit and relax and you will find
I’m really still there inside your mind
Don’t cry for me now I’m gone
For I am in the land of song
There is no pain, there is no fear
So dry away that silent tear
Don’t think of me in the dark and cold
For here I am, no longer old
I’m in that place that’s filled with love
Known to you all, as “UP ABOVE”

Funeral Blues – W.H. Auden

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 woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

What is Dying?

A ship sails and I stand watching it till it fades on the horizon.
Someone at my side says, “She is gone.”
Gone where?
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large as when I saw her.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her.
And just at that moment, when someone at your side says, “She is gone”
There are others who are watching her coming.
And other voices take up the glad shout.
“Here she comes!”
And that is dying.

On A Friend – Robbie Burns

An honest man here lies at rest,
As ever 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.

from The Tempest – William Shakespeare

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yes, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like the insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

On Death – Kahlil Gibran

You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Live A Life That Matters – Author Unknown

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.

So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from,
or on what side of the tracks you lived.
At the end, whether you were beautiful or brilliant, male or female,
even your skin colour won’t matter.

So what will matter?
How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built;
not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched,empowered or encouraged others.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew,
but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories,
but the memories that live in those who loved you.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.

The Tragedy of Life – Anonymous

The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside us while we live.
Decide to be happy
Render others happy
Proclaim your joy.
Love passionately your miraculous life
Do not wait for a better world
Be grateful for every moment of life
Switch on and keep on the positive buttons marked:
Optimism
Serenity
Confidence
Positive thinking
Love

Pray and thank God every day
Meditate
Smile
Laugh
Whistle
Dance
Sing
Look with fascination at everything. Fill your heart and lungs with liberty.
Be yourself fully and immensely.
Feel God in your body, mind, heart and soul and be convinced of eternal life.

from The Book of the Dead – Ancient Egyptian (c. 4500 BC)

As each day ends may I have lived,
That I may truly say:
I did no harm to human kind,
From truth I did not stray;
I did no wrong with knowing mind,
From evil I did keep;
I turned no hungry person away,
I caused no one to weep.

When Death Knocks – Rabindranath Tagore

On the day when death will knock at thy door,
What wilt thou offer to him?

I will set before my guest the full vessel of my life.
I will never let him go with empty hands.

All the sweet vintage of all my autumn days and summer nights,
All the earnings and gleanings of my busy life
Will I place before him, at the close of my day.

The Gardener – Rabindranath Tagore

Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words in silence.
I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light you on your way.

When the House Doth Sigh – Robert Herrick (1591 – 1674)

When the house doth sigh and weep
and the world is drawn in sleep
yet mine eyes the watch do keep;
sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When (God knows) I am tossed about
either with despair or doubt;
yet before the glass be out,
sweet Spirit, comfort me.
When the judgement is reveal’d
and that open’d that was seal’d
when to thee I have appeal’d
sweet Spirit, comfort me!

Remember Me – Christina Rossetti (1830 – 1895)

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 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.

For Everything There Is A Season – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

For everything there is a season,
and time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and time for peace

Miss Me – But Let Me Go

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

Miss me a little but not too 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 for each must go alone
It’s all a part of a bigger plan
A step on the road to home
And when you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your tears in their loving arms
Miss me – but let me go.

Remember Me – David Harkins

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’ll come back or you can open your eyes and see all she has left
your heart can be empty because you can’t see her or you can be full of the love 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’s 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’d want; smile, open your eyes, love and go on

I Live On – Ron Tranmer ©

I died but did not leave you.
I am here, and have not gone.
Though my spirit left my body
don’t be sad, for I live on.

My love is all around you.
Can you feel it? Can you see?
That gentle breeze upon your face
is not the wind…but me.

I’m the song of a bluebird
when spring is in the air.
I’m the roses in a garden.
You can find me everywhere.

Whenever you are missing me
look up to heaven’s skies.
I’m the twinkle in the stars.
I’m the sunset, and sunrise.

I’m a raindrop and a rainbow.
I’m the ocean’s waves of blue;
So everywhere you go you’ll know,
I live on, loving you.

Heaven’s Light – Ron Tranmer ©

The sun shines down upon us
with rays of  warmth and light.
Then when the day has ended,
disappears beyond our sight.

We then are left in darkness,
not because the sun has died,
but  because it’s shining brightly
on the world’s other side.

So it is when one we love
come to their end of days.
They go on to the other side
to shine their loving rays.

That’s why Heaven is a place
that glows beyond compare.
The lights of those who’ve left us
are all brightly shining there.

The Broken Chain – Ron Tranmer ©

We little knew that morning that
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly
In death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you,
you did not go alone;
for part of us went with you,
the day God called you home.
You left us peaceful memories,
your love is still our guide,
and though we cannot see you,
you are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken
and nothing seems the same,
but as God calls us one by one,
the chain will link again.

It’s a Time of Heartfelt Sadness – Ron Tranmer ©

It’s a time of heartfelt sadness
When a loved one passes on
But know your loved one lives in joy
And peace where he has gone

Oh how much he will be missed
That’s where the sadness lies
But others who have missed him
now rejoice in Heaven’s skies

We know one day we’ll join him
Because our time on earth will flee
We’ll then live with him forever
Throughout all eternity

(for other poems by Ron Tranmer please visit his website rontranmer.com )

How do we know – Marjorie Pizer

How do we know who is to go,
Who is to leave this world
Suddenly, unexpectedly or in long pain?
There is no saying who will be with us tomorrow
Or who will be bowed in sorrow.
O, while you are here,
Grasp life with both hands
And pour your passion into living,
For who knows when you or yours
May be snatched away,
Out of the toil and the moil,
Out of our present existence.

Hard to Remember – Marjorie Pizer

It is so hard to remember that you are dead.
At any moment you could walk into the house
Just as if you had been up the street shopping,
Or had just finished some writing.
Despite the fact that I walked with you
Every inch of the terrible path of your dying,
Sometimes, still, I cannot remember that you are dead.

My Healing – Marjorie Pizer

I sat in my desolation
Withdrawn from all around,
Feeling my life was a ruin, a failure.
I was empty inside
With the utter collapse of my being.
I did not care anymore
For living or dying.
I was alone
In my distress and desolation.
But as I sat sadly on the ground,
The sun reached out his hand to me
And touched my face.
And so my healing began.

The Existence of Love – Marjorie Pizer

I had thought that your death
Was a waste and a destruction,
A pain of grief hardly to be endured.
I am only beginning to learn
That your life was a gift and a growing
And a loving left with me.
The desperation of death
Destroyed the existence of love,
But the fact of death
Cannot destroy what has been given.
I am learning to look at your life again
Instead of at your death and your departing.

Coming Home – Marjorie Pizer

I must get used to coming home to an empty house,
To find no welcoming presence waiting for me,
No cosy lights and kettles boiling
For companionable cups of tea.
I loved coming home, knowing that you were there,
Working or writing and awaiting my return,
Both of us equally pleased to see one another.
Now I must become accustomed to coming home to an empty house.

Rivulets – Michael R Berman

These are days of tears;
Mist from souls of friendship.
prayers from bottomless hearts.
Love ripples the silence of fear
Like stones dropped in tide-less ponds,
To carry hope beyond infinity
And dance among the sunshine and blossoms
of ordinary days, while waves of virile uncertainties
spawn rivulets of faith.
Reason probes for reason.
Yet there is elegance in the threads of our destiny;
Simplicities of truth entwined
With the complexities of why?
Woven from the sweetness of our moments,
they become the fabric of our being.
Transition begets renewal.
As seasons fuse,
Darkness of long winter nights
Becomes an apparition.
Life burgeons, promises mature,
inspirations thrive and fortune ascends on the vapour of despair until, despair exists no longer

Love is Immortal – Author unknown

Love is pure energy and
No matter how hard you try,
You can never kill love
Because pure energy can’t die
The feeling of love can fade,
And the body can cease to give,
But the energy created by love
Is immortal and continues
To live.

A Mother – Lori Boast, 2007

How do we let a mother go?
How do we say “I’m ready now
to go on without you”?
How can we ever have a clue of what that really means?

And of a sudden
The moment is upon us, and there’s no turning back.

And then we know what grief is,….
and guilt and love and things undone.

Try to prepare and we will fail in some way, be it subtle or looming….

But there is peace too.
Peace and acceptance and overwhelming love that we maybe weren’t aware of.
Waves and waves of conflicting emotion,
And laughter too,
and memories we hadn’t bothered lately to recall
come flooding back in shared company..

and it’s all about you mom…

And there’s gratitude.. so much of that, that we had you, such a wonderful mother…
Bright and shining, nobody’s fool,
Independent, but humble too;
Smart, and kind, and fun.

Adventurous..

A part of you has passed away, but much is carried everyday within us, and will as long as we are here.

This may be a final tribute,
A day to celebrate your life and say goodbyes;
But it’s not final.
Everyday I’ll celebrate in some way, just by the virtue of how you shaped my life,
The absolute and incredible fortune that I knew you.
As a mother, a friend and a woman.

In Memoriam Author Unknown

Our lives go on without you
But nothing is the same
We have to hide our heartache
When someone speaks your name
Sad are the hearts that love you
Silent are the tears that fall
Living without you is the hardest part of all
You did so many things for us
Your heart was so kind and true
And when we needed someone
We could always count on you
The special years will not return
When we are all together
But with the love in our hearts
You walk with us forever

Because I have loved life – Amelia Josephine Burr

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.

An Indian Prayer

Creator of life and light,
we praise thee this day for the beauty of thy world,
for sunshine and flowers,
storm-cloud and starry night,
for the radiance of dawn and the last smouldering calm of the sunset.

We thank thee for physical joys,
for the ecstasy of swift motion, for deep water to swim in,
for the goodly smell of rain on dry ground,
for hills to climb and hard work to do,
for all the skill of hand and eye,
for music that lifts our hearts in one breath to heaven,
for the grasp of a friend,
for the gracious loveliness of children,

for all these thy sacraments of beauty and joy,
we thank thee our Lord and God.

The Rose Beyond the Wall – Author Unknown

A rose once grew
where all could see,
sheltered beside a garden wall.
As the days passed swiftly by,
it spread its branches straight and tall…
One day, a beam of light shone
through a crevice that had opened wide –
The rose bent gently toward its warmth
then passed beyond to the other side…
Now the rose blooms there
Its beauty even greater now,
nurtured by God’s loving care.

A Sad Farewell – Author Unknown

Sad and lonely days have passed
since our great sorrow fell
The grief that we received that day,
no one can ever tell.

God gave us strength to meet it,
and courage to bear the blow.
For what it meant to lose you,
no one will ever know.

It’s lonely here without you,
we miss you more each day.
For life is not the same to us,
since you were called away.

You bade us not a last farewell,
nor even said good-bye.
You were gone before we knew it,
and only God knows why.

It broke our hearts to lose you,
but you did not go alone.
For part of us went with you,
the night God called you home.

 

Those Whom I Love, and Those Who Love Me

When I am gone, release me, let me go,
I have so many things to see and do.
You must not tie yourself to me with tears,
Be happy that we had so many years.

You can only guess how much you gave me,
In happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown,
And now it’s time I travelled on alone.

So grieve a while for me, if grieve you must,
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It’s only for a while that we must part,
So bless the memories within your heart
I will not be far away – for life goes on,
So if you need me call, and I will come.

Though you cannot see or touch me, I’ll be near,
And if you listen with your heart, you will hear,
All of my love around you, soft and clear
Then, when you must come this way alone,
I will greet you with a smile, and a ‘welcome home’.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

A young man left his life one day,
To fight a war yet far away,
Fighting to let peace be known,
He thought one day he would come home.

He left his love, said with a smile,
“I’m coming home, in a short while.”
He never knew his time was near,
He left to fight, without a fear.

The scene was grey and bleak,
A win, a loss, again, a fall,
The fighting went on, week after week
They wanted to end it all.

By the time the war was won,
The bloodshed over, the battles done,
One hundred thousand, and 16 more,
Canadians dead, that was the score.

The brave young man that left his love,
Was gone to face the lord above,
His human body never found,
With poppies blowing, there came a sound.

A service to remember them,
Who came before,
the brave young men,
A cannon booms, a bugle sounds,
The tomb of those whose life it crowns.

We remember with a Tomb of Stone,
For the soldiers still unknown,
All those who fought and died before,
And those who’ll fight in future wars.

Through many wars, o’er many years,
Men and women looked past their fears,
This tomb remembers all of them,
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Two short poems by William Blake

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
He who kisses the joy as it flies,
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.

William Wordsworth from “Great Ode”

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our life’s star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;

They Softly Walk – Hugh Robert Orr

They are not gone who pass
Beyond the clasp of hand,
Out from the strong embrace.
They are but come so close
We need not grope with hands,
Nor look to see, nor try
To catch the sound of feet.
They have put off their shoes
Softly to walk by day
Within our thoughts, to tread
At night our dream-led paths
Of sleep.

They are not lost who find
The sunset gate, the goal
Of all their faithful years.
Not lost are they who reach
The summit of their climb,
The peak above the clouds
And storms. They are not lost
Who find the light of sun
And stars and God.

They are not dead who live
In hearts they leave behind.
In those whom they have blessed
They live a life again,
And shall live through the years
Eternal life, and grow
Each day more beautiful
As time declares their good,
Forgets the rest, and proves
Their immortality.

Excerpt from The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,

Speak to us of Children. And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are set forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with his might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

To Those I Love – Isla Paschal Richardson

If I should ever leave you,
Whom I love
To go along the silent way…Grieve not.
Nor speak of me with tears.
But laugh and talk of me
As if I were beside you there.
(I’d come… I’d come,
Could I but find a way!
But would not tears and
And grief be barriers?)
And when you hear a song
Or see a bird I loved,
Please do not let the thought of me
Be sad…for I am loving you
Just as I always have…
You were so good to me!
There are so many things
I wanted still to do…
So many things I wanted to say
to you… Remember that
I did not fear… It was
Just leaving you
That was so hard to face.
We cannot see beyond…
But this I know:
I loved you so…
’twas heaven here with you

Where do they go to? – KevF – 21st August 2007

Where do they go to, the people who leave?
Are they around us, in the cool evening breeze?
Do they still hear us, and watch us each day?
I’d like you to think of them with us that way.

Where do they go to, when no longer here?
I think that they stay with us, calming our fear
Loving us always, holding our hands
Walking beside us, on grass or on sand.

Where do they go to, well it’s my belief
They watch us and help us to cope with our grief
They comfort and stay with us, through each of our days
Guiding us always through life’s mortal maze.

The Parting Glass – Irish Traditional

Oh all the time that e’er I spent,
I spent it in good company;
And any harm that e’er I’ve done,
I trust it was to none but me;
May those I’ve loved through all the years
Have memories now they’ll e’er recall;
So fill me to the parting glass,
Goodnight, and joy be with you all.

Oh all the comrades that e’er I had,
Are sorry for my going away;
And all the loved ones that e’er I had
Would wish me one more day to stay.
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should leave and you should not,
I’ll gently rise and I’ll softly call
Goodnight, and joy be with you all.

Of all good times that e’er we shared,
I leave to you fond memory;
And for all the friendship that e’er we had
I ask you to remember me;
And when you sit and stories tell,
I’ll be with you and help recall;
So fill to me the parting glass,
God bless, and joy be with you all.

Close the Gate – Nancy Kraayenhof

For this one farmer the worries are over, lie down and rest your head,
Your time has been and struggles enough, put the tractor in the shed.
Years were not easy, many downright hard, but your faith in God transcended,
Put away your tools and sleep in peace. The fences have all been mended.
You raised a fine family, worked the land well and always followed the Son,
Hang up your shovel inside of the barn; your work here on earth is done.
A faith few possess led your journey through life, often a jagged and stony way,
The sun is setting, the cattle are all bedded, and here now is the end of your day.
Your love of God’s soil has passed on to your kin; the stories flow like fine wine,
Wash off your work boots in the puddle left by blessed rain one final time.
You always believed that the good Lord would provide and He always had somehow,
Take off your gloves and put them down, no more sweat and worry for you now.
Your labor is done, your home now is heaven; no more must you wait,
Your legacy lives on, your love of the land, and we will close the gate.

The Old Farmer’s Prayer

Time just keeps moving on
Many years have come and gone
But I grow older without regret
My hopes are in what may come yet.
On the farm I work each day
This is where I wish to stay
I watch the seeds each season sprout
From the soil as the plants rise out.
I study Nature and I learn
To know the earth and feel her turn
I love her dearly and all the seasons
For I have learned her secret reasons.
All that will live is in the bosom of Earth
She is the loving mother of all birth
But all that lives must pass away
And go back again to her someday.
My life too will pass from Earth
But do not grieve, I say, there will be other birth
When my body is old and all spent
And my soul to Heaven has went.
Please compost and spread me on this plain
So my body Mother Earth can claim
That is where I wish to be
Then Nature can nourish new life with me.
So do not for me grieve and weep
I did not leave, I only sleep
I am with the soil here below
Where I can nourish life of beauty and glow.
Here I can help the falling rain
Grow golden fields of ripening grain
From here I can join the winds that blow
And meet the softly falling snow.
Here I can help the sun’s warming light
Grow food for birds of gliding flight
I can be in the beautiful flowers of spring
And in every other lovely thing.
So do not for me weep and cry
I am here, I do not die.

To Laugh Often and Much 
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of the intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
to know that one life has breathed easier
because you lived here.
This is to have succeeded.

An adaptation of the above poem:

That man is a success
Who has lived well,
Laughed often and loved much;
Who has gained the respect of intelligent men and women
And the love of children;
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
Who leaves the world better than he found it,
Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty
Or failed to express it;
Who looked for the best in others,
And gave the best he had.

As We Look Back 
by Unknown Author

As we look back over time
We find ourselves wondering …..
Did we remember to thank you enough
For all you have done for us?
For all the times you were by our sides
To help and support us …..
To celebrate our successes
To understand our problems
And accept our defeats?
Or for teaching us by your example,
The value of hard work, good judgement,
Courage and integrity?
We wonder if we ever thanked you
For the sacrifices you made.
To let us have the very best?
And for the simple things
Like laughter, smiles and times we shared?
If we have forgotten to show our
Gratitude enough for all the things you did,
We’re thanking you now.
And we are hoping you knew all along,
How much you meant to us.

Don’t grieve for me – by Thresiamma Abraham

Don’t grieve for me, for I’m free
I’m following the path God laid for me
I took his hand when I heard his call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I’ve found that peace at the close of day.
If my 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 you the sunshine of tomorrow,
My life’s been full, I savored 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 wanted me now, He has set me free.

God’s garden

God looked around his garden and he found an empty place.
And then he 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.

No Title
 – unknown author

A light from the family is gone
A voice we loved is stilled
A place is vacant in the home
Which never can be filled
We have to mourn the loss of one
We would’ve loved to keep
But God who surely loved her best
Has finally made her sleep

Death
 by Joyce Grenfell, actress and writer (1910 – 1979)

If I should die 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.

Farewell My friends
 – Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali poet and philosopher (1861 – 1941)

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.

He Has Achieved Success – Bessie Anderson Stanley

He has achieved success who has lived well,
laughed often and loved much:
who has enjoyed the trust of pure women,
the respect of intelligent men
and the love of little children;
who has filled the niche
and accomplished his task;
who has left the world better than he found it;
whether by an improved poppy,
a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty
or failed to express it;
who has always looked for the best in others
and given the best he had.
Whose life was an inspiration;
Whose memory a benediction.

He is not lost our dearest love
 – Anonymous

He is not lost our dearest love,
Nor has he travelled far,
Just stepped inside home’s loveliest room
And left the door ajar.

I Never Saw Your Wings by Michele

How is it that I never saw your wings
when you were here with me?
When you closed your eyes
and soared 
to the Heavens
I could hear the
 faint flutter
of your wings as you left.

Your body no longer on this side
your spirit here eternally
I see your halo shine.
I close my eyes and see
the multicolored wings 
surround me
in my saddest moments and my happiest times.
Mother my angel God has given you your assignment
always my mother forever my angel.
You fly into my dreams and when I am asleep
I feel your wings brush against my face
wiping away 
the tears I shed
since I can no longer hold
 you in my arms
but in my heart.
You earned those wings dear mother
and you will always be me angel eternal.

The clock of life

The clock of life is wound but once,
and no man has the power
to tell just when the hands will stop
at late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own
live, love, toil with a will
place no faith in tomorrow, for
the clock may then be still.

Those We Love

Those we love remain with us
For love itself lives on,
And cherished memories never fade
Because a loved one’s gone.
Those we love can never be
More than a thought apart,
For as long as there is memory,
They’ll live on in the heart.

I Will Meet You Yet Again – Amrita Pritam

I will meet you yet again
How and where
I know not
Perhaps I will become a
Figment of your imagination
And maybe spreading myself
In a mysterious line
On your canvas
I will keep gazing at you.
Perhaps I will become a ray
Of sunshine to be
Embraced by your colours
I will paint myself on your canvas
I know not how and where –
But I will meet you for sure.
Maybe I will turn into a spring
And rub foaming
Drops of water on your body
And rest my coolness on
Your burning chest
I know nothing
But that this life
Will walk along with me.
When the body perishes
All perishes
But the threads of memory
Are woven of enduring atoms
I will pick these particles
Weave the threads
And I will meet you yet again.

There Is No Death  – J. L. McCreery

There is no death! The stars go down
To rise upon some other shore,
And bright in heaven’s jeweled crown
They shine forevermore.

There is no death! The forest leaves
Convert to life the viewless air;
The rocks disorganize to feed
The hungry moss they bear.

There is no death! The dust we tread
Shall change, beneath the summer showers
To golden grain, or mellowed fruit,
Or rainbow-tinted flowers.

There is no death! The leaves may fall,
And flowers may fade and pass away–
They only wait, through wintry hours,
The warm, sweet breath of May.

There is no death! The choicest gifts
That heaven hath kindly lent to earth
Are ever first to seek again
The country of their birth.

And all things that for growth or joy
Are worthy of our love or care,
Whose loss has left us desolate,
Are safely garnered there.

Though life becomes a desert waste,
We know it’s fairest, sweetest flowers,
Transplanted into Paradise,
Adorn immortal bowers.

The voice of birdlike melody
That we have missed and mourned so long,
Now mingles with the angel choir
In everlasting song.

There is no death! Although we grieve
When beautiful, familiar forms
That we have learned to love are torn
From our embracing arms–

Although with bowed and breaking heart,
With sable garb and silent tread,
We bear their senseless dust to rest,
And say that they are “dead,”

They are not dead! They have but passed
Beyond the mists that blind us here
Into the new and larger life
Of that serener sphere.

They have but dropped their robe of clay
To put their shining raiment on;
They have not wandered far away–
They are not “lost nor “gone.”

Though disenthralled and glorified
They still are here and love us yet;
The dear ones they have left behind
They never can forget.

And sometimes, when our hearts grow faint
Amid temptations fierce and deep,
Or when the wildly raging waves
Of grief or passion sweep,

We feel upon our fevered brow
Their gentle touch, their breath of balm;
Their arms enfold us, and our hearts
Grow comforted and calm.

And ever near us, though unseen,
The dear, immortal spirits tread–
For all the boundless universe
Is Life–there are no dead!

So many different lengths of time – Brian Patten

How long does a man live after all?
A thousand days or only one?
One week or a few centuries?
How long does a man spend living or dying
and what do we mean when we say gone forever?

Adrift in such preoccupations, we seek clarification.
We can go to the philosophers
but they will weary of our questions.
We can go to the priests and rabbis
but they might be busy with administrations.

So, how long does a man live after all?
And how much does he live while he lives?
We fret and ask so many questions –
then when it comes to us
the answer is so simple after all.

A man lives for as long as we carry him inside us,
for as long as we carry the harvest of his dreams,
for as long as we ourselves live,
holding memories in common, a man lives.

His lover will carry his man’s scent, his touch:
his children will carry the weight of his love.
One friend will carry his arguments,
another will hum his favourite tunes,
another will still share his terrors.

And the days will pass with baffled faces,
then the weeks, then the months,
then there will be a day when no question is asked,
and the knots of grief will loosen in the stomach
and the puffed faces will calm.
And on that day he will not have ceased
but will have ceased to be separated by death.

How long does a man live after all?
A man lives so many different lengths of time.

 

 

Poems for Infant Funerals