Popular Poems used at Funeral Services
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.
SHADOWS – D. H. Lawrence
And if tonight my soul may find her peace
In sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
And in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
Then I have been dipped again in God, and new created.
And if as weeks go round, in the dark of the moon
My spirit darkens and goes out, and soft strange gloom
Pervades my movements and my thoughts and words
Then I shall know that I am walking still
With God, we are close together now the moon’s in shadow.
And if as Autumn deepens and darkens
I feel the pain of falling leaves, and stems that break in storms
And trouble and dissolution and distress
And then the softness of deep shadows folding,
folding around my soul and spirit, around my lips
So sweet, like a swoon, or more like the drowse of a low, sad song
Singing darker than the nightingale, on, on to the solstice
And the silence of short days the silence of the year, the Shadow,
Then I shall know that my life is moving still
With the dark earth, and drenched
With the deep oblivion of earth’s lapse and renewal.
And if, in the changing phases of man’s life
I fall in sickness and in misery
My wrists seem broken and my heart seems dead
And strength is gone, and my life
is only the leavings of a life:
And still, among it all, snatches of lovely oblivion, and
Snatches of renewal
Odd, wintry flowers upon the withered stem,
yet new strange flowers
Such as my life has not brought forth before,
new blossoms of me: Then I must know that still
I am in the hands of the unknown God,
He is breaking me down to his own oblivion
To send me forth on a new morning, a new man.
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, that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you 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 it always was,
let it be spoken without effect,
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was;
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval,
Somewhere very near, just round the corner.
“All is well.”
YOU CAN SHED TEARS THAT HE/SHE HAS GONE – David Harkins
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.
I THANK THEE GOD THAT I HAVE LIVED – Elizabeth Craven
I thank Thee God, that I have lived
In this great world and known its many joys;
The song of birds, the strong sweet scent of hay
And cooling breezes in the secret dusk,
The flaming sunsets at the close of day,
Hills and lovely, heather-covered moors,
Music at night, and moonlight on the sea,
The beat of waves upon the rocky shore
And wild white spray, flung high in ecstasy:
The faithful eyes of dogs, and treasured books,
The love of kin and fellowship of friends
And all that makes life dear and beautiful.
I thank Thee too, that there has come to me
A little sorrow and sometimes defeat,
A little heartache and the loneliness
That comes with parting and the words, “Good-bye”;
Dawn breaking after dreary hours of pain
When I discovered that night’s gloom must yield
And morning light break through to me again.
Because of these and other blessings poured
Unmasked upon my wondering head,
Because I know that there is yet to come
An even richer and more glorious life,
And most of all, because Thine only Son
Once sacrificed life’s loveliness for me,
I thank Thee, God, that I have lived.
THE BRIGHT FIELD – R. S. Thomas
I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
THE BROKEN CHAIN – Ron Tranmer
We little knew the day 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,
but in God we put our trust,
In times as difficult as this,
faith is such a must.
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.
FELL NO GUILT IN LAUGHTER (Unknown)
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.
COME WITH ME (Unknown)
God saw he was getting tired
And a cure was not to be,
So He put His arms around him
And whispered, “Come with Me.”
With tearful eyes we watched him suffer
And saw him fade away,
Although we loved him dearly
We could not make him stay.
A golden heart stopped beating
Hard working hands to rest,
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best.
DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND WEEP – Mary Frye
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 sun 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!
GOD LOOKED AROUND HIS GARDEN (Unknown)
God looked around his garden,
and found an empty place,
He then looked down upon this 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 that 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.
MISS ME BUT LET ME GO – Edgar Albert Guest
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 too long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me – but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone.
It’s all a part of the Master’s plan,
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss Me – But Let me Go!
NOW I AM GONE (Unknown)
Now I am gone, release me, let me go
I have so many things to see and do
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears
Be happy that we had so many years.
I gave you my love, you can only guess
How much you gave me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you have shown,
But now it’s time I travelled on alone.
So grieve for 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 won’t be far away, For life goes on.
So if you need me, call and I will come
Though you can’t see or touch me,
I’ll always be near
And if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear
All of my love around you soft and clear.
And then, when you must come this way alone,
I’ll greet you with a smile and say “Welcome Home.”