Finding the right funeral poem can be exhausting. There are so many options out there and many have been used over and over again. The important thing about finding the right funeral poem is whether or not the poem resonates with the family and whether or not the poem honors the life and memory of your loved one. To help with finding the right poem, we have provided some beautiful options for you.
Sometimes knowing the story behind a poem makes it especially interesting. For example, the poem “Do not stand at my grave and weep” was written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye. She was inspired to write it after getting to know a young Jewish girl, who had been living in the Frye home, and hadn’t been able to visit her dying mother in Germany because of anti-Semitic unrest. This poem becomes all the more beautiful when the backstory is known.
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 the 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 waken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of gentle birds in circling 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.
-Mary Elizabeth FryeHere are a few more moving poems for you to consider.
Here are a few more moving poems for you to consider.
If I should die
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.
-Joyce Grenfell, British actress and writer (1910 – 1979)
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 his birth.
Nor what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with words 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?
Book of Ecclesiastes – A Time For Everything
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which 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 cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, 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 of war, and a time of peace.
What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboreth?
I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God. I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
– The Bible, King James Version
Another thoughtful way to find a funeral poem is to take a favorite song or artist and read the lyrics. There are also some songs that are very fitting for funerals that you can read the lyrics. Here are a couple great examples.
One day when I’m gone
Scatter my ashes on Georgica Pond
Litter my memory down Lily Pond Lane
And that’s where I’ll stay
Oh come visit me often
Just whisper my name
And I’ll come alive on the dunes and the waves
One day when I’m free
Take a ferry ride over and be close to me
Build a house on the rock where the bay meets the sea
Where the dreams of my mother are buried like seeds
And I’ll be your lighthouse, you’ll be one for me
Cause time is the worst kind of friend
Always there till you need it, then gone in the end
Oh but love is stronger than it, love is stronger than it
So if you’re ever like me
Daydreaming how different this life would be
If the ones you loved most hadn’t taken their leave
And wishing your babies could know your daddy and me
Know that I’m still your lighthouse, yes I’m still your lighthouse
And you’ll be one for me
I Will Follow You Into the Dark
Love of mine, someday you will die
But I’ll be close behind and I’ll follow you into the dark
No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight, waiting for the hint of a spark
If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied
And illuminate the no’s on their vacancy signs
If there’s no one beside you when your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark
-Death Cab for CutieA final option is to ask someone in your family to write a poem for your loved one. Often times these poems can be the most heartfelt and moving pieces written and they are a fit for your unique family. Not only can be the poem be beautiful, but it can be very cleansing for the writer to be able to put down on paper how they remember their loved one. For those who
A final option is to ask someone in your family to write a poem for your loved one. Often times these poems can be the most heartfelt and moving pieces written and they are a fit for your unique family. Not only can be the poem be beautiful, but it can be very cleansing for the writer to be able to put down on paper how they remember their loved one. For those who are gifted at writing, simply taking some time to reflect on the life of the deceased will give them enough inspiration to write a lovely poem. The whole family can enjoy the poem as a remembrance of their loved one for years to come.