Poetry and Quotes

Popular Funeral Poems

Need to write a sympathy card or eulogy speech?

Browse through this page of some of the most popular funeral quotes and poems, maybe you’ll find the perfect words to express your feelings.

What we have once enjoyed

By Helen Keller

What we have once enjoyed
we can never lose;
All that we love deeply,
becomes a part of us.


Do not Stand at My Grave and Weep

By Mary Elizabeth 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 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.

 

Funeral Blues

by W. A. Auden (Made popular by the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

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 (She) is Dead
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policeman wear black cotton gloves.

He (She) was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week, 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 everyone;
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.

 

When I'm gone
(also known as) To Those Whom I Love And Those Who Love Me

by Mary Alice Ramish

Release me, let me go.
I have so Many things to see and do.
You mustn't tie your self to me with tears,
Be happy that we had so many years.

I gave you my love and you can only guess,
How much you gave me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown,
Buth now it's time I traveled on alone.

So grieve awhile for me, if grieve you must
then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It's only for awhile that we must part
So bless the memories whit’in 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 be near,
and if you listen with your heart,
you'll hear all 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.

 

Psalm 23 - A psalm of David

New International Version

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

King James Bible

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

 

Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears

by Isla Paschal Richardson

Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh
And talk of me as if I were beside you. I loved
You so—‘twas heaven here with you.

 

And when that day arrives

by Unknown Author

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

 

Those we love remain with us

by Mary Alice Ramish

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, far as long as there is memory, they'll live on in the heart.

 

Crossing the Bar

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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 or 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 crossed the bar.

 

The Comfort and Sweetness of Peace

by 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.

If I can stop one heart from Breaking
By 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
Into his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

 

Warm Summer Sun

by 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.

 

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.

 

Nothing Gold Can Stay

by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

 

The Road Not Taken

by 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.


Gates of Prayer

from the Reform Judaism Prayer Book

At the rising sun and at its going down we remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter we remember them.
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring we remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer we remember them.
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn we remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends we remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us. As we remember them. When we are weary and in need of strength we remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart we remember them.
When we have decisions that are difficult to make we remember them.
When we have joy we crave to share we remember them.
When we have achievements that are based on theirs we remember them.
For as long as we live, they too will live,
For they are now a part of us, as we remember them.

 

Remember

by Christina Georgina Rossetti

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 I once had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

 

Ascension (or) I will be there

by Unknown Author

And if I go,
While you’re still here…
Know that I live on,
Vibrating to a different measure
-behind a thin veil you cannot see through.

I wait for the time when we can soar together again,
-both aware of each other.
Until then, live your life to its fullest.
And when you need me,

Just whisper my name in your heart,
…I will be there.

 

Love Sonnets

by Pablo Neruda

When I die, I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and wheat of your beloved hands
To pass their freshness over me once more:
I want to feel the softness that changed my destiny.

I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep.
I want your ears still to hear the wind,
I want you to sniff the sea’s aroma that we loved together,
To continue to walk on the sand we walk on.

I want what I love to continue to live,
And you whom I love and sang above everything else
To continue to flourish, full-flowered;

So that you can reach everything my love directs you to,
So that my shadow can travel along in your hair,
So that everything can learn the reason for my song.

 

Death is Nothing at All

by 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 are still.

Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way
which you have always used to.
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.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was,
let it be spoken without effect,
without a trace of 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 around the corner.

All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

 

A Clear Midnight

by Walt Whitman

This is thy hour O’ Soul,
Thy flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging,
Silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best.
Night, sleep and the stars!

 

Should you go First

by A.K. Rowswell

Should you go first and I remain
to walk the road alone
I'll live in memory's garden, dear
with happy days we've known
in Spring I'll wait for roses red,
when fades the lilacs blue,
in early fall, when brown leaves call
I'll catch a glimpse of you
Should you go first, and I remain
for battles to be fought,
each thing you've touched along the way
will be a hallowed spot
I'll hear your voice;
I'll see your smile,
though blindly I may grope
the memory of your helping hand
will buoy me on with hope
Should you go first and I remain
to finish with the scroll,
no length'ning shadows ahall creep in
to make this life seem droll
We've known so much of happiness
we've had our cup of joy,
and memory is one gift of God
that death cannot destroy
Should you go first and I remain,
one thing I'd have you do;
walk slowly down that long, lone path,
for soon I'll follow you
I'll want to know each step you take
that I may walk the same,
for some day down that lonely road
you'll hear me call your name

 

Irish Blessing

by Unknown Author

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
Until we meet again,

 

Foot Prints in the Sand

by Author Unknown

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 have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have 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."

Elegy for Your Absence

by H.R. Hays

In that moment you sailed for all of death
Into profound oceans of silence
With long hours of sleeping pupils,
And a flock of doves caught in your dreams.

Now you are already in distant moonlight,
More yourself than in the arrows of your golden clock
Where you reckoned such a shoreless moment
For the thirst of wings that was burning on your shoulders.

You shall have vaulted seas stared at by inquietude,
Abysses in the timid solitude of your absence;
And in the night you shall have been delicate warm breeze
Close to that crumb of our amorous earth.

Long embrace of breath over the poppies
And a laugh and a song without words or music;
With a “Here I am,” glad of past wakefulness,
And a “forever” warm in the cool plain.

As you leave pressed in the arms of silence
The light of our words shall echo more clearly
And in each stanza of air an accent shall be entangled
And in each butterfly more wings shall be born to you.

Gladness of being alive for that eternal day,
Knowing yourself in the water, in the sun, and in the grass.
Among the clouds you shall make nativities of silver
And you shall discover your nest in a tree of stars.

     

Elegia Para Tu Ausencia

by H. R. Hays (translated iton Spanish)

Te fuiste aquel minuto para toda la muerte
a navegar en hondos oceanos de silencio
con un largo camino de pupilas dormidas
y un bando de palomas prendido a tus ensueños.

Ya estaras por ausentes claridades de luna,
mas tuyo que en las flechas de tu reloj de oro,
donde contabas tanto minuto sin orillas
para la sed de alas que quemaba tus hombros.

Y habras saltado mares que la inquietud miraba,
abismos en la timida soledad de tu ausencia;
y en la noche habras sido tenue brisa caliente
junto a aquel pedacito de tu amorosa tierra.

Largo abrazo de alientos sobre las amapolas
y una risa, y un canto sin palabras ni musica;
y un aquí estoy gozoso de pasados insomnios,
y un para siempre calido en la fria llanura.

Como partiste en brazos del silencio apretado,
resonara mas viva la luz de tus palabras;
y en cada estrofa de aire se enredara un acento,
y en cada mariposa te naceran mas alas.

Gozo de estar ya vivo para el eterno dia,
de saberte en el agua, y en el sol, y en la hierba.
Haras entre las nubes Nacimientos de plata
y encontraras tu nido en un arbol de estrellas.

 

Reading from "The Prophet"

by Kahlil Gibran

Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of Death.
And he said:
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.


Prayer of Faith

by Unknown Author

We trust that beyond absence there is a presence.
That beyond the pain there can be healing.
That beyond the brokenness there can be wholeness.
That beyond the anger there may be peace.
That beyond the hurting there may be forgiveness.
That beyond the silence there may be the word.
That beyond the word there may be understanding.
That through understanding there is love.


Speak Low

by Ogden Nash with Kurt Weill from "One Touch of Venus"

Speak Low
Time is so old and love so brief,
Love is pure gold and time a thief.
We're late, darling,we're late,
The curtain descends, everything ends,
too soon, too soon....

 

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

by Unknown Author

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.

 

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.

 

If I Should Go

by Unknown Author

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.

 

We have Shared a Significant Moment

by Marie Alaimo

We have shared
A significant moment
With tears awash
Amidst the quiet Smiles
Your handclasp
There surging
We acknowledge
The love and the Life
With profound Expression
As we embrace
And remember
The exhilarating
Poignant living
Walking upon time
Now
With a silent kiss


The celebration of life

by Deborah Peabody

The celebration of life,
shared in the beginning, and again, in the end.
Yet we forget to celebrate it, in every moment we live.
Time, days, years, go on, but are we alive?
Alive and do not know it, sleeping in the world
and dead to the life we are to live.
To celebrate all life,
the sparrow who sang in the morning,
and died in the night,
why do we not celebrate its life?
To know thyself is to know you are alive -
to give, to love, to seek truth, beauty, and suffer pain.
In life as it is meant to be, pain is forgotten, and
strength is all that's left to be gained
in the moment by moment celebration of life.


You can Shed Tears or ...

by Unknown Author

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’s left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
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.

 

Dying Hymn

by Alice Cary

My soul is full of whispered song;
My blindness is my sight;
The shadows that I feared so long
Are all alive with light.

 

Funeral Poem #6 Goodbye....

by N. Taylor

The church is full of people who have come to say goodbye But no one wants to see you go And we're all left asking why In our pain and tears we share A heartache that cannot heal but in our minds we will keep Memories no one can steal We all can feel your hand in ours And see your loving face You havent gone I feel you here A love I cant replace you meant so much to each of us And in our hearts your always be I hope you can see how precious you were To them, to us, to me.

 

Afterglow

by Helen Lowrie Marshall

I'd like the memory of me
to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an after glow
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

 

Memories in the Heart

by Unknown Author

Feel no guilt in laughter, she knows how much you care
Feel no sorrow in a smile that she’s not here to share
You cannot grieve forever, she would not want you to
She’d hope that you can carry on, the way you always do
So talk about the good times and the ways 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 her back as clearly as though she were still here
And fills you with the feelings that she is always near
For if you keep these moments, you will never be apart
And she will live forever locked safe within your heart

 

A Silent Tear

by 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"

 

Poem Of Life

by Unknown Author

Life is but a stopping place,
A pause in what's to be,
A resting place along the road,
to sweet eternity.
We all have different journeys,
Different paths along the way,
We all were meant to learn some things,
but never meant to stay...
Our destination is a place,
Far greater than we know.
For some the journey's quicker,
For some the journey's slow.
And when the journey finally ends,
We'll claim a great reward,
And find an everlasting peace,
Together with the lord

 

After Glow

by Unknown Author

I’d like the memory of me
to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an after glow
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
summer 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.

 

Funeral Poem

by Unknown Author

I thought of you with love today but that is nothing new
I thought about you yesterday and days before that too,
I think of you in silence I often speak your name
All I have are memories and your picture in a frame
Your memory is my keepsake with which I’ll never part
God has you in His keeping I have you in my heart.

 

If I had My Life to Live Over

by Erma Bombeck (written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more "I love you's." More "I'm sorry's."

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it. live it. and never give it back.

Stop sweating the small stuff.

Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what.

Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.