www.FuneralInspirations.co.uk
Plan Your FuneralEulogies and PoetryFuneral Finance PlansFind an UndertakerWills and ProbateWhat to do after a deathCharities and Support
 
 

Home


Eulogies & Poetry

Writing and giving a eulogy, or even reading a poem at a funeral or memorial, is a way of saying farewell to someone who has died which, in a sense brings the person to life in the minds of those present.

For the majority of us, writing and giving a eulogy is something we have no experience of, and therefore we may find it difficult to know where to start. There is no right or wrong way to compose a eulogy; each is as unique as the person giving it and the person it describes. It should however be positive, no more than 5-10 minutes, and if spoken from the heart be memorable and moving for all concerned.

How to Write and Present a Eulogy

Firstly, as you write down all your thoughts and feelings of the deceased, gather as much information from close family and friends, as well as their old acquaintances from work or even school as you can. They will hopefully be able to add to your own memories and stories. Writing a eulogy does not have to be done totally by yourself, getting others to contribute like this, not only helps you, but will make others feel like they are contributing, and may help them with their grieving too.

Looking at old photographs can jog the memory, reliving old times, old places, old achievements. Most eulogies tend to be written in chronological order starting with childhood, and working all the way through the highlights of their life. Some pick one particular theme to follow, whilst others focus on just 3 things that were important to the person in question – family, friends, sports, music, drama, travelling – what were their particular passions?

Concluding the eulogy is just as important as the start and content. If you find yourself struggling, then perhaps a poem (see funeral poems below), famous quote, or lines from a favorite song would be appropriate?

Once you think you've got everything down, then as with any speech, it will need to be reviewed and edited, then practiced and polished, concentrating also on delivery and pace . Being prepared is one of the most effective ways to alleviate any anxiety.

Lastly, don't worry if you become emotional during the eulogy, showing feelings at a very sad time is perfectly normal and healthy. Having somebody designated to continue with the eulogy should you become too overwhelmed however, is always a good idea. Just remember that everyone there will appreciate that you are standing up to speak, and are with you before you even start.

Your eulogy is a loving gift to your fellow mourners, and it will be remembered by many for years to come. By sharing your honest, heart-felt thoughts and memories about your friend or family member who died, you will help to begin the process of healing that lies ahead for the living.


If you need more help writing a Eulogy, then try out www.eulogywriter.com.au for tips and advice.

Alternatively, if you would like to employ the services of a Professional Eulogy Writer:

www.eulogywriter.com.au will also write one for you (approx. £80), or

www.eulogywriters.com who as well as writing personal eulogies, also offer off the shelf (fill in the blank) packs.


Funeral Poetry

Whether religious or non religious, the reading of a poem or verse at the funeral can be a very powerful and moving sentiment, especially if read by a friend or family member. There are of course hundreds of poems to choose from, you may have your own favourite, or wish to write something new, or have something especially new written, but if inspiration is alluding you, here we have a suitable selection to help you get started.

She Is Gone (He Is Gone)
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 will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left

Your heart can be empty because you can't see her
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 her and only that she is 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 would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
(David Harkins)




Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there.
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn's 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.
(Mary Frye)




Success
To laugh often and love much;
to win the respect of intelligent persons
and the affection of children;
to earn the approbation of honest critics
and to endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to give of one’s self;
to leave the world a little better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm
and sung with exultation;
to know that even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived –
this is to have succeeded.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)




Let Me Go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little, but not for long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that once we shared
Miss me, but let me go.
For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all part of the master plan
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick at heart
Go the friends we know.
Laugh at all the things we used to do
Miss me, but let me go.

When I am dead my dearest
Sing no sad songs for me
Plant thou no roses at my head
Nor shady cypress tree
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet
And if thou wilt remember
And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not fear the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on as if in pain;
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.




Funeral Blues
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe 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 for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
(W H Auden)




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




Death Is Nothing At All
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 you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
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!
(Canon Henry Scott-Holland)




There is no night without a dawning
No winter without a spring
And beyond the dark horizon
Our hearts will once more sing ....
For those who leave us for a while
Have only gone away
Out of a restless, care worn world
Into a brighter day
(Helen Steiner Rice)




Our memories build a special bridge
When loved ones have to part
To help us feel were with them still
And soothe a grieving heart
They span the years and warm our lives
Preserving ties that bind
Our memories build a special bridge
And bring us peace of mind
(Emily Mathews)




You've just walked on ahead of me
And I've got to understand
You must release the ones you love
And let go of their hand.

I try and cope the best I can
But I'm missing you so much
If I could only see you
And once more feel your touch.

Yes, you've just walked on ahead of me
Don't worry I'll be fine
But now and then I swear I feel
Your hand slip into mine.

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)




If I should die and
Leave you here awhile
Be not like others sore undone,
Who keep long vigils
By the silent dust and weep.
For my sake turn again
To life and smile
Nerving thy heart
And trembling hand to do
Something to comfort
Other hearts than thine.
Complete these dear
Unfinished Tasks of mine,
And I, perchance
May therein comfort you.
(Mary Lee Hall)




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

Farewell, farewell
My friends
I smile and
Bid you goodbye.
No, shed no tears
For I need them not
All I need is your smile.

If you feel sad
Do think of me
For that's what I'll like.
When you live in the hearts
Of those you love
Remember then
You never die.
(Rabindranath Tagore)




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?
(Anonymous)




When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget..

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain;
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember
And haply may forget.
(Christina Rossetti)




Man in the Arena
It is not the critic that counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who at best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
(Theodore Roosevelt)




A Reflection on an Autumn Day
I took up a handful of grain and let it slip flowing through my fingers, and I said to myself

This is what it is all about. There is no longer any room for pretence. At harvest time the essence is revealed - the straw and chaff are set aside, they have done their job. The grain alone matters - sacks of pure gold.

So it is when a person dies the essence of that person is revealed. At the moment of death a person's character stands out happy for the person who has forged it well over the years. Then it will not be the great achievement that will matter, nor, how much money or possessions a person has amassed. These like the straw and the chaff, will be left behind. It is what he has made of himself that will matter. Death can take away from us what we have, but it cannot rob us of who we are.




Irish Blessing
May the roads rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
(Anon)




Tis only we who grieve
They do not leave
They are not gone
They look upon us still
They walk among the valleys now
They stride upon the hill
Their smile is in the summer sky
Their grace is in the breeze
Their memories whisper in the grass
Their calm is in the trees
Their light is in the winter snow
Their tears are in the rain
Their merriment runs in the brook
Their laughter in the lane
Their gentleness is in the flowers
They sigh in autumn leaves
They do not leave
They are not gone
Tis only we who grieve
(Anon)




If only we could see the splendour of the land
To which our loved ones are called from you and me
We'd understand
If only we could hear the welcome they receive
From old familiar voices all so dear
We would not grieve
If only we could know the reason why they went
We'd smile and wipe away the tears that flow
And wait content.
(Anon)




For a Burial
Into the darkness and warmth of the earth
We lay you down
Into the sadness and smiles of our memories
We lay you down
Into the cycle of living and dying and rising again
We lay you down
May you rest in peace, in fulfilment, in loving
May you run straight home in God's embrace
(Ruth Burgess)




For a Cremation
Into the freedom of wind and sunshine
We let you go
Into the dance of the stars and the planets
We let you go
Into the wind's breath and the hands of the star maker
We let you go
We love you, we miss you, we want you to be happy
Go safely, go dancing, go running home
(Ruth Burgess)




Alternatively, there are many contemporary poems and verse that would be suitable for a funeral or memorial. Some modern poets even specialise in Funeral Poems – “Saying Goodbye” is a book of original funeral poems by Paul Honeyborne - find it at www.funeral-poetry.co.uk.

www.celebrationoflifepoems.co.uk will write a totally unique, personal poem just for you – prices start from £50.

 
 
 
© Copyright Funeral Inspirations   -   Privacy Policy   -   Disclaimer   -   About Us   -   Advertise with us   -   Contact us