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Popular Funeral Poems

Whether religious or non-religious, funeral poems 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 to you, here we have a suitable selection of the most popular funeral poems to help you get started.

I hope the below funeral poems will bring some inspiration to your eulogy. Its a hard task coming up with the perfect words to say goodbye to a much-loved friend or family member, but making sure the poem rings true with the departed will ensure your message is from the heart.

She Is Gone Poem (He Is Gone)

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.
(by David Harkins)

Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep

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.
(by Mary Frye)

Success Poem

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 Poem

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.
(by christina rossetti)

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)

Gods Garden Poem

God looked around his garden
And found an empty place.
He then 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 that 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 did not go alone…
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.


Afterglow Poem by Carol Merkel

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.
(by Carol Merkel)

Remember me Poem

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.
(by Christina Rossetti)

Come On, Come Back Poem

Left by the ebbing tide of battle
On the field of Austerlitz
The girl soldier Vaudevue sits
Her fingers tap the ground, she is alone
At midnight in the moonlight she is sitting alone on a round flat stone.

Graded by the Memel Conference first
Of all human exterminators
M L 5
Has left her just alive
Only her memory is dead for evermore.
She fears and cries, Ah me, why am I here?
Sitting alone on a round flat stone on a hummock there.

Rising, staggering, over the ground she goes
Over the seeming miles of rutted meadow
To the margin of a lake
The sand beneath her feet
Is cold and damp and firm to the waves’ beat.

Quickly – as a child, an idiot, as one without memory –
She strips her uniform off, strips, stands and lunges
Into the icy waters of the adorable lake.
On the surface of the water lies
A ribbon of white moonlight
The waters on either side of the moony track
Are black as her mind,
Her mind is as secret from her
As the water on which she swims,
As secret as profound as ominous.

Weeping bitterly for her ominous mind, her plight,
Up the river of white moonlight she swims
Until a treacherous undercurrent
Seizing her in an icy amorous embrace
Dives with her, swiftly severing
The waters which close above her head.

An enemy sentinel
Finding the abandoned clothes
Waits for the swimmer’s return
(‘Come on, come back’)
Waiting, whiling away the hour
Whittling a shepherd’s pipe from the hollow reeds.

In the chill light of dawn
Ring out the pipe’s wild notes
‘Come on, come back.’

In the swift and subtle current’s close embrace
Sleeps on, stirs not, hears not the familiar tune
Favourite of all the troops of all the armies
Favourite of Vaudevue
For she had sung it too
Marching to Austerlitz,
‘Come on, come back’.
(by Stevie Smith)

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)

No Night Without a Dawning

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

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

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

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

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, 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?
(author unknown)

When I am dead, my dearest

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.
author unknown

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.
author unknown

Tis only we who grieve

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
author unknown

If only we could see the splendour of the land

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.

Funeral Poems for Family Members

Popular Funeral Poems for saying goodbye to your Mother

Below are a selection of inspiring poems about death of a mother

Popular poetry for saying goodbye to your Grandmother

I have listed below some popular funeral poems for a nan

Popular funeral poems for saying goodbye to your Father

We have listed below a few poems suitable for a fathers funeral

Popular poems for saying goodbye to your Grandad

Short Funeral Poems

Keeping a eulogy poem short and sweet can sometimes be the best route, especially if you haven’t much experience of talking in front of a group of people. Below are some lovely short poems for for a funeral

Funny Funeral Poems

Bringing a bit of happiness at a sad time, such as a funeral, will no doubt be the wish of the deceased, so we hope the below poems bring some inspiration.

Non Religious Funeral Poems

Not all poems, like funerals, need to be religious. The below might help you come up with some unique words to share at a funeral.

Funeral Poems For a Burial

Into the darkness and warmth of the earth

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)

Funeral Poems For a Cremation

Into the freedom of wind and sunshine

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)

What is a Funeral Poem?

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.

Create Your Own Funeral Poem

Read expert advice for writing your own funeral poem or visit the below service to get some professional help.

www.celebrationoflifepoems.co.uk will help write any number of funeral poems that are totally unique, a personal poem just for you – prices start from £50.