Funeral Poems for a Brother
Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Be fair or foul or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
Not Heaven itself upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped 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 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.
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 effect, without the 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.
God saw you getting tired,When a cure was not to be.So He wrapped his arms around you,and whispered, “Come to me”.
You didn’t deserve what you went through,So He gave you rest.God’s garden must be beautiful,He only takes the best.
And when I saw you sleeping,So peaceful and free from painI could not wish you backTo suffer that again
I wish you sweet sleep, my brother dear.
Although there’s so much that you’ve left bare
I hate that you had to endure such pain
On my mind, your saddened eyes have left a stain.
I want to know what crossed your mind
Unspoken words you’ve left behind
Undone things we’ll never do
No sharing thoughts you never knew.
A peace has fallen upon your head
A taste of sorrow we have been fed
It really is like a hole in our lives
One swiftly dug but carved out by knives.
But I have hope that those sleeping will rise
The Bible says that God will open their eyes.
No suffering, sickness, yes not even pain,
Those who did good, eternal life they’ll gain.
From day one all we did was fight.
Now all I do is fight back my tears.
I wanted to do everything you did,
because I wanted to be just like you.
Now I sit here wondering what to do,
because there’s no one to replace you.
I never did tell you all the things I felt,
like how much I really did love you.
I wish we could go back and start over again.
I don’t want to be alone. I need my brother.
I need my best friend.
When you think of me
while you’re up in heaven,
think of how much you meant to me.
A limb has fallen from the family tree.
I keep hearing a voice that says, “Grieve not for me”.
Remember the best times, the laughter, the song.
The good life I lived while I was strong.
Continue my heritage, I’m counting on you.
Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through.
My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest.
Remembering all, how I truly was blessed.
Continue traditions, no matter how small.
Go on with your life, don’t worry about falls
I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin.
Until the day comes we’re together again.
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.
I cannot say and I will not say
That he is dead, he is just away.
With a cheery smile and a wave of hand
He has wandered into an unknown land;
And left us dreaming how very fair
Its needs must be, since he lingers there.
And you — oh you, who the wildest yearn
From the old-time step and the glad return —
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of there, as the love of here
Think of him still the same way, I say;
He is not dead, he is just away.
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go — so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face I say,
‘There is no memory of him here!’
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.