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Popular Funeral Poems and Verses

Dec 20, 2023

Funeral Poems and Verses: Finding Comfort and Expression in Words

Funeral poems and verses serve as an emotional compass, guiding us through the myriad of feelings that surface in saying goodbye to a loved one. These literary pieces hold a special place in funeral services, offering a way to articulate the inexpressible, honor the memory of the departed, and provide solace to the bereaved. This article aims to explore the depth and variety of funeral poems and verses, shedding light on their significance and how they can be incorporated into a service to create a heartfelt tribute.

What Are Funeral Poems and Verses?

Funeral poems and verses are a poignant form of expression used during times of mourning. When we lose someone dear, the intensity of our emotions often surpasses the ability of ordinary language to convey them. This is where funeral poems and verses step in, serving as a powerful medium to express the myriad of feelings we experience in the face of loss.

These poems and verses encapsulate a spectrum of emotions, memories, and tributes, resonating deeply with those who are grieving. They articulate not only the pain of loss but also celebrate the life, legacy, and memories of the departed. Rich in imagery and emotion, they can vividly capture the essence of the individual being remembered, making them a vital part of funeral services.

During such services, reading or reciting these poems provides a moment of reflection, a chance to pause and deeply connect with our feelings. They can offer solace and comfort, helping mourners to process their grief and find a shared experience in their loss. For many, these verses become a cherished memory, a lasting tribute that continues to provide comfort and connection to the loved one who has passed away.

In essence, funeral poems and verses are more than just words; they are a heartfelt homage, a way to navigate the complex journey of grief, and a means to keep the spirit of the loved one alive in the hearts of those they leave behind.

Delving Deeper into Popular Funeral Poems and Verses

Exploring some of the most cherished and widely-used funeral poems and verses, we can see how they serve as a source of comfort, reflection, and celebration of life. Each of these poems offers a unique perspective on grief and remembrance, providing solace and understanding during difficult times.

  • SHE IS GONE (HE IS GONE) – David Harkins
  • REMEMBER ME – Margaret Mead
  • DON’T CRY FOR ME – Anonymous
  • DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND WEEP – Mary Frye
  • LET ME GO – Christina Rossetti
  • ANGEL – Anonymous
  • COME WITH ME – Rhonda Braswell
  • GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN – Ellen Brenneman
  • HOW DID THEY LIVE? Anonymous

SHE IS GONE (HE IS GONE) – David Harkins

David Harkins’ poignant verse, “She is Gone (He is Gone),” encourages us to celebrate the life and joy brought by the departed, rather than dwelling solely on the loss. Its powerful message reminds us to cherish the memories and legacy left behind.

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

REMEMBER ME – Margaret Mead

“Remember Me” by Margaret Mead beautifully articulates the sentiment of remembering the departed with joy and not just with grief. It’s a tender nudge towards celebrating the life lived and the happy moments shared.

To the living, I am gone, 
To the sorrowful, I will never return, 
To the angry, I was cheated, 
But to the happy, I am at peace,
And to the faithful, I have never left.

I cannot speak, but I can listen. 
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard. 
So as you stand upon a shore gazing at a beautiful sea, 
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity, 
Remember me.

Remember me in your heart: 
Your thoughts, and your memories, 
Of the times we loved, 
The times we cried, 
The times we fought, 
The times we laughed. 
For if you always think of me, I will never have gone.

Margaret Mead

DON’T CRY FOR ME – Anon

The anonymous “Don’t Cry for Me” provides a comforting voice from the departed, reassuring loved ones of their newfound peace and urging them to find solace and continue living with joy.

Don’t cry for me now I have died, for I’m still here I’m by your side,
My body’s gone but my soul is here, please don’t shed another tear,
I am still here I’m all around, only my body lies in the ground.
I am the snowflake that kisses your nose,
I am the frost, that nips your toes.
I am the sun, bringing you light,
I am the star, shining so bright.
I am the rain, refreshing the earth,
I am the laughter, I am the mirth.
I am the bird, up in the sky,
I am the cloud, that’s drifting by.
I am the thoughts, inside your head,
While I’m still there, I can’t be dead.

Anon

DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND WEEP – Mary Frye

Mary Frye’s “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep” offers a unique perspective on death. This poem suggests a continued presence of the loved ones in the beauty of nature and the warmth of memories.

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

LET ME GO – Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti’s “Let Me Go” is a gentle yet profound plea for acceptance. It echoes the natural cycle of life and death, urging the living to find peace and solace in letting 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 to the friends we know.
Laugh at all the things we used to do
Miss me, but let me go.

Christina Rossetti

ANGEL – Anon

“Angel” is a heartwarming verse that paints the departed as a guardian angel. It’s a comforting notion, suggesting that even after death, our loved ones continue to watch over us.

Tear drops, slow and steady, The pain so real and true,
God took another angel, And that angel, dear, was you.

Angel wings, upon the clouds, Your body softly sleeps,
Hush now little angel, No more tears you have to weep.

Little prayers are sent to you, The short life you led;
Your family will never forget you, So rest your little head.

I know God will look after you, Now you are truly alive,
Your spirit soars beyond the moon, Your legacy will survive.

You’re beautiful, you’re endless, Now stretch your wings and fly,
You’re loved by so many, It will never be goodbye.

Close your pretty eyes, No more tears, just go and rest,
Let your soul lie peacefully, We know you did your best.

Anon

COME WITH ME – Rhonda Braswell

Rhonda Braswell’s “Come with Me” is an empathetic piece, speaking in the voice of the departed. It asks the bereaved to understand the transition and find happiness in the memories left behind.

God saw you getting tired
And a cure was not to be
So He put His arms around you
And whispered ‘Come with Me.’

With tearful eyes
We watched you suffer
And saw you fade away,
Although we loved you dearly
We could not make you stay.

A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands at rest,
God broke our hearts to prove
He only takes the best.

It’s lonesome here without you,
We miss you more each day,
Life doesn’t seem the same
Since you’ve gone away.

When days are sad and lonely
And everything goes wrong,
We seem to hear you whisper
‘Cheer up and carry on.’

Each time we see your picture,
You seem to smile and say
‘Don’t cry, I’m in God’s keeping
We’ll meet again someday.’

You never said ‘I’m leaving’,
You never said goodbye,
You were gone before we knew it,
And only God knew why.

A million times we needed you,
A million times we cried,
If love alone could have saved you,
You never would have died.

In life we loved you dearly,
In death we love you still ,
In our hearts you hold a place,
That no one could ever fill.

It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you didn’t go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The day God took you home.

Rhonda Braswell

GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN – Ellen Brenneman

Ellen Brenneman’s “Gone, But Not Forgotten” emphasizes the enduring nature of memories and the lasting impact of the departed on our lives.

Don’t think of her/him as gone away
Her/His journey’s just begun,
Life holds so many facets
This earth is only one.

Just think of her/him as resting
From the sorrows and the tears
In a place of warmth and comfort
Where there are no days and years.

Think how she/he must be wishing
That we could know today
How nothing but our sadness
Can really pass away.

And think of her/him as living
In the hearts of those she/he touched
For nothing loved is ever lost
And she/he was loved so much.

Ellen Brenneman

HOW DID THEY LIVE? – Anon

“How Did They Live?” shifts the focus from loss to celebration. It encourages us to reflect on how the deceased lived their life, the love they shared, and the joy they brought into our lives.

Not, how did they die, but how did they live?
Not, what did they gain, but what did they give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a person as a person, regardless of birth.

Not, what was their church, nor what was their creed?
But had they befriended those really in need?
Were they ever ready, with a 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 they passed away?

Anon

Poem Title Author Themes Impact on Bereaved
SHE IS GONE (HE IS GONE) David Harkins Celebration of Life, Legacy Encourages cherishing memories, focusing on joy over sorrow
REMEMBER ME Margaret Mead Joyful Remembrance, Celebration Urges remembrance with happiness, not just grief
DON’T CRY FOR ME Anonymous Peace, Reassurance Provides comfort with thoughts of peace for the departed
DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND WEEP Mary Frye Continuity, Nature’s Embrace Suggests an ongoing presence in nature and memories
LET ME GO Christina Rossetti Acceptance, Life’s Cycle Emphasizes acceptance and finding peace in natural transitions
ANGEL Anonymous Protection, Ongoing Presence Paints the departed as a guardian angel, offering comfort
COME WITH ME Rhonda Braswell Understanding, Transition Speaks from the departed’s perspective, asking for acceptance
GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN Ellen Brenneman Enduring Memories, Lasting Impact Highlights the lasting imprint left by the departed
HOW DID THEY LIVE? Anonymous Celebration of Life, Love, and Joy Shifts focus to celebrating the life and love of the deceased

Celebrating Life with Happy and Funny Funeral Poems

Funerals don’t always have to be solely about mourning; they can also be an opportunity to celebrate the life and personality of the departed, especially if they were known for thei

r sense of humor or positive outlook. Certain poems encapsulate this spirit beautifully, providing a different perspective on farewells.

Funeral Poems and Verses

  • AFTERGLOW – Anonymous
  • ALL IS WELL – Henry Scott Holland
  • PARDON ME FOR NOT GETTING UP – Anonymous
  • I AM FREE – Shannon Lee Moseley

AFTERGLOW – Anon

“Afterglow” is a delightful poem that asks us to remember the departed with warmth and happiness. It focuses on the legacy of joy rather than the sorrow of loss.

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.

Anon

ALL IS WELL – Henry Scott Holland

“All is Well” by Henry Scott Holland brings a refreshing, humorous take on death. It’s a reminder that death is a natural part of life, and we can find comfort and even humor in its inevitability.

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.

Henry Scott Holland

PARDON ME FOR NOT GETTING UP – Anon

The quirky and amusing “Pardon Me for Not Getting Up” adds a light-hearted touch to the solemnity of funerals, offering a moment of laughter and a break from the heaviness of grief.

Oh dear, if you’re reading this right now,
I must have given up the ghost.
I hope you can forgive me for being
Such a stiff and unwelcoming host.

Just talk amongst yourself my friends,
And share a toast or two.
For I am sure you will remember well
How I loved to drink with you.

Don’t worry about mourning me,
I was never easy to offend.
Feel free to share a story at my expense
And we’ll have a good laugh at the end.

Anon

I AM FREE – Shannon Lee Moseley

Shannon Lee Moseley’s “I Am Free” speaks of liberation and the end of suffering. It’s a comforting reminder that the departed are now at peace, free from the pain and troubles of the world.

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free,
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call,
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day, to laugh,
To love, to work or play.
Tasks undone must stay that way
I’ve found that peace at the close of the day.

If parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah, yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish for you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savoured much
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me,
God wants me now, He set me free.

Shannon Lee Moseley

 Insight into Happy and Funny Funeral Poems

Poem Title Author Themes Impact on Attendees
AFTERGLOW Anonymous Legacy, Joy, Remembrance Encourages joyful recollection and celebrating a life well-lived
ALL IS WELL Henry Scott Holland Natural Cycle of Life, Humor Offers a humorous, light-hearted perspective on life and death
PARDON ME FOR NOT GETTING UP Anonymous Humor, Light-heartedness Provides comic relief and a unique way to remember the departed
I AM FREE Shannon Lee Moseley Liberation, Peace, End of Suffering Comforts with the thought of the departed’s freedom and peace

These poems serve as a reminder that funerals can be an occasion not just for grief, but for celebrating the unique qualities of the departed, including their sense of humor or optimistic outlook on life. They help to lighten the mood and provide a different lens through which to view the loss, making the farewell a little easier and more reflective of the individual’s personality and approach to life.

Embracing Brevity with Short Funeral Poems UK

Short funeral poems can be profoundly moving, offering a succinct but powerful way to express the myriad of emotions experienced in mourning. In the UK, where tradition often marries understatement with deep feeling, these poems are especially poignant.

Funeral Poems UK

  • IF I SHOULD GO TOMORROW – Anonymous
  • A SONG OF LIVING – Amelia Josephine Burr
  • THE STAR – Anonymous
  • BECAUSE I LOVE YOU SO – Anonymous

IF I SHOULD GO TOMORROW – Anon

“If I Should Go Tomorrow” is a succinct yet powerful expression of the transient nature of life. It reminds us to appreciate and live every moment to the fullest.

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.

Anon

A SONG OF LIVING – Amelia Josephine Burr

Amelia Josephine Burr’s “A Song of Living” is an ode to a life well-lived. It’s a celebration of vitality, encouraging us to remember the deceased for their zest for life and the joy they brought to others.

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.
I have run and leaped with the rain,
I have taken the wind to my breast.

My cheek like a drowsy child
to the face of the earth I have pressed.
Because I have loved life,
I shall have no sorrow to die.

Amelia Josephine Burr

THE STAR – Anon

“The Star” offers a metaphorical comparison of the departed to a shining star. It’s a poetic way of saying that though they are no longer with us, their light continues to shine in our lives.

A light went out on Earth for me
The day we said goodbye
And on that day a star was born,
The brightest in the sky
Reaching through the darkness
With its rays of purest white
Lighting up the Heavens
As it once lit up my life
With beams of love to heal
The broken heart you left behind
Where always in my memory
Your lovely star will shine

Anon

BECAUSE I LOVE YOU SO – Anon

“Because I Love You So” is a touching piece about the enduring power of love. It reassures us that love does not end with death but continues to grow and touch our lives.

Time will not dim the face I love,
The voice I heard each day,
The many things you did for me,
In your own special way.
All my life I’ll miss you,
As the years come and go,
But in my heart I’ll keep you,
Because I love you so.

Anon

Insights into Short Funeral Poems UK

Poem Title Author Themes Impact on Bereaved
IF I SHOULD GO TOMORROW Anonymous Transience of Life, Appreciation Reminds to cherish every moment and live fully
A SONG OF LIVING Amelia Josephine Burr Celebration of Life, Vitality Encourages celebrating the joy and zest the deceased brought to life
THE STAR Anonymous Enduring Memory, Influence Offers comfort in the continued presence of the departed in our lives
BECAUSE I LOVE YOU SO Anonymous Enduring Love, Continuity Reassures that love persists beyond the boundaries of life and death

These short funeral poems provide a touching and meaningful way to honor a loved one’s memory during a funeral service. They encapsulate profound emotions and life lessons in a few, well-chosen words, offering solace and reflection to the bereaved. In their brevity, they capture the essence of life’s beauty, the pain of loss, and the enduring nature of love and memory.

Finding Solace in Non-Religious Funeral Poems

Non-religious funeral poems offer universal themes of love, loss, and reflection that resonate with people regardless of their spiritual beliefs. These poems provide comfort and solace by acknowledging the pain of loss while celebrating the enduring impact of the departed.

  • I’M THERE INSIDE YOUR HEART – Anonymous
  • TO THOSE WHOM I LOVE & THOSE WHO LOVE ME – Anonymous
  • ONE AT REST – Anonymous
  • FUNERAL BLUES – W. H. Auden

I’M THERE INSIDE YOUR HEART – Anon

“I’m There Inside Your Heart” provides comfort in the notion that our loved ones live on within us. It’s a powerful reminder that love and memories transcend physical presence.

Right now I’m in a different place
And though we seem apart
I’m closer than I ever was,
I’m there inside your heart.

I’m with you when you greet each day
And while the sun shines bright
I’m there to share the sunsets, too
I’m with you every night.

I’m with you when the times are good
To share a laugh or two,
And if a tear should start to fall
I’ll still be there for you.

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

Anon

TO THOSE WHOM I LOVE & THOSE WHO LOVE ME – Anon

This verse is a heartfelt message from the departed, assuring their loved ones that death is just a part of life’s journey, and love continues beyond it.

When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many good years.

I gave you my love, and you can only guess
How much you’ve given me in happiness.
I thank you for the love that you have shown,
But now it is time I travelled on alone.

So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must,
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It is only for a while that we must part,
So treasure the memories within your heart.

I won’t be far away for life goes on.
And if you need me, call and I will come.

Though you can’t see or touch me, I will be near.
And if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear,
All my love around you soft and clear.

And then, when you come this way alone,
I’ll greet you with a smile and a ‘Welcome Home’.

Anon

ONE AT REST – Anon

“One at Rest” is a soothing piece about finding peace in the idea that the departed is now free from life’s struggles. It’s a gentle reminder of the serenity found in rest.

Think of me as one at rest,
for me you should not weep
I have no pain no troubled thoughts
for I am just asleep

The living thinking me that was,
is now forever still
And life goes on without me now,
as time forever will.

If your heart is heavy now
because I’ve gone away
Dwell not long upon it friend
For none of us can stay

Those of you who liked me,
I sincerely thank you all
And those of you who loved me,
I thank you most of all.

And in my fleeting lifespan,
as time went rushing by
I found some time to hesitate,
to laugh, to love, to cry

Matters it now if time began
If time will ever cease?
I was here, I used it all,
and now I am at peace.

Anon

FUNERAL BLUES – W. H. Auden

Auden’s “Funeral Blues” captures the profound sense of loss and emptiness that accompanies death. It’s a deeply moving piece that resonates with anyone who has experienced loss.

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 airplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message “He is Dead”,
Put Crepe 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 forever: 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

Insights into Non-Religious Funeral Poems

Poem Title Author Themes Impact on Bereaved
I’M THERE INSIDE YOUR HEART Anonymous Continuity, Love Beyond Death Offers comfort in the ongoing presence of loved ones in our hearts
TO THOSE WHOM I LOVE & THOSE WHO LOVE ME Anonymous Love’s Endurance, Life’s Journey Provides a reassuring perspective on death as a natural part of life
ONE AT REST Anonymous Peace, Release from Struggle Brings solace by depicting death as a peaceful rest
FUNERAL BLUES W. H. Auden Grief, Loss, Emptiness Captures the profound sense of loss and the emptiness of absence

These non-religious funeral poems are a source of comfort and reflection for those grieving, offering a way to express and process their emotions. They acknowledge the pain of loss while also celebrating the enduring connection and impact of those who have passed. 

Conclusion: The Timeless Resonance of Funeral Poems and Verses

As the final words of a funeral service linger in the air, the impact of carefully chosen poems and verses remains imprinted on the hearts of those in attendance. These words, woven with emotion and meaning, become part of the legacy we carry forward in remembrance of our loved ones. They serve not just as a medium for expressing grief but as a testament to the enduring bonds of love, memory, and the human experience of loss. In the vast tapestry of funeral poems and verses, we find a universal language that speaks across cultures, beliefs, and personal journeys, offering comfort and connection in our most poignant moments of farewell.