10 Best Poems for Funerals

We are often asked what are the best poems for funerals?  In my opinion, it has to be something which is meaningful for you and your family and friends.  There are so many poems for funerals available, that you have plenty to choose from.  I've picked 10 of my favourite funeral verses including a special funeral poem for a Dad.  But you can find many more.


Of course, you could also write your own.  That would be the most meaningful of all.  There are some more bereavement poems on our page of grief poems, and if you've written your own poem, you can submit it there as a permanent memorial to your loved one. 

Whatever you choose, we hope that your ceremony is a very special goodbye.  Your loved one would have been proud of your efforts. 

1. Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep, by Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep with Ocean Background

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.


2. Don't Be Too Sad - Anon

I've lived my life

I've tried my best

The memories I hold dear

Are experiences I have known

Of happiness and tears

The love of my family

The care of my friends

The good times I've shared

Right to the end

I've travelled life's byways

Seen children grow up

Experienced life's living

And drunk from love's cup

I leave you with memories

With thoughts of you all

I'm no longer with you

But your mind will recall

The good times we shared

The laughter we had

Please cherish these memories

And don't be too sad.

ANON


3. Death Is Nothing At All by 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 still are.

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 affect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolutely 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.


4. Happy the Man by John Dryden

Happy the Man poem with beach photo

This is a beautiful funeral poem for a Dad: 

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. 


5. Remember - Christina Georgina Rossetti, (1830 - 1894)

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 plann'd:

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.


6. William Wordsworth, Intimations of Immortality

Intimations of Immortality William Wordsworth

What though the radiance which was once so bright

Be now forever taken from my sight,

Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find

Strength in what remains behind.


7. We Remember Them - Rabbis Sylvan Kamens and Jack Riemer

At the rising of the 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 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 joy we crave to share

We remember them.

When we have decisions that are difficult to make

We remember them.

When we have achievements that are based on theirs

We remember them.

As long as we live, they too will live;

for they are now a part of us

as we remember them.


8.  Away - James Whitcomb Riley (1849 - 1916)

If needed, you can change 'she' to 'he' in this poem.  


I cannot say and I will not say

That she is dead, she is just away.

With a cheery smile and a wave of hand

She has wandered into an unknown land;

And left us dreaming how very fair

Its needs must be, since she lingers there.

 

And you-oh you, who the wildest yearn

From the old-time step and the glad return-

Think of her faring on, as dear

In the love of there, as the love of here

Think of her still the same way, I say;

She is not dead, she is just away.


9. Instructions - Rev. Arnold Crompton

When I have moved beyond you in the adventure of life,

Gather in some pleasant place

And there remember me with spoken words,

Old and new. Let a tear fall if you will,

But let a smile come quickly

For I have loved the laughter of life.

Do not linger too long with your solemnities,

Go eat, and drink and talk

And when you can—

Follow a woodland trail, climb a high mountain

Sleep beneath the stars, Swim in a cold river

Chew the thoughts of some book that challenges your soul.

Use your hands some bright day

To make a thing of beauty

Or to lift someone’s heavy load.

Though you mention not my name,

Though no thought of me crosses your mind-

I shall be with you

For these have been the realities of life to me.

And when you face some crisis with anguish—

When you walk alone with courage

When you choose the right path

When you give yourself in love

I shall be very close to you

I have followed the valleys,

I have climbed the heights of life.


10. Funeral Blues - WH Auden

Funeral Blues by WH Auden

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 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.

REcommended Reads: 

Related Pages: 

More Grief Poems

Planning a Funeral 

Funeral Music 

Funeral Hymns

Funeral Songs

How to Stay Calm at the Funeral

> > Best Poems for Funerals


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