5 Beautiful Funeral Poems for a Sister

We have hand-picked these poems which are suitable for use at a funeral for a beloved sister.  We have many other poems on this site which may speak to you more.  Have a look at the link at the bottom of the page if you haven't found one that you love. 

My Sister of Mercy By Jo Pullan

This poem was written by a dear old school friend of mine on the first anniversary of her sister's passing. I thought it was so beautiful we would share it here. You can always change the time mentioned in the first line if you want to read it at a funeral. 

My Sister of Mercy by Jo Pullan

It’s a year and a moment since the birds announced you had flown 
In the stillness of night time taking you home. 
Oh the most precious jewel that outshone any stone 
Left my heart empty and my spirit so alone. 

The wheels are still turning a pound for a ride 
but no one is home here no feeling inside
I didn’t know you could live outside yourself so numb within 
Whilst the whole world sees you still functioning
In the time here without you the point isn’t so clear
As behind each breath taken is yet another tear 
The smile wears thin as it has to pretend 
That my soul is willing to endure life to its end.

And oh the hustle and bustle of days still roll along 
But there are no words spoken in poems and no tunes left in song 
A space remains empty where your beauty did shine - 
where like starlights your diamonds danced to the end of our time - 
for you it came sooner for me I must wait -
to see that black hair flowing over heavens gate!

My mentor, protector, sister, soul-mate and friend. 
I will love you as I did then and will till the end.


Sleep Little Sister by Randal Jarrell 


When the swans turned my sister into a swan
I would go to the lake, at night, from milking:
The sun would look out through the reeds like a swan,
A swan's red beak; and the beak would open
And inside there was darkness, the stars and the moon.

Out on the lake, a girl would laugh.
"Sister, here is your porridge, sister,"
I would call; and the reeds would whisper,
"Go to sleep, go to sleep, little swan."
My legs were all hard and webbed, and the silky

Hairs of my wings sank away like stars
In the ripples that ran in and out of the reeds:
I heard through the lap and hiss of water
Someone's "Sister . . . sister," far away on the shore,
And then as I opened my beak to answer

I heard my harsh laugh go out to the shore
And saw - saw at last, swimming up from the green
Low mounds of the lake, the white stone swans:
The white, named swans . . . "It is all a dream,"
I whispered, and reached from the down of the pallet

To the lap and hiss of the floor.
And "Sleep, little sister," the swan all sang
From the moon and stars and frogs of the floor.
But the swan my sister called, "Sleep at last, little sister,"
And stroked all night, with a black wing, my wings. 



Memories in the Heart - Anon

Feel no guilt in laughter, she knows how much you care
Feel no sorrow in a smile that she’s not here to share
You cannot grieve forever, she would not want you to
She’d hope that you can carry on, the way you always do
So talk about the good times and the ways you showed you cared
The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared
Let memories surround you.

A word someone may say
Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day
That brings her back as clearly as though she were still here
And fills you with the feelings that she is always near
For if you keep these moments, you will never be apart
And she will live forever locked safe within your heart.


Should You Go First by A K Rowswell


Should you go first and I remain
to walk the road alone
I’ll live in memory’s garden, dear
with happy days we’ve known
in Spring I’ll wait for roses red,
when fades the lilacs blue,
in early fall, when brown leaves call
I’ll catch a glimpse of you

Should you go first, and I remain
for battles to be fought,
each thing you’ve touched along the way
will be a hallowed spot
I’ll hear your voice; 
I’ll see your smile, 
though blindly I may grope
the memory of your helping hand
will buoy me on with hope

Should you go first and I remain
to finish with the scroll,
no lengthening shadows shall creep in
to make this life seem droll
We’ve known so much of happiness
we’ve had our cup of joy,
and memory is one gift of God
that death cannot destroy

Should you go first and I remain,
one thing I’d have you do;
walk slowly down that long, lone path,
for soon I’ll follow you
I’ll want to know each step you take
that I may walk the same,
for some day down that lonely road
you’ll hear me call your name.



On The Death Of A Sister by James Grahame (1765 – 1811)

Dear to my soul! ah, early lost!
Affection's arm was weak to save:
Now friendship's pride, and virtue's boast,
Have come to an untimely grave!

Closed, ever closed, those speaking eyes,
Where sweetness beam'd, where candour shone;
And silent that heart-thrilling voice,
Which music loved, and call'd her own.

That gentle bosom now is cold,
Where feeling's vestal splendours glow'd;
And crumbling down to common mould,
That heart where love and truth abode.

Yet I behold the smile unfeign'd,
Which doubt dispell'd and kindness won;
Yet the soft diffidence, that gain'd
The triumph it appear'd to shun.

Delusion all - forbear, my heart;
These unavailing throbs restrain,
Destruction has perform'd his part,
And Death proclaim'd - thy pangs are vain.

Vain though they be, this heart must swell
With grief that time shall ne'er efface;
And still with bitter pleasure dwell
On ev'ry virtue, ev'ry grace.

For ever lost - I vainly dream'd
That Heaven my early friend would spare;
And, darker as the prospect seem'd,
The more I struggled with despair.

I said - yet a presaging tear
Unbidden rose, and spoke more true -
'She still shall live - th' unfolding year
Shall banish care, and health renew.

'She yet shall tread the flow'ry field,
And catch the opening rose's breath:
To watchful love disease shall yield,
And friendship ward the shaft of death.'

'Alas! before the violet bloom'd -
Before the snows of winter fled;
Too certain fate my hopes consumed,
For she was number'd with the dead.

She died - deserving to be mourn'd,
While parted worth a pang can give.
She died - by Heaven's best gifts adorn'd,
While folly, falsehood, baseness, live.

Long in their aseness live secure
The noxious weed and wounding thorn,
While, snatch'd by violence, ere mature,
The lily from her stem is torn.

Yet who shall blame the heart that feels
When Heaven resumes the good it gave?
Yet who shall scorn the tear that falls
From friendship's eye at virtue's grave?

Friend, parent, sister - tenderest names!
May I, as pale at mem'ry's shrine
Ye pour the tribute anguish claims,
Approach unblamed, and mingle mine.

Long on the joys of vanish'd years
The glance of sadness shall ye cast;
Long, long th' emphatic speech of tears
Shall mourn thy bloom for ever past.

And thou, who from the orient day
Return'st with hope's gay dreams elate,
Falsely secure and vainly gay,
Unconscious of the stroke of fate.

What waits thee? not th' approving smile
Of faithful love that chases care;
Not the fond glance o'er paying toil,
But cold and comfortless despair.

Despair! - I see the phantom rove
On Cail's green banks, no longer bright,
And fiercely grasp the torch of love,
And plunge it in sepulchral night.

Farewell, sweet maiden; at thy tomb
My silent footstep oft shall stray;
More dear to me its hallow'd gloom,
Than life's broad glare, and fortune's day.

And oft, as fancy paints thy bier,
And mournful eyes thy lowly bed,
The secret sigh shall rise - the tear
That shuns observance shall be shed.

Nor shall the thoughts of thee depart,
Nor shall my soul regret resign,
Till mem'ry perish, till this heart
Be cold and motionless as thine.

> > Sister Funeral Poems

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