Mike Jacobs - Leicester's funeral celebrant of choice
Mike Jacobs - Leicester's funeral celebrant of choice

Funeral Poetry

A sensitive choice of poetry can really enhance a funeral service and make it even more meaningful.  Here are a few suggestions, although this list is by no means exhaustive.

At 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
Autumn Rain  

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 rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am that swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.


Mary Frye, 1932

 

 
Death is nothing at all  

Death is nothing at all. It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened.
Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which 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 that 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 an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; 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!

 

Henry Scott Holland

 

 
Feel no guilt in laughter, he'd know how much you care  

Feel no guilt in laughter, he'd know how much you care.
Feel no sorrow in a smile that he is not here to share.
You cannot grieve forever; he would not want you to.
He'd hope that you could carry on the way you always do.
So, talk about the good times and the way 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 him back as clearly as though he were still here,
And fills you with the feeling that he is always near.
For if you keep those moments, you will never be apart
And he will live forever locked safely within your heart.

 

Anon

 

 
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 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 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

 

 
God's Garden  

God looked around the garden and saw an empty space.
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 for he only takes the best.

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.

 

 
He Is Gone  

You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left

Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
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 him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.


David Harkins

 

 
I Am There  

Look for me when the tide is high
And the gulls are wheeling overhead
When the autumn wind sweeps the cloudy sky
And one by one the leaves are shed
Look for me when the trees are bare
And the stars are bright in the frosty sky
When the morning mist hangs on the air
And shorter darker days pass by.

I am there, where the river flows
And salmon leap to a silver moon
Where the insects hum and the tall grass grows
And sunlight warms the afternoon
I am there in the busy street
I take you hand in the city square
In the market place where the people meet
In your quiet room - I am there
I am the love you cannot see
And all I ask is - look for me

 

Iris Hesselden

 

 
If I Should Go  

If I should go 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

 

 
Miss me – But let me go.  

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no tears 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 we once shared,
Miss me – But let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone,
It’s all a part of the Master’s plan
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to your friends that we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good works,
Miss me – But let me go.

 

 
Remember  

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.


Christina Rossetti 1830–1894

 

 
The Dash  

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before. 

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

 

Linda Ellis copyright 1996

 
   
The Measure of a Man  

The measure of a man is not determined
By his show of outward strength
Or the volume of his voice
Or the thunder of his actions
Or of his intellect or academic abilities

It is seen rather in terms of the love that he has
For his family and for everyone
The strength of his commitments
The genuineness of his friendships
The sincerity of his purpose
The quiet courage of his convictions

The fun, laughter, joy and happiness he gives to his
family and to others

His love of life
His patience and his honesty
And his contentment with what he has

 

Grady Poulard

 

 
This Heritage  

They are not dead,
Who leave us this great heritage
Of remembered joy.

They still live in our hearts,
In the happiness we knew,
In the dreams we shared.

They still breathe,
In the lingering fragrance windblown,
From their favourite flowers.

They still smile in the moonlight's silver
And laugh in the sunlight's sparkling gold.

They still speak in the echoes of words
We've heard them say again and again.

They still move,
In the rhythm of waving grasses,
In the dance of the tossing branches.

They are not dead;
Their memory is warm in our hearts,
Comfort in our sorrow.
They are not apart from us,
But a part of us
For love is eternal,
And those we love shall be with us
Throughout all eternity.

 

 
The Rose Beyond The Wall  

Near a shady wall a rose once grew,
Budded and blossomed in God's free light,
Watered and fed by the morning dew,
Shedding it's sweetness day and night.
As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
Slowly rising to loftier height,
It came to a crevice in the wall
Through which there shone a beam of light.
Onward it crept with added strength
With never a thought of fear or pride,
It followed the light through the crevice's length
And unfolded itself on the other side.
The light, the dew, the broadening view
Were found the same as they were before,
And it lost itself in beauties new,
Breathing it's fragrance more and more.
Shall claim of death cause us to grieve
And make our courage faint and fall?
Nay! Let us faith and hope receive--
The rose still grows beyond the wall,
Scattering fragrance far and wide
Just as it did in days of yore,
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will forever-more.


A. L. Frink

 

 
The Rose Beyond The Wall (variation)  

A rose once grew where all could see,
sheltered beside a garden wall,
And as the days passed swiftly by,
it spread its branches, straight and tall...
One day, a beam of light shone through
a crevice that had opened wide
The rose bent gently toward its warmth
then passed beyond to the other side
Now, you who deeply feel its loss,
be comforted - the rose blooms there -
its beauty even greater now, nurtured by
God's own loving care.

 

Based on a poem by A. L. Frink

 

 
   

Contact Mike

You can reach Mike by phone on:

t: 0116 241 2000

m: 07711 136512

or by email

mike@

mikejacobs.co.uk

 

You can also use his contact form.

Mike Jacobs

Independent Celebrant

13 Kingsbury Avenue

Leicester

LE5 6ND

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