Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to say at a funeral. Do you read a poem, talk about the person that has died, play a song in their memory? Many funerals include all three and may start with a special poem. If you would like to read a poem which one should you choose and where can you find some inspiration? We hope that the links and poems here will provide you with some help.
Poetry is often read out at funerals and at Clandon Wood, we have heard a variety from the slightly obscure to the more popular. Each one has been chosen with care and it is a lovely way to say goodbye to a loved one or a dear friend. There are many wonderful poems around whatever your faith or beliefs, modern or traditional there is something for everyone. We have provided a small selection for you here including one from our very own Fran Hall whose poem was recently read out at a funeral here. We hope you like it, we think it’s quite special.
If you are searching for further inspiration there are some great websites around that offer suggestions such as Lasting Post and Funeral Helper.
Another brilliant website is the Much Loved Charity, in addition to providing you with ideas for readings and poetry it provides you with the opportunity to create an online tribute to the person you have lost. It’s easy to set up a tribute page and then you can invite friends and family to add photos, words, music even video to the site you have created so that you can share memories and special moments with all who knew the person. It is an entirely free service that provides you with an avenue to express your feelings and can help all of those who have been affected by the loss.
Under a Soft Blanket of Fallen Leaves by Fran Hall
Under a soft blanket of fallen leaves,
safe in the hush of the whispering trees
I have come home.
My time here on earth is now done,
all the noise and the clamour, the joy and the pain,
the powerful life force that drove me onwards
has slipped away into the quiet of eternity,
and I am at peace.
From now on, I will dance through your memories
threading thoughts of love through your heart.
The pain of loss will gradually ease, and the sadness will lift.
the days will be lighter, and the nights not so long,
for I am still here.
When you walk through this place, you will feel me
in the gentle touch of the breeze on your face,
in the sunlight dappling the forest floor,
in the murmur of the branches high above you,
I am all around.
I have returned to the place from whence I came,
to the elements that created me.
The earth that gave me the life I so loved
has now welcomed me back to her,
to be at one with all her beauty.
Here, under my blanket of fallen leaves
I have found my resting place.
I have come home.
Copyright Fran Hall
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.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
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 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, American poet (1904 – 2004)
He is not lost our dearest love
He is not lost our dearest love,
Nor has he travelled far,
Just stepped inside home’s loveliest room
And left the door ajar.
Death Is Nothing At All
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 are still,
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the same easy way which you always did,
Put no difference into 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 the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect, without the shadow of a ghost on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity,
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am just waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well.
Henry Scott Holland
We will be running a poetry competition in the New Year. If you would like to take part please keep an eye on our website for further details.