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26 Uplifting Funeral Poems to Say Goodbye to Loved Ones

Looking for the perfect funeral poem to honor the memory of a loved one? This guide explores traditional and modern options, and provides tips on choosing the right poem for your situation. Discover the power of funeral poems to provide comfort and hope during difficult times.

Poems To Say Goodbye at a Funeral

Losing a loved one is never easy. Whether you’re saying goodbye to a friend or a family member, it’s a difficult time. But during the grieving process, we often turn to traditions that help us process our feelings and honor the memory of the person we’ve lost. One such tradition is using funeral poems.

In this article, we’ll explore traditional and modern options and provide tips on choosing the right one for your situation.

Traditional Funeral Poems

Traditional funeral poems have been used for generations to bring comfort and solace during difficult times. They’re often religious and are intended to provide hope and reassurance. Some examples of traditional funeral poems include:

  • “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep” by Mary Elizabeth Frye: This poem is popular for funerals, providing comfort and peace to those left behind.
  • “The Lord’s Prayer” by Jesus Christ: This prayer is often recited during Christian funeral services, as it provides a message of hope and faith.
  • “Funeral Blues” by W.H. Auden: This poem is a beautiful elegy that expresses the pain and grief of losing a loved one.

Modern Funeral Poems

While traditional funeral poems are still popular, more and more people are turning to modern options that better reflect their personal beliefs and values. These poems are often secular and focus on celebrating the life of the person who has passed away. Some examples of modern funeral poems include:

  • “Afterglow” by Helen Lowrie Marshall: This poem celebrates the legacy of the person who has passed away and reminds us that they will always be with us in spirit.
  • “Miss Me But Let Me Go” by Christina Rossetti: This poem provides a message of reassurance and reminds us that our loved one would want us to move forward with our lives.
  • “She is Gone” by David Harkins: This poem offers hope and comfort and encourages us to remember the joy our loved one brought.

How to Choose the Right Funeral Poem

Choosing the right funeral poem can be difficult, but there are a few factors to consider that can help make the decision easier:

  • Think about the relationship you had with the person who has passed away. Did they have any favorite poems or authors?
  • Consider the tone of the funeral. Will it be a somber occasion or a celebration of the person’s life?
  • Ask family members if they have any preferences or suggestions.
  • Don’t be afraid to write your own poem if you feel comfortable doing so.

A Collection of Funeral Poems

In times of grief, funeral poems can provide a much-needed source of comfort and hope. Whether you choose a traditional or modern option, the right poem can help you honor the memory of your loved one and provide a sense of closure.

This collection of poems has been chosen for their comforting words. You can read them as a eulogy poem during the service, at the graveside or include the words in your funeral stationery.

Short Poems for Funerals

These short poems can be read as a eulogy or included in a memorial card to hand out to friends and loved ones as a lasting tribute.

Miss Me But Let Me Go - Quote from Christina Rossetti poem

Let Me Go by Christina Rossetti

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.

‘Tis Better To Have Loved and Lost by Alfred Lord Tennyson

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Music, When Soft Voices Die by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory –
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heap’d for the belovèd’s bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

If I Should Die by A. Price Hughes

If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others, sore undone, who keep
Long vigils by the silent dust, and weep.

For my sake – turn again to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
Something to comfort other hearts than thine.

Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I, perchance, may therein comfort you.

If I Should Die – Funeral Poem Memorial Card

Boats Sail on the Rivers by Christina Rossetti

Boats sail on the rivers,
And ships sail on the seas;
But clouds that sail across the sky
Are prettier far than these.

There are bridges on the rivers,
As pretty as you please;
But the bow that bridges heaven,
And overtops the trees,
And builds a road from earth to sky,
Is prettier far than these.

Warm Summer Sun by Mark Twain

Warm summer sun,
Shine kindly here,
Warm southern wind,
Blow softly here.
Green sod above,
Lie light, lie light.
Good night, dear heart,
Good night, good night.

Funeral Poems for Dad

If you are looking for funeral poems to honor your father’s memory you may find comfort in some of the following words:

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

As We Look Back (Anonymous)

As we look back over time
We find ourselves wondering …..
Did we remember to thank you enough
For all you have done for us?
For all the times you were by our sides
To help and support us …..
To celebrate our successes
To understand our problems
And accept our defeats?
Or for teaching us by your example,
The value of hard work, good judgment,
Courage and integrity?
We wonder if we ever thanked you
For the sacrifices you made.
To let us have the very best?
And for the simple things
Like laughter, smiles and times we shared?
If we have forgotten to show our
Gratitude enough for all the things you did,
We’re thanking you now.
And we are hoping you knew all along,
How much you meant to us.

To My Father by Georgia Harkness

A giant pine, magnificent and old
Stood staunch against the sky and all around
Shed beauty, grace and power.
Within its fold birds safely reared their young.
The velvet ground beneath was gentle,
and the cooling shade gave cheer to passers-by.
Its towering arms a landmark stood, erect and unafraid,
As if to say, “Fear naught from life’s alarms”.
It fell one day.
Where it had dauntless stood was loneliness and void.
But men who passed paid tribute – and said,
“To know this life was good,
It left its mark on me. Its work stands fast”.
And so it lives. Such life no bonds can hold –
This giant pine, magnificent and old.

Funeral Poems for Mom

Whether you are searching for funeral poems for mom to honor your mother’s memory at the funeral service or in a keepsake card you may find comfort in these poems.

She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

My Mother (Anonymous)

In infancy’s unconscious day,
I weak and helpless long did lay,
Who o’er my form did watch and pray,
My Mother.

Who nourished me with fondest care,
And bore me forth to take the air,
And plucked me fruits and flowers rare,
My Mother.

Who daily, as I older grew,
Still taught me lessons bright and true,
And virtue’s path kept in my view,
My Mother.

Oh, may I truly, every year,
Return with love and tender care,
The blessings I from thee did share,
My Mother.

Funeral Poems for Grandad

The following poems can be read aloud at the funeral service or included in the memorial program to honor your grandfather.

Telling The Bees by Eugene Field

O gentle bees, I have come to say
That grandfather fell asleep today,
And we know by the smile on grandfather’s face
He has found his dear one’s biding-place.

So, bees, sing soft, and, bees, sing low,
As over the honey-fields you sweep
To the trees abloom and the flowers ablow
Sing of grandfather fast asleep;
And ever beneath these orchard trees
Find cheer and shelter, gentle bees.

Our Granddad (Anonymous)

It broke our hearts to lose you,
but you never went alone,
for a part of us went with you,
the day god took you home.

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

To the grave you travel,
Our flowers placed with care,
No-one knows the heartache,
as we turn to leave you there.

If tears could build a stairway,
and memories could make a lane,
we would walk right up to heaven,
and bring you home again.

We love you Granddad,
sleep well in heaven with the angels.

Funeral Poems for Grandma

This selection of funeral poems for grandma can be read aloud at the service or included in a keepsake prayer card to share with friends and family to honor her memory.

Legacy of Love (Anonymous)

A wife, a mother, a grandma too,
This is the legacy we have from you
You taught us love and how to fight
You gave us strength, you gave us might.
A stronger person would be hard to find,
And in your heart you were always kind.
You fought for us all in one way or another
Not just as a wife not just as a mother.
For all of us you gave your best
And now the time has come for you to rest.
So go in peace, you’ve earned your sleep,
Your love in our hearts we’ll eternally keep.

God Looked Around His Garden by Melissa Shreve

God looked around his garden
And found an empty place
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,
He always takes the best.

He knew that you were suffering
He knew you were in pain
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.

He saw the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids
And said, “Peace be thine”.

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

Happy Funeral Poems

It seems odd to use the word happy when talking about funerals, but if you want to help mourners at the funeral service remember the deceased with a smile these poems may fit the bill.

Afterglow (Anonymous)

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.

Popular Funeral Poems

These poems were made popular after being included in a movie or a TV program.

Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden

(Featured in the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral)

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.

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye

(Read by John Wayne at Howard Hawks’ memorial service)

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 glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
(Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!)

Turn Again to Life by Mary Lee Hall

(Featured in Call the Midwife)

If I should die and leave you here a while,
Be not like others sore undone,
Who keep long vigil by the silent dust.

For my sake turn again to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
Something to comfort other hearts than thine.

Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I perchance may therein comfort you.

Classic Funeral Poems

Here is a selection of classic funeral poems. These touching poems contain words that can bring comfort in your time of grief.

Crossing the Bar By Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – ’tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity –

Remember By Christina Rossetti

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.

Remember – Blue Floral Memorial Card

Inarticulate Grief by Richard Aldington

Let the sea beat its thin torn hands
In anguish against the shore,
Let it moan
Between headland and cliff;
Let the sea shriek out its agony
Across waste sands and marshes,
And clutch great ships,
Tearing them plate from steel plate
In reckless anger;
Let it break the white bulwarks
Of harbour and city;
Let it sob and scream and laugh
In a sharp fury,
With white salt tears
Wet on its writhen face;
Ah! let the sea still be mad
And crash in madness among the shaking rocks—
For the sea is the cry of our sorrow.

All is Well by Henry Scott Holland

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 it 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.

Come! by Walter de la Mare

From an island of the sea
Sounds a voice that summons me,–
“Turn thy prow, sailor, come
With the wind home!”

Sweet o’er the rainbow foam,
Sweet in the treetops, “Come,
Coral, cliff, and watery sand,
Sea-wave to land!

“Droop not thy lids at night,
Furl not thy sails from flight!…”
Cease, cease, above the wave,
Deep as the grave!

O, what voice of the salt sea
Calls me so insistently?
Echoes, echoes, night and day,–
“Come, come away!”

If Tomorrow Starts Without Me by David Romano

When tomorrow starts without me,
And I’m not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
all filled with tears for me,

I wish so much you wouldn’t cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn’t get to say.

I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
and each time that you think of me,
I know you’ll miss me too.

But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
and said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I’d have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I’d always thought,
I didn’t want to die.

I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
and all the fun we had

If I could re-live yesterday
Just even for a while,
I’d say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
would take the place of me.

And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven’s gates,
I felt so much at home
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne.

He said, “This is eternity,
And all I’ve promised you.”
Today your life on earth is past,
But here life starts anew

I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day’s the same way
There’s no longing for the past.

You have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times
You did some things
You knew you shouldn’t do.

But you have been forgiven
And now at last you’re free.
So won’t you come and take my hand
And share my life with me?

So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I’m right here, in your heart.

Custom Memorial Cards to Honour Your Loved One

At Sunflower Memorials we pride ourselves in creating funeral and memorial stationery and gifts that will act as a lasting tribute to your loved one.

Memorial cards are a lovely gift that can be given to friends and loved ones who attend the service, or mailed to those who weren’t able to offer their condolences in person.

Our cards come in a range of sizes and can be easily personalized with a favourite photograph and your choice of poem. They are then professionally printed and shipped to your door.

You can see the full range of memorial poem cards here.

Uplifting Funeral Poems to Say Goodbye