A Small Selection of Poems

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 Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep - Mary Frye

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!)

 Death is Nothing at All - Canon Henry Scott Holland

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!

 If I Should Go - Joyce Grenfell

 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.

I Am There - Iris Hesselden

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

 Funeral Blues - W. H 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 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.

At Rest – Anon

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.

Each Day - Graham Allaway

 Each day since we first lost you
Life is not the same,
Each day we search for reasons
Each day we call your name.

Each day we feel the pain
And the hurt that will not heal,
Each day we ask the sky
To please make this not real.

Each day we look for answers
To the endless questions why,
Each day we bow our heads
With another tear to cry.

But each day we're reminded
Of the joy that you would bring,
Each day we still remember
How you brightened everything.

Each day we hear you laughing
With that smile upon your face,
Each day we hear you playing
And your spirit we embrace.

So each day we live on
We will never be apart,
For in each day that passes
You're forever in our hearts.

Sweet dreams little one, sleep tight.

The Measure of a Man – Anon

Not - How did he die? But - How did he live?
Not - What did he gain? But - What did he give?
These are the things that measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.
Not - What was his station? But - had he a heart?
And - How did he play his God-given part?
Was he ever ready with a word of good cheer?
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
Not - What was his church? Not - What was his creed?
But - Had he befriended those really in need?
Not - What did the sketch in the newspaper say?
But - How many were sorry when he passed away?
These are the things that measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

He is Gone - David Harkins

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.

Remember - 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 planned:
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.

  Let Me Go - 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.

 I Miss Your Laughter - Nicholas Gordon

I miss your laughter, fun, and gentleness.
I miss the things I used to do for you.
I miss the time, now filled with emptiness,
When each day was a stage for something new.
I miss your love, though mine for you remains,
A passion with no outlet to the sea,
A teardrop in a desert, that contains
What's left of my maternal ecstasy.
I miss your presence, like a silent chord
That anchored even solitude in grace.
I miss, for my love's labour, the reward
Of seeing some small pleasure in your face.
All these I miss, and yet they are all here
Within my heart, far more than I can bear.

Farewell my Friends - Gitanjali Ghei

It was beautiful as long as it lasted

The journey of my life.

I have no regrets whatsoever

Save the pain I’ll leave behind.

Those dear hearts who love and care

And the strings pulling at the heart and soul

The strong arms that held me up

When my own strength let me down.

At every turning of my life I came across good friends,

Friends who stood by me

Even when the time raced me by.

Farewell, farewell my friends

I smile and bid you goodbye.

No, shed no tears for I need them not

All I need is your smile.

If you feel sad do think of me

For that’s what I’ll like.

When you live in the hearts of those you love

Remember then you never die

 When I Must Leave You - Helen Steiner Rice

When I must leave you
For a little while-
Please do not grieve
And shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you
Through the years,
But start out bravely
With a gallant smile;
And for my sake
And for my name
Live on and do
All things the same,

Feed not your loneliness
On empty days,
But fill each waking hour
In useful ways,

Reach out your hand
In comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you
And hold you near;

And never, never
Be afraid to die
For I am waiting for you in the sky!

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me - David M Romano

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

I wish you wouldn’t cry
The Way you did today
While thinking of the many things
We did not get to say

I know how much you love me
As much as I love you
Each time that you think of me
I know you will miss me too

When tomorrow starts without me
Please try to understand
That an angel came and called my name
And took me by the hand

The angel said my place was ready
In heaven far above
And That I would have to leave behind
All those I Dearly Love

But When I walked through Heaven’s Gates
I felt so much at home
When GOD looked down and smiled at me
From his golden throne

He said This Is Eternity
And All I promised you
Today for life on earth is done
But Here it starts a new

I promise no tomorrow
For today will always last
And Since each day’s the exact same way
There is no longing for the past

So When Tomorrow starts without me
Do not think we’re apart
For every time you think of me
Remember I’m right here in your heart

Turn Again to Life – A Price Hughes & Mary Lee Hall

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 weaker hearts than thine.
Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine,
and I perchance may therein comfort you.

My Journey’s Just Begun - Ellen Brenneman

Don't think of me as gone away, my journey's just begun

Life holds so many facets, this earth is but one

Just think of me as resting, from the sorrows and the tears

In a place of warmth and comfort, where there are no days and years

Think of how I must be wishing, that you could know today

How nothing but your sadness, can really go away

And think of me as living, in the hearts of those I touched

For nothing loved is ever lost, and I know I was loved so much

 Goodnight -  A.E Housman

Goodnight; ensured release,
Imperishable peace,
Have these for yours,
While sea abides, and land,
And earth’s foundations stand,
and heaven endures.

When earth’s foundations flee,
nor sky nor land nor sea
At all is found
Content you, let them burn:
It is not your concern;
Sleep on, sleep sound.

Music, When Soft Voices Die - 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 heaped for the beloved's bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

 Song of Living - Amelia Josephine Burr

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.
I have run and leaped with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast.
My cheek like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I have kissed young Love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end,
I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend.
I have known the peace of heaven, the comfort of work done well.
I have longed for death in the darkness and risen alive out of hell.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I give a share of my soul to the world, when and where my course is run.
I know that another shall finish the task I must leave undone.
I know that no flower, nor flint was in vain on the path I trod.
As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on God,
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

Away- James Whitcomb Riley

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.

Afterglow - Helen Lowrie Marshall

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.

 By Herself and Her Friends - Joyce Grenfell

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.

I Was Loved, Therefore I Am - Ana Draper

I was loved, therefore I am, 
And in being loved, I am treasured. 
When I peeled away my layers, 
And all that was left was my essence, 
The bareness of me, 
I was still loved. 
I was loved, therefore I am, 
And in being loved I was able to grow. 
In my mistakes held, 
In my successes celebrated, 
I was always loved. 
I was loved therefore I am, 
And in being loved I learned to love. 
In the sun filled day, 
In the ecstasy of the night, 
I was loved and loved others. 
To be loved is all you need: 
I was loved....and so, I will always be. 

 After I Have Gone - Vera Arlett

Speak my name softly after I have gone.
I loved the quiet things, the flowers and the dew,
Field mice; birds homing; and the frost that shone
On nursery windows when my years were few;
And autumn mists subduing hill and plain
and blurring outlines of those older moods
that follow, after loss and grief and pain
And last and best, a gentle laugh with friends,
All bitterness foregone, and evening near.
If we be kind and faithful when day ends,
We shall not meet that ragged starveling ‘fear'
As one by one we take the unknown way
Speak my name softly - there's no more to say.

Everything Exists - William Blake

For everything exists and not
one sigh nor smile nor tear,
one hair nor particle
of dust, not one can pass away.

Inside Our Dreams - Jeanne Willis

Where do people go to when they die? 
Somewhere down below or in the sky? 
'I can't be sure,' said Grandad, 'but it seems 
They simply set up home inside our dreams.

Hope - Samuel Butler

I fall asleep in the full and certain hope
That my slumber shall not be broken;
And that though I be all-forgetting,
Yet shall I not be forgotten,
But continue that life in the thoughts and deeds Of those I loved.


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