Poems & Readings for Funeral & Memorial Services
(For religious readings please scroll to the bottom of the page)
'A funeral doesn't just recognise that a life has ended, it recognises that a life was lived'.
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 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 my life is done.
'Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy (Eskimo saying).'
Farewell (Anne Bronte 1820-1849)
Farewell to Thee! But not farewell
To all my fondest thoughts of Thee;
Within my heart they still shall dwell
And they shall cheer and comfort me.
Life seems more sweet that Thou didst live
And men more true Thou wert one;
Nothing is lost that Thou didst give,
Nothing destroyed that Thou hast done.
Everything that has a beginning has an ending,
make your peace with that and all will be well (Buddhist Saying).
When I am dead cry for me a little, think of me sometimes but not too much.
Think of me now and again as I was in life, at some moments it's pleasant to recall
But not for long. Leave me in peace and I shall leave you in peace
And while you live let your thoughts be with the living.
'Those we love don't go away they walk beside us every day
unseen, unheard, but always near, still love, still missed but very dear.'
Celebrate My Life
Weep not for me though I have gone into that gentle night. Grieve if you will, but not for long upon my souls sweet fight. I am at peace, my soul's at rest there is no need for tears. For with your love I was so blessed for all those many years. There is no pain, I suffer not the for now I’ve travelled home. Put now sad thoughts out of your mind for in your memory I live on. Remember all the happiness, remember not the strife.
Please do not dwell upon my death but celebrate my life.
'I’m thinking of you but that is nothing new, I thought about you yesterday, and the day before that too.
I will think about you tomorrow, and as the years come and go. I will think about you forever.'
God only takes the best
God saw you were getting tired and it was not meant to be,
So he put his arms around you and whispered,’ come to me''.
With tearful eyes we watched you and saw you pass away,
Although we loved you dearly we could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating hard working hands at rest
God broke our hearts to prove to us he only takes the best.
People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in; their true beauty is revealed only if their light is from within (Elizabeth Kulber Ross).
A Fallen limb
A limb has fallen from the family tree.
I keep hearing a voice that says, "Grieve not for me.
Remember the best times, the laughter, the song.
The good life I lived while I was strong.
Continue my heritage, I'm counting on you.
Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through.
My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest.
Remembering all, how I truly was blessed.
Continue traditions, no matter how small.
Go on with your life, don't worry about falls
I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin.
Until the day comes we're together again.
You were so bright & special brighter than the sun, your colour filled our lives, a mixture of love & fun, You were so special to us, there are no words to say, but you will always be with us, in your bright and colourful way.
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
When someone lovely passes away it is really sad,
but it does make the afterlife seem much more attractive.'
His Journey's Just Begun (E. Brenneman)
Don't think of him as gone away his journey's just begun,
life holds so many facets this earth is only one.
Just think of him as resting from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort where there are no days and years.
Think how he must be wishing that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness can really pass away.
And think of him as living in the hearts of those he touched
for nothing loved is ever lost and he was loved so much.
'Just as we see the sun setting in the distance we know that there is something on the horizon we just can't see it until we make the journey for ourselves'.
When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn't tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many good years.
I gave you my love, and you can only guess
How much you've given me in happiness.
I thank you for the love that you have shown,
But now it is time I travelled on alone.
So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
That it is only for a while that we must part,
So treasure the memories within your heart.
I won't be far away for life goes on.
And if you need me, call and I will come.
And then, when you come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and a "Welcome Home".
'Though you can't see or touch me, I will be near and if you listen with your heart, you'll hear
all my love around you soft and clear'.
A Daughters / Sons Promise
Every time that we smile, every time that we sigh,
We think of your face, and a tear escapes our eyes.
You were our world, our inspiration and our heart,
but when you left us, we thought we would fall apart.
You were our best friend, our one true 'confidant',
And that's not all you were, you were also our mum.
We didn't want to live without you, but you would have wanted us to,
And if there is anyone we want to make happy, that anyone is you.
We will make you proud mum, we're going to fulfil your wish.
You're going to see us and smile, That's a daughter's / son's promise.
'Like the most distant star that continues to shine long after that star has gone out, her / his love will continue to shine'.
Remember me (Max Ehrmann)
To the living I am gone, to the sorrowful I will never return
To the angry I was cheated, but to the happy, I am at peace
And to the faithful I have never left. I cannot be seen, but I can be heard
So as you stand upon a shore, gazing at a beautiful sea, remember me. As you look in awe at a mighty forest and its grand majesty, remember me. As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity, remember me. Remember me in your heart, your thoughts and your memories to the times we loved, the times we cried,= the times we fought, the times we laughed. For if you always think of me, I have never gone.
'Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, which is why it is called the present.'
Delightful hosts (James Whitcomb Riley)
What delightful hosts are they, Life and Love!
Lingeringly I turn away, This late hour, yet glad enough
They have not withheld from me their high hospitality.
So, with face lit with delight And all gratitude, I stay
Yet to press their hands and say, "Thanks. So fine a time! Good night."
'I'll see you on the other side of the stars'.
You've walked on ahead of me
You’ve walked on ahead of me and I’ve got to understand, You must release the ones you love and let go of their hand.
I try and cope the best I can But I’m missing you so much
If I could only see you and once more feel your touch.
es, you’ve just walked on ahead of me don’t worry I’ll be fine,
But now and then I swear I feel your hand slip into mine.
'Grief is the price we pay for love (Queen Elizabth II)'.
I do not think my song will end
I do not think my song will end, while flowers grass and trees,
abound with birds and butterflies for I am at one with these.
And do not think that I am gone for every time you hear,
a dog barking in the breeze, you will find my memory there.
And do not think that I am alone, for in the stars above,
I am laughing and smiling with all of those I love.
So long as love and hope and dreams abide in earth and sky,
weep for me though I be gone, I shall not really die.
'Say not in grief 'he is no more' but live in thankfulness that he was (Hebrew proverb)'.
Legacy Of Love - Unknown
A Husband, a Father, a Grandpa 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 Husband not just as a Father.
For all of us you gave your best,
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.
'A picture is worth a thousand words, but the memories are priceless'.
So Bright & Special
You were so bright and special, brighter than the sun,
Your colour filled our lives, a mixture of love and fun,
You were so special to us, there are no words to say,
but you will always be with us, in your bright and colourful way.
'There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart'.
Don’t lay me in some gloomy corner
Don’t lay me in some gloomy corner shaded by a wall,
Where the dust of ancient bones has spread a dryness over all,
Lay me in some leafy loam where, sheltered from the cold
Little seeds investigate and tender leaves unfold.
The roots will not disturb me as they wend their peaceful way
To build the fine and bountiful, from closure and decay.
To seek their small requirements so that when their work is done
I’ll be standing strongly in the beauty of the sun.
'When someone lovely passes away it is really sad.
But it does make the afterlife seem much more attractive'.
Ship - Bishop Brent
I am standing upon that shore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and the sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says “there, She’s gone” “Gone where” “Gone from my sight, that’s all”. She is just as large in mast and spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side;
just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her, it is in me. She is gone from my sight but there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout. “Here she comes” That is dying.
'If only you knew how much those little moments with you mattered to me'.
Bilbo's Final Song ; J R Tolkeins
Day is ended, dim my eyes, but a journey long before me lies.
Farewell, friends! I hear the call, see the ship beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey; beyond the sunset leads my way.
Foam is salt, the wind is free; I hear the rising of the Sea.
Farewell, friends! The sails are set, the wind is east, the moorings fret.
Shadows long before me lie, beneath the ever-bending sky,
but islands lie behind the Sun that I shall raise ere all is done;
lands there are to west of West, where night is quiet and sleep is rest.
Guided by the Brightest Star, beyond the utmost harbour-bar,
I'll find the havens fair and free, and rest peacefully in the Starlit Sea.
“If you could sum him/ her up in a few words it would be ….................”
In the rising of the sun, and in it's going down, we remember him. In the blowing of the wind, and in the chill of winter, we remember him In the opening of the buds, and in the warmth of summer, we remember him. In the rustling of the leaves, and in the beauty of the autumn, we remember him. In the beginning of the year, and when it ends, we remember him.
'When I wander into your thoughts, or you feel my presence nearby then smile, for not reason …. no motive....... just like that. Today give me the last smile, once more, for goodbye. Let me go away happy like I have always been, forever yours.'
An Angel In The Sky must Leave His Place Of Rest,
Gently Tucking His Wings Beneath His Armored Vest.
For Duty Has Called, There Is Much Work To Do
Little Did He Know, This One Is Dressed In Blue.
Arriving On The Scene, He Knows Just What To Say,
Follow Me, Fallen Brother, I'll Show You The Way.
Your Duty Has Ended, Your Work Is Now Through.
Come Hand Your Hat Beside Mine. I'm A Cop, Too.
'Nothing loved is ever lost or can be lost'.
The Rose – W.A. Stowe
I married a rose without any thorns, every room in the house she gracefully adorns,
There is no winter, its summer right through, the sun always shines & the sky's always blue.
We have a daughter she's a red rose, blessed with a bud that's how life grows,
And when you have these you can't wish for more, regardless of money you'll never be poor.
'Memory is a loving thing, it lasts the longest, it can never be spent, never be lent, never be taken away.'
Not how did he die
Not ‘How did he die? But ‘How did he live?.
Not ‘What did he gain?’ but What did he give?’
These are the units that measure the worth of a man, as a man, no matter his birth.
Not ‘What was his Church?’ Nor ‘What was his creed?’
But his work and his care for those people in need:
His strength for his children, his love for his wife. These are the units that measure a life.
Not what the sketch in the newspapers say, but how many will miss him now he’s passed away.
'The song is ended but the melody lingers on.' (Lyrics by Irving Berlin)
I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone,
from the beginning…to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of 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 she spent alive on earth.
But all those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.
'Did the sun shine a little brighter, Was the sky a deeper blue,
or was it just a better world, when we shared our lives with you'.
Do not stand at my grave & weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am the 1000 winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sun on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled light.
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.
'What the caterpillar perceives is the end, to the butterfly is just the beginning'.
Butterfly Kisses – John F. Connor
Don't cry for me please don't be sad, hold onto the memories of the times we both had,
don't dwell on dark thoughts hold on tight to your wishes, sending you hugs and butterfly kisses.
I walk beside you I am there all day long, I am right here but you think I am gone,
You don't see me but I can see you, Whatever the problems I will help you get through.
I am the wind in your hair, the sand in your toes, butterfly kisses that you feel on your nose,
I am with you at sunrise and in sunset, that you can't see me is my one regret.
I sit right beside you when you are sad, as you look through the photo's of the times we both had,
I watch you sleeping I hold you so tight, before I go I kiss you goodnight.
I will watch over you from heaven above, forever you will be my one true love,
Hold onto your dreams and all your wishes, Sending you hugs and butterfly kisses.
'You went away so suddenly, we did not say goodbye.
But family can never be parted precious memories never die'.
That you remember me
I've learned so much throughout my life, but there's some much I don't recall
I know it's in there somewhere but it's hard to find it all.
It's not that I've forgotten you, or the things I said I'd do,
I remember everything but it's hidden somewhere I can't see just beyond my view.
You see there is a shadow where there didn't used to be,
and sometimes when I look right there it just confuses me.
My mind has ways of taking me where I don't want to go,
I know, I know your name I see, just right now it's hard for me,
to think of things I really know, and to know what really is,
and what may not be so.
Though I may forget you, It's important that you see,
just how much it means to me, that you remember me.
'Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time. - Cowboy saying.'
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 rites in a gloom filled room
why cry for a soul set free!
Miss me a little - but not too 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 the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds
miss me - but let me go
'Those we love are never more than a thought away....
for as long as there's a memory they live in our hearts to stay'.
The Rose Beyond The Wall
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.
'Some are bound to die young, by dying young a person stays young in peoples memory.
If he burns brightly before he dies, his brightness shines for all time.'
You Can Shed Tears
You can shed tears that she has gone or
You can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.
Your heart can be empty because you cannot see her
Or you can be full of the love she shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she has gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your minds be empty and turn your back
Or you could do what she would want, smile,
open your eyes, love and go on.
'Everyday in some small way we miss you more than words can say.
In our hearts you will always stay loved and remembered every day'.
Crossing the Bar (Lord Alfred 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 or 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.
'In the end its not the years in your life that counts, but the life in your years'. Abraham Lincoln
Remember only my best
When I come to the end of my journey and I travel my last weary mile,
just forget if you can, that I ever frowned and remember only the smile.
Let go of any angry words spoken, remember the good that was done,
Forget that I ever had heartache and remember I've had loads of fun.
Forget that I've stumbled and blundered and sometimes fell by the way.
Remember I have fought some hard battles and won, at the close of the day.
Then forget to grieve for my going, I would not have you sad for a day,
but in summer just gather some flowers and remember the place where I lay,
and come in the shade of evening when the sun paints the sky in the west.
Stand for a few moments beside me and remember only my best.
'We know you'd be with us today if heaven wasn't so far away'.
You Meant So Much - Cassie Mitchell
You meant so much to all of us
You were special and that's no lie
You brightened up the darkest day
And the cloudiest sky
Your smile alone warmed hearts
Your laugh was like music to hear
I would give absolutely anything
To have you well and standing near
Not a second passes
When you're not on our minds
Your love we will never forget
The hurt will ease in time
Many tears I have seen and cried
They have all poured out like rain
I know that you are happy now And no longer in any pain
'Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure,
your loved beyond words but missed beyond measure'.
I’m blessed to call you sister,
I also call you friend;
You’ve loved me unconditionally,
And stood through thick and thin.
You’ve shared my joys and sorrows,
My laughter and my tears.
You’ve been my inspiration,
As we grew up through the years.
When we were little children
We laughed and played together;
Then growing up you stood by me,
Through good and stormy weather.
There’s something God has given us,
That’s more than family;
He’s placed a love for you, my Sister,
Deep down in the heart of me.
'Grief never ends..... but it changes. It's a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith …. it is the price of love' - Author Unknown.
Of A Sister
A sister is someone who loves you from the heart,
No matter how much you argue you cannot be drawn apart.
She is a joy that cannot be taken away,
Once she enters your life, she is there to stay.
A friend who helps you through difficult times,
Her comforting words are worth much more than dimes.
A partner who fills your life with laughs and smile,
These memories last for miles and miles.
When she is by your side, the world is filled with life,
When she is not around, your days are full of strife.
A sister is a blessing, who fills your heart with love,
Someone who will be with you, even when she's up above.
'Don't cry because its over, smile because it happened'.
In Loving Memory of our Wonderful Nan
Of all the special gifts in life however great or small,
To have you as our nan was the greatest gift of all.
May the winds of love blow softly and whisper in your ear,
“We love and miss you Nan and wish that you were here”.
Deep in our hearts your life is kept, to love and cherish, not forget.
No more tomorrows can we share, but yesterdays are always there.
A silent thought, a secret tear, keeps your memory ever near.
In our hearts forever.
'Being a Mother / Father is not about what you gave up to have a child,
but what you've gained from having one' – Unknown.
Thank you for attending poem
Perhaps you sent a lovely card, or sat quietly in a chair;
perhaps you sent beautiful flowers, if so we saw them there.
Perhaps you sent or spoke kind words as any friend could say;
Perhaps you were not there at all, just thought of us that day.
But whatever you did to console the heart,
we thank you so much, whatever the part.
'Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters'
Our Daughter and sister
You will always be our daughter and sister
no matter where you are
Even when we moved away
And we lived under different stars.
The stars above still shine
As we look above each night
And we see you in those stars,
a bright and constant light.
Now you have had to go
Once again we have to part
But we are still family
and your still in our hearts.
'Those we love will never truly leave us … They will stay forever within our heart'
An Angel's Message
An Angel passed my way today, and left a message just to say,
I'll help you, watch you, be your guide, I'm always with you by your side,
And all the times when you feel low, I'll be your strength and help you grow.
And as you take these things from me, your eyes will open and you'll see,
a whole new world begin to for, a whole new world, a brand new dawn.
When you see the stars above, just remember I'm watching and sending my love.
'Weep if you must parting is hell, but life goes on so sing as well' Joyce Grenfell.
The Woman I Call Sister
The woman I call sister Is someone who was always there
The woman I call sister Is someone who has always cared.
The woman I call sister could make me smile when times were blue
The woman I call sister is someone who was always true.
The woman I call sister by choice, was always my best of friend
The woman I call sister will be in my heart to the very end
The woman I call sister is the blessing from above
The woman I call sister is the sister that I'll always love.
Sometimes I just look up, smile and say “I Know that was you”'
An angel lived among us,
A gift sent from above.
She showered us with kindness
And shared with us her love.
She cherished every moment
With the man who was her life;
Walking hand in hand together,
Facing life with all its strife.
She loved her children dearly,
Each one a different way,
Nestled close within her heart.
Though, now, she’s far away.
She’s gone to live with other Angels.
But, she’s here with us, today,
Smiling down on every one of us,
And telling us she’s O.K..
'Goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end,
they simply mean I'll miss you, until we meet again'.
Look up to the sky now tell me what you see
A cloud, the moon, possibly the sun, many answers there will be
When I look up to the sky I'll tell you what I see
I see my mother and she's looking back at me
She tells me she didn't want to leave us but it was time for her to depart
It was the hardest thing she had to do and it's breaking her heart
She tells me we mustn't be sad because finally she's pain free
She's found her place in heaven underneath a blossom tree
She'll always be there to guide us when we feel we've lost the way
She'll always be there to comfort us and wipe those tears away
She'll always be there to share our joy and laugh at the jokes we make
In order to feel her presence only a little imagination it'll take
She may be in the form of a butterfly or simply a floating feather
Or hovering over like a busy bee or simply part of the weather
You've all come here to say your farewell but for me it's not goodbye
If I want to see her, all I have to do is look up to the sky
Sweet dreams Mum
'Life should not only be lived, it should be celebrated'.
We Only Wanted You
They say memories are golden well maybe that is true.
We never wanted memories, We only wanted you.
A million times we needed you, a million times we’ve cried.
If love alone could have saved you you never would have died.
In life we loved you dearly, In death we love you still.
In our hearts you hold a place no one can ever fill.
If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane,
We’d walk the path to heaven to bring you back again.
'Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away'.
We had a wonderful mother,
One who never grew old;
Her smile was made of sunshine,
And her heart was solid gold;
Her eyes were as bright as shining stars,
And in her cheeks fair roses you see.
We had a wonderful mother,
And that' s the way it will always be.
'The greatest legacy we can leave our children are happy memories'.
‘Our love for you is not written on paper, for it can be erased.
Nor is our love for you etched in stone, for stone can be broken.
But our love for you is inscribed in our hearts, where it shall remain forever.’
A River Runs Through It
Those sweet memories still linger in my mind
The chain of mountains, The birds singing their song,
The outspread meadows... And the river that runs through it!
I still see us walking along the river bank holding each other's hand.
And as we lie down on the grass, Interlocked in arms, looking at the sky,
The rock sings for us, a melodious song, As the river runs through it!
I still go there, Sometimes in dreams and sometimes in real.
The birds are still singing and the rock still sings. Everything is unchanged except the fact that You are nowhere to be seen.
You have crossed over to the other side of the river,
The outstretched field of heaven!
And as I sit on the grass, sorrow grips my mind and... The river runs through it!
'A picture is worth a thousand words but memories are priceless'.
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 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
(* religious verse which can be included:
But when I walked through heavens gates I felt so much at home
when god looked down and smiled at me from his great throne
He said this is eternity and all I’ve promised you
today for life on earth is past but here it starts anew
I promise no tomorrow for today will always last
And since each day’s the same way there’s no longing for the past.)
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.
'Grief is like the ocean, it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing.
Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it's overwhelming.
All we can learn to do is swim – Vicki Harrison'.
A Feather from an angel
A feather from an Angel,
Is one we rarely see.
But this one is quite different,
And as special as can be.
This feather is a reminder,
Of a special person's love....
Who is now your Guardian Angel,
Watching & protecting from above.
'Life brings tears, smiles and memories. The tears dry; the smiles fade;
but memories.. memories last forever'.
An Angel passed my way today,
And left a message just to say,
I’ll help you, watch you, be your guide,
I’m always with you by your side,
And all the times when you feel low,
I’ll be your strength and help you grow,
And as you take these things from me,
Your eyes will open and you’ll see,
A whole new world begin to form,
A whole new world a brand new dawn,
And when you see the bright sky above,
know that I am watching and sending my love,
And at night I am the sparkle in the stars,
Still yours forever, just from afar.
'The best gift you can ever give someone is your time because your giving them something that you'll never get back'.
The Magic of a Granny's Touch
There's magic in a Granny's touch,
and sunshine in her smile.
There's love in everything she does
to make our lives worthwhile.
We can find both hope and courage
Just by looking in her eyes.
Her laughter is a source of joy,
her works are warm and wise.
There is a kindness and compassion
to be found in her embrace,
and we see the light of heaven
shining from our Granny's face.
'When someone you love becomes a memory,
that memory becomes a treasure'.
How do we let a Mother go?
How do we let a mother go? How do we say "I'm ready now to go on without you"?
How can we ever have a clue of what that really means?
And of a sudden the moment is upon us, and there's no turning back.
And then we know what grief is,... and guilt and love and things undone.
Try to prepare and we will fail in some way, be it subtle or looming....
But there is peace too. peace and acceptance and overwhelming love that we maybe weren't aware of. waves and waves of conflicting emotion,
And laughter too, and memories we hadn't bothered lately to recall come flooding back in shared company.. and it's all about you mum...
And there's gratitude.. so much of that, that we had you, such a wonderful mother...
Bright and shining, nobody's fool, independent, but humble too;
Smart, and kind, and fun. Adventurous..
A part of you has passed away, but much is carried everyday within us, and will as long as we are here. This may be a final tribute, A day to celebrate your life and say goodbyes;
But it's not final.
Every day I'll celebrate in some way, just by the virtue of how you shaped my life,
The absolute and incredible fortune that I knew you.
As a mother, a friend and a woman.
'I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it.
I want to have lived the width of it as well' – Diane Ackerman.
The Hobbit - Chapter 9 – Stewart
Down the swift dark stream you go back to lands you once did know!
Leave the halls and caverns deep, leave the northern mountains steep,
Where the forest wide and dim stoops in shadow grey and grim!
Float beyond the world of trees out into the whispering breeze,
Past the rushes, past the reeds, past the marsh’s waving weeds,
Through the mist that riseth white up from mere and pool at night!
Follow, follow stars that leap up the heavens cold and steep;
Turn when dawn comes over land, over rapid, over sand,
South away! and South away! Seek the sunlight and the day,
Back to pasture, back to mead, where the kine and oxen feed!
Back to gardens on the hills where the berry swells and fills
Under sunlight, under day! South away! and South away!
Down the swift dark stream you go back to lands you once did know!
'Some only dream of Angels, I held one in my arms'.
Tis Only We Who Grieve
Tis only we who grieve, they do not leave, they are not gone
They look upon us still, they walk among the valleys now.
They stride upon the hill, their smile is in the summer sky,
Their grace is in the breeze, their memories whisper in the grass.
Their calm is in the trees, their light is in the winter snow,
their tears are in the rain, their merriment runs in the brook.
Their laughter in the lane, their gentleness is in the flowers,
they sigh in autumn leaves, they do not leave, they are not gone , Tis only we who grieve.
If only we could see the splendour of the land to which our loved ones are called from you and me
If only we could hear the welcome they receive from old familiar voices all so dear
we would not grieve. If only we could know the reason why they went
We'd smile and wipe away the tears that flow
And wait content.
'Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over it became a butterfly...'.
Finding You in Beauty -Walter Rinder
The rays of light filtered through the sentinels of trees this morning.
I sat in the garden and contemplated the serenity and beauty
Of my feelings and surroundings completely captivated me & I thought of you.
Discovered you tucked away in the shadows of the trees.
Then, rediscovered you in the smiles of the flowers as the sun penetrated their petals
In the rhythm of the leaves falling in the garden
In the freedom of the birds as they fly searching as you do.
I’m very happy to have found you, now you will never leave me
For I will always find you in the beauty of life.
'Every time you look at a twinkling star, just remember that's me smiling from afar'
I'll Be There
You ask me to stay, if only for one more day.
I wish I could, but it's time for me to go.
Please don't cry, for I could never really leave you.
Close your eyes, feel my warm embrace, my kiss upon
your brow. Don't worry, I'll always be here.
As the spring rain softly falls, the trees begin to bud and the
flowers begin to bloom, I'll be there.
As the summer breeze cools you, and the children laugh and play, I'll be there.
As the snow gently falls, covering the earth in
a soft blanket of white, I'll be there.
As the leaves begin to turn their bright wondrous colours,
and rainbows paint the sky I'll be there.
'Life is short so make it worthwhile, don't spend your time grieving, just spend it with a smile'.
All is well (By Canon Henry Scott Holland)
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 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 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 affect without the trace of a shadow 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 but waiting for you for an interval, somewhere very near just around the corner.. all is well.
'When someone you loves dies... you never quite get over it you just slowly learn how to go on without them, but always keep them tucked safely in your heart.'
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 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 didn't go alone,
For part of us went with you the day God called you home.
'May the winds of heaven blow softly and whisper in your ear
how much we love and miss you and wish that you were here'.
Foot Prints in the Sand
One night I dreamed a dream, I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints. This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."
He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."
'Remember this moment, Cherish this story, Celebrate this life'.
Traditional Gaelic Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
May the rains fall soft upon your fields
May you go from this place of peace in peace.
(*and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.)
'There are moments in my life I will always remember,
not because they were important but because you were there'.
A Celtic Blessing
The peace of the running water to you
The peace of the flowing air to you
The peace of the quiet earth to you
The peace of the shining stars to you
And the love and care of us all to you
May you go from this place of peace in peace.
'To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die – Thomas Campbell'.
Candle Lighting Ceremony
We light this first candle to acknowledge the grief that we feel today
because our hearts are broken and our eyes are filled with tears.
We light this second candle for the courage that we need.
The courage to confront our grief; courage to support each other;
courage to live our lives in the light of your memory.
This third candle represents the love that bound us together.
We remember the times we cried together and even the times we argued with each other,
but love always held us together.
The light this forth candle as we remember the light of your life.
Your life gave us life and as long as we live,
we will love and remember you.
Goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end,
they simply mean “I'll miss you until we meet again”.
Poem for butterfly ceremony
As you release this butterfly in honour of me,
know that I'm with you and will always be.
Hold a hand, say a prayer,
close your eyes and see me there.
Although you may feel torn apart,
please know that I'll be forever in your heart.
Now I fly like a butterfly as high as I can go,
But I'm still right there with you more than you know.
'I am who I am today because I knew you'.
Bible Readings for Funeral & Memorial Services
Psalm 103: verses 15-19
As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him,
and his righteousness unto children's children, to such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commmandments to do them. The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted
But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised?
With what kind of body do they come?" What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.
But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.
Isaiah 40: 28-31
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the LORD your God
Meditation – Dante
So just as a good mariner when he draws near to the harbour lets down his sails and enters it gently with a slight headway on; so we ought to let down the sails of our worldly pursuits, and then turn to God with all our understanding and heart, so that we may come to that haven with all composure and with all peace. And our own nature gives us a good lesson in gentleness, in so far as there is in such a death, no pain, nor any bitterness; but as a ripe apple lightly and without violence detaches itself from its bough, so our soul severs itself without any suffering from the body where it has dwelt.
3. 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4
Love is patient; love is kind and envies no-one. love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. There is nothing love cannot face, there is no limit to it's faith, it's hope and it's endurance. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. …......Love never ends.
The Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Hail Mary, full of grace. Our lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary Mother of God, Pray for us sinners, Now and at the hour of our death.
23rd Psalm; The Lord is my shepherd;
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For you are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
1 Corinthians 15:35
But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised?
With what kind of body do they come?"
What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be,
but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.
But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.
1 Corinthians 15:42
So it is with the resurrection of the dead.
What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.
It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.
It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away;
for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.
And this is the will of him who sent me,
that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day."
When I saw a new heaven and a new earth;
for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, " See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away."
And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true." Then he said to me,"It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more.
O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in your mercy, grant us a safe lodging and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.
The Lords Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.
Blessing: Numbers 6: 24 – 26
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
Song of farewell
My God loves me. His love will never end.
He rests within my heart for my God loves me.
His gentle hand he stretches over me.
Though storm-clouds threaten the day he will set me free.
He comes to me in sharing bread and wine.
He brings me life that will reach past the end of time.
My God loves me, his faithful love endures.
And I will live like a child held in love secure.
The joys of love as offerings now we bring.
The pains of love will be lost in the praise we sing.
A Child Loaned - Anonymous
"I'll lend you for a little time a child of Mine." He said. "For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he's dead. It may be six or seven year or twenty-two or three But will you, till I call him back take care of him for Me? He'll bring his charms to gladden you and should his stay be brief, You'll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief. I cannot promise he will stay since all from Earth return, But there are lessons taught down there I want the child to learn. I've looked this wide world over in my search for teacher's true, And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,I have selected you; Now will you give him all your love,Nor think the labour vain Nor hate Me when I come to call And take him back again? I fancied that I heard them say, "Dear Lord, They will be done, For all the joy Thy child shall bring, For the risk of grief we'll run. We'll shelter him with tenderness,We'll love him while we may, And for the happiness we've known,Forever grateful stay. But should the angels call for him much sooner than we planned, We'll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand."
"His service just summed up who he was, and was exactly what he would have wanted"
(Celebration of Life).
"A truly unique send off"
(Said about using wine gums at a Burial)
"Thank you for the sensitive way that you dealt with a very devastated family. We have received so many lovely comments from friends and family”.
(Celebration of Life)