Poems for a tribute or eulogy

Published: 8/6/2022

Poetry at a funeral or memorial service is a wonderful way of expressing your love for the person being farewelled.    A well chosen poem can offer comfort, laughter and emotional remembrance of special times shared. They have the power to connect all those in attendance long into the future and can also be a loving addition to headstone wording.

Whether you are in charge of a eulogy, sending a condolence card or have been asked to do a reading, if you are finding it hard to find the right words, we hope our selection of poems help you in your search.

Because I Love You So

Time will not dim the face I love,

The voice I heard each day,

The many things you did for me,

In your own special way.

All my life I'll miss you,

As the years come and go,

But in my heart I'll keep you,

Because I love you so.

Anon

 

Afterglow

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.

Anon

 

She Is Gone (He Is Gone)

You can shed tears that she is 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 can't see her

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 her and only that she is gone

Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back

Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on

David Harkins

 

Pardon Me For Not Getting Up

Oh dear, if you're reading this right now,

I must have given up the ghost.

I hope you can forgive me for being

Such a stiff and unwelcoming host.

Just talk amongst yourself my friends,

And share a toast or two.

For I am sure you will remember well

How I loved to drink with you.

Don't worry about mourning me,

I was never easy to offend.

Feel free to share a story at my expense

And we'll have a good laugh at the end.

Kelly Roper

 

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 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.

Christina Rossetti

 

Remember Me

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 speak, but I can listen.

I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.

So as you stand upon a shore gazing at a beautiful sea,

As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity,

Remember me.

Remember me in your heart:

Your thoughts, and your memories,

Of the times we loved,

The times we cried,

The times we fought,

The times we laughed.

For if you always think of me, I will never have gone.

Margaret Mead

Life Is But A Stopping Place

Life is but a stopping place,

A pause in what's to be,

A resting place along the road,

to sweet eternity.

We all have different journeys.

Different paths along the way,

We all were meant to learn some things,

but never meant to stay...

Our destination is a place,

Far greater than we know.

For some the journey's quicker,

For some the journey's slow.

And when the journey finally ends,

We'll claim a great reward,

And find an everlasting peace,

Together with the lord.

Anon

 

Love Sonnet: XVII

I don't love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,

or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:

I love you as one loves certain obscure things,

secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom but carries

the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,

and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose

from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,

I love you directly without problems or pride:

I love you like this because I don't know any other way to love,

except in this form in which I am not nor are you,

so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,

so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

Pablo Neruda

 

Don't Cry for Me

Don't cry for me now I have died, for I'm still here I'm by your side,

My body's gone but my soul is here, please don't shed another tear,

I am still here I'm all around, only my body lies in the ground.

I am the snowflake that kisses your nose, I am the frost, that nips your toes.

I am the sun, bringing you light,

I am the star, shining so bright.

I am the rain, refreshing the earth,

I am the laughter, I am the mirth.

I am the bird, up in the sky,

I am the cloud, that's drifting by.

I am the thoughts, inside your head,

While I'm still there, I can't be dead.

Anon  

 

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's 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  

 

The Star

A light went out on Earth for me

The day we said goodbye

And on that day a star was born,

The brightest in the sky

Reaching through the darkness

With its rays of purest white

Lighting up the Heavens

As it once lit up my life

With beams of love to heal

The broken heart you left behind

Where always in my memory

Your lovely star will shine

Anon  

 

One 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.

Anon      

Death is Nothing at All

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.

Henry Scott Holland

 

Idyll

In the grey summer garden I shall find you

With day-break and the morning hills behind you.

There will be rain-wet roses; stir of wings;

And down the wood a thrush that wakes and sings.

Not from the past you'll come, but from that deep

Where beauty murmurs to the soul asleep:

And I shall know the sense of life re-born

From dreams into the mystery of morn

Where gloom and brightness meet. And standing there

Till that calm song is done, at last we'll share

The league-spread, quiring symphonies that are

Joy in the world, and peace, and dawn's one star.

Siegfried Sassoon

 

Music 

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 belovèd's bed;

And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,

Love itself shall slumber on.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

The Life That I Have Poem

The life that I have

Is all that I have 

And the life that I have

Is yours 

The love that I have

Of the life that I have

Is yours and yours and yours. 

A sleep I shall have

A rest I shall have 

Yet death will be but a pause

For the peace of my years 

In the long green grass 

Will be yours and yours and yours.

Leo Marks  

 

The Four Lives

With spring, there comes

Light and life anew

Blues and pinks

Adventure to the few

Flowers spring forth

Open arms to the sun

Colours abound

We watch them run

As spring turns to summer

Trunks sprout tall

Strong as an ox

All others in there thrall

Sunlight shines

A warm embrace

Branches grow strong

Everything in its place

But always autumn

Hard on its heels

Leaves come falling

An emotional reel

Green becomes brown

From luscious to dry

Soon the ride ends

And we will all lie

Winter now inevitable

Night shrouds the sky

We stare at the stars

And gasp with a sigh

The cold sets in

One last moon beam

Each says their goodbyes

Its time now to dream.

Nicholas Pak  

If you are planning a funeral or memorial and you are looking for further support, you can find more articles like this in our support and advice section here.        

By Kirsten Jakubenko

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