Remembrance Poems and Quotes for a Funeral or Memorial Service
In love longing
I listen to the monk’s bell.
I will never forget you
even for an interval
Short as those between the bell notes.
~ Izumi Shikibu
Give sorrow words;
the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o’er-fraught heart
and bids it break.
~ William Shakespeare, in Macbeth, Act IV, Scene III
They are all gone into the world of light,
And I alone sit lingering here;
Their very memory is fair and bright,
And my sad thoughts doth clear.
~ Henry Vaughan, from Silex Scintillans ‘They are all gone’
Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.
~ Matthew Arnold
Now fades the last long streak of snow,
Now burgeons every maze of quick
About the flowering sqares, and thick
By ashen roots the violets blow.
~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson
When you are sorrowful
look into your heart
and you shall see that
you are weeping
for that which has been
~ Kahlil Gibran
For winter’s rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.
~ Algernon Charles Swinburne
“I have only slipped away into the next room, I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name. Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Play, smile, think of me. All is well.”
~ Henry Scott Holland (shortened from What is Death?)
What is Death?
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 still are.
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 affect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolutely 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.
~ Henry Scott Holland
Remembrance is a golden chain
Death tries to break,
but all in vain.
To have, to love, and then to part
Is the greatest sorrow of one’s heart.
The years may wipe out many things
But some they wipe out never.
Like memories of those happy times
When we were all together.
~ Author Unknown
Your Loved One lives In Your Heart
Many tender memories soften your grief,
May fond recollection bring you relief,
And may you find comfort and peace in the thought
Of the joy that knowing your loved one brought…
For time and space can never divide
Or keep your loved one from your side
When memory paints in colors true
The happy hours that belonged to you.
~ Helen Steiner Rice
When you feel Lonely
When a person you love passes away
Look to the night sky on a clear day.
The star that to you, appears to be bright,
Will be your loved one,
Looking upon you during the night.
The lights of heaven are what shows through
As your loved one watches all that you do.
When you feel lonely for the one that you love,
Look to the Heavens in the night sky above.
~ Author Unknown
Remember me when I am gone away
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 you should remember and be sad.
~ Christina Rossetti
Farewell My Friend
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.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
God’s Lent Child
I’ll lend you for a little while, a child of mine, God said
For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he’s dead.
It may be six or seven years, or forty-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 always have his memories as a solace in your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught below I want this child to learn.
I’ve looked this whole world over in my search for teachers true
And from the folk that crowd Life’s lane I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love and not think the labour vain,
Nor hate me when I come to take this lent child back again?
I fancy that I heard them say “Dear God, thy will be done.
For all the joys this child will bring the risk of grief we’ll run.
We will shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may
And for all the happiness we’ve ever known, we’ll ever grateful stay.
But should the angels call him much sooner than we’d planned
We will brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.”
~ Author Unknown
To Those I Love
If I should ever leave you whom I love
To go along the Silent Way, grieve not,
Nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk
Of me as if I were beside you there.
(I’d come– I’d come, could I but find a way!
But would not tears and grief be barriers?)
And when you hear a song or see a bird
I loved, please do not let the thought of me
Be sad… for I am loving you just as
I always have… You were so good to me!
There are so many things I wanted still
To do– so many things to say to you…
Remember that I did not fear… It was
Just leaving you that was so hard to face…
We cannot see beyond… But this I know:
I loved you so– ’twas heaven here with you!
~ Isla Paschal Richardson
In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death. ~ Author Unknown
The heart hath its own memory, like the mind. And in it are enshrined
the precious keepsakes, into which is wrought the giver’s loving thought. ~ H.W. Longfellow
What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. ~ Helen Keller
Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there. ~ Isla Paschal Richardson
While both joy and sorrow are fleeting, and often intertwined, love has the power to overcome both. And love can last forever. ~ Deb Plouse Fulton, in A Second Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul
Photographs are precious memories . . . the visual evidence of place and time and relationships . . . ritual talismans for the treasure chest of the heart. ~ Robert Fulghum, in From Beginning to End
To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die. ~ Thomas Campbell
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 Legend
Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. ~ Rossiter W. Raymond
If I am to wear this mourning cloak, let it be made of the fabric of love, woven by the fine thread of memory. ~ Molly Fumia, in Safe Passage, Conari Press
What the heart has once known, it shall never forget. ~Author unknown
Remembering is an act of resurrection, each repetition a vital layer of mourning, in memory of those we are sure to meet again. ~Nancy Cobb, in “In Lieu of Flowers”