When we experience the death of a loved one, it can be incredibly difficult to articulate your own feelings and sentiments because, most often than not, we feel that our brains have turned to mush! In many cases, people turn to poets and authors and find verses that capture their collective feelings, allowing them the opportunity to express certain emotions through words.

I have an extremely large resource of poetry and readings for almost any circumstance – be it for an adult or child, specific to a family title [Mum/Dad/Nan etc], a favourite activity [bingo, formula 1, golf, bikers etc], humorous, meaningful, generic or overly sentimental….

Below I have listed a few of my generic favourites – may they be of some comfort for you to peruse.


If I should go – Joyce Grenfell (1910 – 1979)

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.

Do Not Feel Guilty for Living – Anon

Do not feel guilty for living,
When I have passed away,
Keep Smiling ,laughing, playing,
And do this every day,
Promise you won’t waste tears on me,
don’t waste your precious dreams,
don’t waste your heart wishing for me,
For life’s not what it seems.
It’s just a few short moments,
Slips through your hands like sand,
so live every second
Laugh and smile all you can,
In case you forget I’ll be watching,
Being proud of the way you transcend
I love you so much dear family
I love you so much dear friends.


Feel no guilt in laughter – Anon

Feel no guilt in laughter, she’d know how much you care.

Feel no sorrow in a smile that she is not here to share.

You cannot grieve forever; she would not want you to.

She’d hope that you could carry on the way you always do.

So, talk about the good times and the way you showed you cared,

The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared.

Let memories surround you. A word someone may say

Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day,

That brings her back as clearly as though she were still here,

And fills you with the feeling that she is always near.

For if you keep those moments, you will never be apart

And she will live forever locked safely within your heart.


You can shed tears [sometimes known as ‘She/He is Gone’] – David Harkins

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’ll come back

or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her

or you can be full of the love 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’s 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’d want: smile: open your eyes, love and go on.

I Will Be At One With The Universe – unknown author

I will be at one with the Universe

When I return

From whence I came.

No longer a solitary struggling soul

Wrestling with concepts

My mind cannot comprehend.

I will be part of the rushing wind

Or melt in the clouds that float gently by:

Oh! I may be in the song of the lark,

That sings perchance on a summer’s day,

Or I may rest in my garden then

Where violets hide in their woodland glen.

No tears for me – for I’ll be one

With the gentle rain and the setting sun.


Dry Your Tears – Unknown

Dry your tears and laugh again,
Let go your hurt, release your pain,
Accept that my time on earth was complete,
My lessons all learned, some bitter, some sweet.
Envisage me, healthy and strong,
Don’t hold the memory of where it went wrong,
Know that the place where I am feels so right,
I’m surrounded by love and bathed in white light.
Don’t cling on to heartache and think I’m afar,
For I stand by your side, wherever you are,
In your joy and your sorrow, every night, every day,
I’m there with my love, just one thought away.
Step into the sunshine, come out of the rain;
For me dry your tears, for me laugh again.

Time Passes By [a poem for closing] by John Vezner and Susan Longaker

Dreams drift away like leaves on the water.
They roll down the river and slip out of sight.
Too many times we do what we ought.
Put off ’til tomorrow what we’d really rather do tonight,
And later realize:

Time passes by, people pass on.
At the drop of a tear, they’re gone.
Let’s do what we dare, do what we like,
And love while we’re here before time passes by.

Thoughts are like pennies we keep in our pockets.
They’re never worth nothing ’til we give them away.
But love’s like a promise in an un-opened letter,
Where nights full of pleasure seldom see the light of day,
When life gets in the way.

Time passes by, people pass on.
At the drop of a tear, they’re gone.
Let’s do what we dare, do what we like,
And love while we’re here before time passes by.

Remember Me

Don’t remember me with sadness,

Don’t remember me with tears,

Remember all the laughter,

We’ve shared throughout the years.

Now I am contented

That my life it was worthwhile,

Knowing that I passed along the way

I made somebody smile.

When you are walking down the street

And you’ve got me on your mind,

I’m walking in your footsteps

Only half a step behind.

So please don’t be unhappy

Just because I’m out of sight,

Remember that I’m with you

Each morning, noon and night.

Remember me: – Anon

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, 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 have never gone.

Afterglow – Anon

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 tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun

Of happy memories that I leave, when life is done.

Miss me but let me go – Glyn Shipton

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 that we all must take,

And each must go alone,

It is all part of natures’ 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.


A Song of Living by 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 cheeks 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 gave a share of my soul to the world, when and where my course is run.

I know that another shall finish the task I surely must leave undone.

I know that no flower, nor flint was in vain and nothing was unrehearsed,

As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on the universe,

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.



A Life That Matters – unknown author

So what will matter?  How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you had, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is not what you’ve learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many people will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.

What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live on in those that love you.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.

It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.

Death is nothing at all – Henry Scott Holland

Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away to 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 have 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.

Let my name be ever the household word

that it always was.

Let it be spoken without effect.

Without a trace of a shadow in it.

Life means all that it ever meant.

It is 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.

Remember Me by Anthony Dowson

Speak of me as you have always done.
Remember the good times, laughter, and fun.
Share the happy memories we’ve made.
Do not let them wither or fade.
I’ll be with you in the summer’s sun
And when the winter’s chill has come.

I’ll be the voice that whispers in the breeze.
I’m peaceful now, put your mind at ease.
I’ve rested my eyes and gone to sleep,
But memories we’ve shared are yours to keep.
Sometimes our final days may be a test,
But remember me when I was at my best.

Although things may not be the same,
Don’t be afraid to use my name.
Let your sorrow last for just a while.
Comfort each other and try to smile.
I’ve lived a life filled with joy and fun.
Live on now, make me proud of what you’ll become.

‘Imagine’ by Yvonne Goddard. 
If you love me then know that our love is eternal
That the bond we share together will go on forever
Now imagine that I am staying with you
For a while in time
Imagine that it is the end of my day
And I leave you to go into the next room

Imagine that the room that I have entered
Is filled with joy and peace and love
Of loved ones and old friends who have gone before
Who are delighted to see me
Of beautiful flowers, of healing warmth
And magical rainbow colours
Now imagine how happy I will be
In that magnificent room

Now one day you will come into that magnificent room
But not before you’re ready
And you will see me more contented
And more beautiful and more happy
Than you have ever seen me before
You will feel the same peace and joy that I am feeling
Now imagine this then you will understand
That death is not an ending but merely a passing
From one room to another in the mansions of time

Never Forgotten – Unknown

You’ll never be forgotten

That simply cannot be.

As long as I am living

I’ll carry you with me.

Safely tucked within my heart

Your light will always shine;

A glowing ember never stilled,

Throughout the end of time.

No matter what the future brings,

Or what mat lie ahead,

I know that you will walk with me

Along the path I tread.

So rest my angel, be at peace

And let your soul fly free.

One day I’ll join your glorious flight

For all eternity.

Friends ~ Alice Kavounas.

In a circle of friends, the one who dies first
Is the friend you will never forget:
This is the death that unhinges you,
From the trappings of everyday life,
And makes you ~ suddenly ~ absurdly grateful,
For each new breath…. beginning with this one.

This is the death that could break you apart,
In every way possible;
That persuades you ~ in memory of that friend,
~ to turn away from whatever refuses to speak to your heart…
From whatever threatens to numb your soul….
From whatever it is, that revels in death.

Yet this, too, is the friend you need by your side.
Listen…..together they urge you:
Live your life.

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.

I fall asleep – 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


Of those I loved…

Thy will be done – Dorothy Frances Gurney

You left quietly without a fuss

You always had a smile to share

A laugh, a joke

A time to care

 A wonderful nature

Warm and true

These are the memories

I have of you

 A beautiful life

Came to an end

You died as you lived

Everyone’s friend

 You gave me year’s of happiness

Then sorrow came with tears

You left me lovely memories

I will treasure through the years

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.


When I’m Gone – Mrs Lyman Hancock

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

Forget unkind words I have spoken
Remember some good I have 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, ere 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

Farewell my Friends by Rabindranath Tagore

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 who 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.

We’ve shared our lives – T. C. Ring

We’ve shared our lives these many years,

You’ve held my hand; you’ve held my heart.

So many blessings, so few tears,

Yet for a moment we must part.

The memories you’ve given me

Are times I’ve shared with my best friend.

I’ll hold them, love, right here they’ll be

Until we share our lives again.

Time has taken me from you – unknown

Although not very far

I’ll be watching through the sunshine

And through the brightest star.

I’ll be watching all of you,

From the heavens up above.

So take good care of each other

And carry all my love.

If you’re ever wondering

If I’m there, here’s where you can start.

Take a look inside yourself

Deep within your heart.

I’ll always be your Wife

Your [Aunt, Cousin, and Friend]

So anytime you need me

Close your eyes, I’m back again

Songbird  – Unknown
Every songbird has its own unique song
And yours is my favourite.
Would my first steps be as hasty if not for its tempo?
Would my spirits be as high if not for its key?
Your song walked with me as I grew up
Like an underscore, lifting me.
And I have always listened, and I always will.
For no matter how quiet your tune gets,
As the years go on and time passes,
Even if it fades out to a gentle hum,
The echo of your melody will continue to guide me
And shape me into the  woman that I will become.
So, although you aren’t here to sing it,
The beat of your song will continue in our hearts.
Its steady rhythm will keep us on track.
And now every time I hear a songbird’s song,
I will think of you, and I will sing back.

‘untitled’ (by M A Hamilton)

but not too much,
because she laughed a lot,
loved and was loved a lot.
played a lot,
felt a lot,
sang a lot,
watched and saw a lot,
ate, drank, dreamt
and sometimes swore a lot;
and she leaves such,
a lot.

I Do Not Think My Song Will End – Johnny Hathcock
I do not think my song will end
While flowers, grass and trees
Abound with birds and butterflies
For I am one with these.
And I believe my voice will sound
Upon the whispering wind
So long as even one remains
Among those I call “friend.”
I shall remain in hearts and minds
Of loved ones that I knew,
And in the rocks and hills and streams
Because I love those, too.
So long as love and hope and dreams
Abide in earth and sky,
Weep not for me, though I be gone.
I shall not really die.