Funeral Speech (Eulogy) Poems
Funeral Speech (Eulogy) Poems
My Mum died a few days ago and I have to give a speech her funeral. Are there any poems or quotes that you think may be appropriate?
I am so sorry to hear the sad sad news about your Mum.
This is a really nice blessing that was used at my Aunt Molly’s funeral
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
– Traditional gaelic blessing
It was also written in the back of one of my leaving cards by my old boss.
We have put together an article on the main Presentation Magazine site How to structure a Funeral Speech which many people have found very useful
I have also come across this Old Indian Prayer that seems quite suitable
Should your blanket be torn,
May your breezes blow warm,
May your pleasure be what you find.
May the burdens you bear
Like your bounty-be shared
May you leave something good behind
May the sky and the land
Rise to your command
May your senses come like the night.
Live in peace with the Earth
As in death-As in birth
May you prosper, and have a good life.
Here is another nice line
“The song is ended, but the melody lingers on…”
This is a very powerful poem W H Auden
From The Twelve Songs
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a a juicy bone,
Silance 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 policeman 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 though that love would last for ever : I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now : put out ever 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.
It is a very emotional one so I am not sure how well it could be used, but should probably be done with care.
A nice one if the deceased has come from Scotland is the poem “My heart is in the highlands” by Robert Burns.
I can imagine that this would go down very well at a funeral of someone who was brought up in Scotland and has moved away.
My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer –
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;
My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.
Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North
The birth place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.
Farewell to the mountains high cover’d with snow;
Farewell to the straths and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forrests and wild-hanging woods;
Farwell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.
My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;
My heart’s in the Highlands, whereever I go.
This is a lovely poem that I was sent by a dear friend when I was grieving for the death of my brother. I am not sure how well it would work at a funeral, but it certainly is a lovely poem
It is called “Do not stand by my grave and weep” and was written by Mary Frye in 1932.
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!)
All Is Well
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped 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 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 effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It it 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.
By Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)
Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral
An Indian Prayer
Creator of life and light,
We prise thee this day for the beauty of thy world,
for sunshine and flowers,
storm-cloud and starry night,
for the radiance of dawn and the last smouldering calm of the sunset.
We thank thee for physical joys,
for the ecsatcy of swift motion,for deep water to swim in,
For the goodly smell of rain on dry ground,
for hills to climb and hard work to do,
for all the skill of hand and eye,
for music that lifts our hearts in one breath to heaven,
for the grasp of a friend,
for the gracious loveliness of children,
for all these thy sacrements of beauty and joy,
we thank thee our Lord and God.
I had searched for this Indian Prayer on the internet a few times, but I have never found it. I have just dug it out from Dad’s funeral service over 12 years ago.
The full text for the bible reading for a funeral is from Corinthians 15.1-26,35-38,42-44a.
The other one that is widely used is Psalm 23 – The Lord’s my Shepherd
Firstly I must say that I am sorry to hear your loss. I lost my mother three months ago and I too had to prepare a speech for a lost one.
I think that what you have already put down is a fascinating story and perhaps the best way to give the speech is to tell the story of your grandmother as you see it. This should make it personal and very touching.
Start with the search, about how you wanted to know more, about how you wondered and one day you started to search.
Tell about the joy of the finding your grandmother and paint the picture of what you found – her characteristics, her quirks, her happiness. Talk about what it meant to you.
Tell a story about something that you did over the past ten years.
Do not dwell too much on the details of her death. It is very much in your minds right now, but it is better to remeber the life than the process of dieing.
End up with saying a goodbye, and that you will miss her.
I hope that this helps you. I would be fascinated to hear more of this story.
If you could provide a little information about him it would help to track down something about him. – Did he have any special interests for example?
Any clues that you could provide and I will see what I can find
Ah,Are You Digging On My Grave
by: Thomas Hardy
“Ah, are you digging on my grave,
My loved one? – planting rue?”
– “No: yesterday he went to wed
One of the brightest wealth has bred.
‘It cannot hurt her now,’ he said,
‘That I should not be true.'”
“Then who is digging on my grave,
My nearest dearest kin?”
– “Ah, no: they sit and think, ‘What use!
What good will planting flowers produce?
No tendance of her mound can loose
Her spirit from Death’s gin.'”
“But someone digs upon my grave?
My enemy? – prodding sly?”
– “Nay: when she heard you had passed the Gate
That shuts on all flesh soon or late,
She thought you no more worth her hate,
And cares not where you lie.
“Then, who is digging on my grave?
Say — since I have not guessed!”
— “O it is I, my mistress dear,
Your little dog , who still lives near,
And much I hope my movements here
Have not disturbed your rest?”
“Ah yes! You dig upon my grave…
Why flashed it not to me
That one true heart was left behind!
What feeling do we ever find
To equal among human kind
A dog’s fidelity!”
“Mistress, I dug upon your grave
To bury a bone, in case
I should be hungry near this spot
When passing on my daily trot.
I am sorry, but I quite forgot
It was your resting place.”
This is a poem that was read out at the Queen Mother’s funeral. It is particularly nice and one that could be printed out and put into a nice silver picture frame and given as a moment to to your sisters and brother. “She is Gone”By David Harkins.
I’m sorry to hear about your sad news. You did not specify the type of help you were looking for. I presume that you need to find a suitable poem.
This poem is a possibility it is called “Epitaph on my Ever Honoured Father” by Robert Burns
O YE whose cheek the tear of pity stains,
Draw near with pious rev’rence, and attend!
Here lie the loving husband’s dear remains,
The tender father, and the gen’rous friend;
The pitying heart that felt for human woe,
The dauntless heart that fear’d no human pride;
The friend of man-to vice alone a foe;
For ‘ev’n his failings lean’d to virtue’s side.
There are also two very good poems by Dylan Thomas who wrote them when his father died. they are “Death shall have no dominion” and “Do not go gentle into that good night”
Some ideas for how you could start your clients funeral could be.
“Although I only knew Alfie (I have picked a name at random) for a short time/ the past three years, I came to get an insight into him…” (You can embellish this with some details.
“Alfie was a larger than life character” or “Alife had hiden depths” or “Alfie touched the lives of the people that he came to deal with…” or “Alfie never did anything in half measures…”
You can then build up a personal picture of how you got to know him and few insights into the positive sides of his character.”
Generally speaking it is best to not go too deeply into the pain that he suffered in his life or the dieing process – it is best to keep those to the positive stage. If you can give a few anecdotes into some of the nice moments that you shared that would also be nice.
Sorry to hear about your sad loss.
This is one possible line that I have found out.
“Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.” – Shelly
It may also be possible to hold a “Jazz Funeral” I found this snippet on the web.
When jazz singer Blue Lu Barker died in 1998, she was given a traditional New Orleans Jazz Funeral – a tribute to life, rather than a concession to death. Typically, a jazz funeral is arranged according to the wishes of the deceased, who often has chosen the music and the musicians as part of a pre-planning process. Barker’s wake featured jazz legends who honored her by performing in a funeral parade of music and dance that proceeded through the streets of New Orleans.
The closest that I have been able to find to a Jazz Funeral Poem is this one by Kusko Which has some beautiful lines
“When a jazz player dies.”
Dad speaks, his voice low,
almost reverent. “The others come
to both celebrate and morn
the life of such fine art. Through
the streets of old New Orleans.
Dancing to the tune
of a life well-played.”
The Poem can be read at full on
I hope that this helps
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Sorry to hear about the sad loss. Here is one that I picked up from a gravestone in Sutcombe in Devon. It has a strange resonance.
The lovely bud, so young, so fair
Called off by earthly doom,
Just came to show how sweet a flower
In paradise could bloom
I hope this helps
I am so sorry to hear about your friend. One of our very close friends had to attend a funeral after a friend who was being blackmailed committed suicide.
This is a particularly difficult one to give. here are a couple of possibilities.
‘Afternoon in February’ by Longfellow
The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead.
Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red.
The snow recommences;
The buried fences
Mark no longer
The road o’er the plain;
While through the meadows,
Like fearful shadows,
A funeral train.
The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds
To the dismal knell;
Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing
And tolling within
Like a funeral bell.
If you are religious, this one may also be a possibility
“Let Me Go” Anon
We’ve known lots of pleasure,
At times endured pain,
We’ve lived in the sunshine
And walked in the rain.
But now we’re separated
And for a time apart,
But I am not alone-
You’re forever in my heart.
Death always seems so sudden,
And it is always sure,
But what is oft’ forgotten-
It is not without a cure.
[You may wish to remove this next verse]
I’m walking now with someone,
And I know He’ll always stay,
I know He’s walking with you too,
Giving comfort everyday.
There may be times you miss me,
I sort of hope you do,
But smile when you think of me,
For I’ll be waiting for you.
Now there’s many things for you to do,
And lots of ways to grow,
So get busy, be happy,and live your life,
Miss me, but let me go.
I hope that these help
I have been asked to say something at a very special friend’s funeral. WE met in AA and he helped many people, including me to achieve sobriety. He was a very spiritual person and had a very strong belief in God. I loved him very much. He died suddenly and I really am broken hearted and can’t seem to put a pen to paper. Please help me give my friend a tribute that he so deserves and to say the words that will not only comfort those attending but also myself.
One possibility is a poem called “Another Land”
A ship sails and I stand watching till she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says She is gone.
Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large now as when I last saw her. Her diminished size and total loss from my sight is in me, not in her.
And just at that moment, when someone at my side says she is gone, there are others who are watching her coming over their horizon and other voices take up a glad shout – There she comes!
That is what dying is. An horizon and just the limit of our sight.
Lift us up O Lord, that we may see further.
I hope this is what you were looking for.
I have found this site of untold help in my desperate attempts to find something suitable to say.
Thank you very much.
Paul N Carcone
Lieutenant Royal Navy
Sorry to hear about your sad loss. The key to not getting your words messed up at a funeral is to have your speech written down. Try to limit your speech to no more than five minutes – three is ideal. Write out your speech and go through it a number of times until you are happy with it.
The next key step is to practice it out loud. I normally recommend that you do it at least four times. Do it with the full power of your voice. Also one of these times should be in front of a real audience – a friend, family, colleague. Feel free to make minor revisions following this, but make sure to practice the revised version. With the short timescales this may have to be practiced quite quickly.
A funeral is an emotional time. No one will mind if you get cut up, start crying or dry up when reading a funeral speech. It is entirely natural and expected. An essential back-up plan
is to make sure that you have someone at the funeral who can take over with your tribute if you cannot carry on. It could be a member of the family, a close friend or the priest. This way your words will still come out, even if you are unable to speak them.
During the speech they key is to concentrate on your grandmother’s life and not the dieing. All too often we have been through a lot of pain with the death – particularly if we have acted as a carer. If you concentrate on her life, and a few of the memories that you share together it will make it easier.
There is a nice tribute to a grandmother (Janet Parish on this site.
It may provide you with a few clues
It contains a nice poem called
“Turn Again To Life”
If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others, sore and 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 other hearts than thine.
Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I, perchance, may therein comfort you.
Here is another possible poem
There is one on this website called “Letting Go”
I do really feel for you at this sad time. It is just four months since I had to go through the same experience. I hope that it goes well for you.
It has been quite difficult to track down poems about carpentry. I have not yet been able to find anything about motor bikes.
These are two possibilities
I HEAR America singing -by Walt Whitman
I HEAR America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutters song the ploughboys, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother or of the young wife at work or of the girl sewing or washing
Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day
At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.
Another poem that may work for your Nana is this one
“My Nanie’s Awa” by Robert Burns
Now in her green mantle blythe Nature arrays,
And listens the lambkins that bleat o’er her braes;
While birds warble welcomes in ilka green shaw,
But to me it’s delightless-my Nanie’s awa.
The snawdrap and primrose our woodlands adorn,
And violetes bathe in the weet o’ the morn;
They pain my sad bosom, sae sweetly they blaw,
They mind me o’ Nanie- and Nanie’s awa.
Thou lav’rock that springs frae the dews of the lawn,
The shepherd to warn o’ the grey-breaking dawn,
And thou mellow mavis that hails the night-fa’,
Give over for pity-my Nanie’s awa.
Come Autumn, sae pensive, in yellow and grey,
And soothe me wi’ tidings o’ Nature’s decay:
The dark, dreary Winter, and wild-driving snaw
Alane can delight me-now Nanie’s awa.
So sorry to hear about your sad loss.
The most suitable poems that I can think of for your grandfather are both by Dylan Thomas
“Do not go gentle into that good night” and “Death shall have no dominion” are both very moving. They were both written for his father but should be suitable fro a grandfather as well.
Sorry to hear about your news. Here is a poem that may be suitable
“Trout Fishing” by Eunice Lamberton 1873
Give me a rod of the split bamboo,
a rainy day and a fly or two,
a mountain stream where the eddies play,
and mists hang low o’er the winding way,
Give me a haunt by the furling brook,
A hidden spot in a mossy nook,
No sound save hum of the drowsy bee,
or lone bird’s tap on the hollow tree.
The world may roll with it’s busy throng,
And phantom scenes on it’s way along,
It’s stocks may rise, or it’s stocks may fall,
Ah! What care I for it’s baubles all?
I cast my fly o’er the troubled rill,
Luring the beauties by magic skill,
With mind at rest and a heart at ease,
And drink delight at the balmy breeze.
A lusty trout to my glad surprise,
Speckled and bright on the crest arise,
Then splash and plunge in a dazzling whirl,
Hope springs anew as the wavelets curl.
Gracefully swinging from left to right,
Action so gentle- motion so slight,.
Tempting, enticing, on craft intent,
Till yielding tip by the game is bent
Drawing in slowly, then letting go
Under the ripples where mosses grow
Doubting my fortune, lost in a dream,
Blessing the land of forest and stream.
Apart from the children, Mick leaves behind his mother and wife.
Can I therefore request if anybody can advise a way forward for me to conduct this speech?
Cancer has just taken my partner’s stepfather (spent 30+ years as her acting father). I have offered to make a speech at the service and have found this site to be both constructive and inspirational. I would very much like to say a few words about Mick’s life and the unselfishness that was him. Although he had no children of his own he treated both his girls in that manner and absolutely adored his grandchildren. I only knew Mick for 5 years and although in that time I got to know one of the more genuine people I have ever had the pleasure to meet, I am at a crossroads as to how best to deliver a speech. 5 years is long enough to speak openly with family and friends about Mick as a person and remind everyone of this but he was not a religious man, therefore Psalms are probably inadequate, or even what we might call soppy, so poems may not be fitting with his character either.
Apart from the children, Mick leaves behind his mother and wife.
Can I therefore request if anybody can advise a way forward to conduct the speech?
I’m not Catholic myself, so I’m not very familiar with bible passages; does anyone have any suggestions?
You must be devastated. It must be very, very hard for you.
As regards Poems, or readings I have not been able to find anything specifically, but it may be that you could derive a few lines from a song.
I was listening this afternoon to REM “Everybody hurts” It maybe expresses what you would have wanted to say to your friend.
The alternative may be the Eulogy to Lenny Bruce who died of a drugs over dose. You may be able to use the first verse
So sorry to hear the sad news about your mum.
If your Mum made a lot of sacrifices, she may well have appreciated a prayer called “Lord of Pots and Pans”
Firstly let me express my sadness about the loss of your friend. It is always hard to let a young one go.
This is a poem called “Life” by
Charlotte Bronte .
LIFE, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall ?
Life’s sunny hours flit by,
Enjoy them as they fly !
What though Death at times steps in
And calls our Best away ?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O’er hope, a heavy sway ?
Yet hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell despair !
I am truly sad at the moment due to the loss of my friend and her sister in a car accident. I am preparing a eulogy for her funeral and need help finding a poem or a quote that would honor both the girls, age 20 and 24.
Sorry to hear about the very sad news. To lose two young girls at the sae time is very sad.
It has been really hard to find a poem that you could use. I have been trawling though old books and scouring the web. This one is a possibility: “Epitaph for a Darling Lady” by Dorothy Parker
We have to mourn the loss of one
We would’ve loved to keep
But God who surely loved her best
Has finally made her sleep
hope it helped
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.
We passed the school where children played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.
We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.
Since then ‘t is centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity
Amy, She is Gone was written by David Harkins in 1981.
I am looking for a poem that has the words, I am the quiet in the room….I just cant remember the rest of it. can you help
Please can you help with the rest of the words to this? I dont know where its from or who wrote it, this is all I have……
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 didnt go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.
Hi, tried googling and couldn’t find anything – maybe someone else might find it!
Rachael, thank you for trying. My Mum passed away last week and I will certainly use the bit I’ve got but would loke to read the whole piece.
Hi my mum passed away last week the funeral service is this thursday. I am trying to write something to say thank you for being mum and making me who i am and i cant get words to paper.