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Suggestions for a funeral reading please?

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obNOXious | 22:04 Wed 13th Aug 2008 | Arts & Literature
10 Answers
Hi, I wonder if any of you have any poetic suggestions for a funeral reading please?
The person concerned was male, elderly, had been ill for some time and was a very forthright character, so nothing too flowery or cheesey please:)

I'm currently looking at 'Do not go gentle in that good night' and 'Remember me', but neither are quite right I feel.
Any help or suggesitons most gratefully recieved.
Thanks in advance.

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there is one that starts
do not stand at my grave and weep

but i can't remember the rest of it so i dont know whether t is too flowery etc
Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep
Mary Elizabeth Frye

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 sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn 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.
What about Funeral Blues by W H Auden?

Funeral Blues


Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence 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 policemen 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 thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Although reputed to be about his gay lover (and thus used as such in Four Weddings and a Funeral) was probably more of a satire on the death of some great public figure.
-- answer removed --
Just fot you I opened my sealed envelope :)

First one:

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 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 always 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 effort

Without the ghost of a shadow in it

Life means all that it ever meant

It is the same as it ever was

There is absolute unbroken continuity

What is death but a negligible accident?

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.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost

One brief moment and all will be as it was before

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
and the second one:


I Am Always With You



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 traveled 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.

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

And then, when you come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and a "Welcome Home".


Have to have a catch up soon x
Question Author
Thank you all so very much, all very fitting and I'll have a think on all of them and run them through my head a little to see what makes itself comfortable:)
Thanks all once again.

Dris... I'll have a wee chat with you when I've got a minute, still in Germany:)
Hope things are OK -will catch you when you can x
What about this? You could change SHE to HE etc quite easily:

THE SHIP OF LIFE
by John T. Baker

Along the shore I spy a ship
As she sets out to sea;
She spreads her sails and sniffs the breeze
And slips away from me.

I watch her fading image shrink,
As she moves on and on,
Until at last she�s but a speck,
Then someone says, �She�s gone.�

Gone where? Gone only from our sight
And from our farewell cries;
That ship will somewhere reappear
To other eager eyes.

Beyond the dim horizon�s rim
Resound the welcome drums,
And while we�re crying, �There she goes!�
They�re shouting, �Here she comes!�

We�re built to cruise for but a while
Upon this trackless sea
Until one day we sail away
Into infinity.
The Dash.

I read of a man who stood to speak
At a 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 birth
And spoke 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
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard;
Are there things you�d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what�s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we�ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while
So when your eulogy is being read
With your life�s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say?
About how you spent your dash?

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