Here are a few readings to help personalize the service. I have many more poems which may be appropriate for your service and I am more than happy to help to find the reading that brings comfort.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
By 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 circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
DON'T CRY FOR ME By Carol Pool
Don't cry for me now that I'm not here
I've just gone beyond to somewhere quite near
My troubled soul now freed from pain
Has now returned from whence it came
I've taken now't with me, nothing new, nothing old
But the love you gave me and the memories I hold
Those are the things that mattered to me
But I was blind - I could not see
So stretch out your hand, help another in strife
And something worthwhile, will be gained from my life!
FROM THE PROPHET – Kahlil Gibran
Let not the waves of the sea separate us now
And the years you have spent in our midst become a memory.
You have walked among us, a spirit
And your shadow has been a light upon our faces.
Much have we loved you, but speechless was our love,
And with veils has it been veiled.
Yet now it cries aloud unto you
And would stand revealed before you.
And ever has it been that love knows not its own depth
Until the hour of separation.
PEACE MY HEART… Rabindranath Tagore
Peace my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet
Let it not be a death – but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain into songs
Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle, like the flower of the night
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment and say your last words in silence.
I bow to you, and hold up my lamp to light you on your way!
REMEMBER ME…… by Christina Rossetti
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 council then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for awhile
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 that you should remember and be sad
When we Remember – author unknown
You can shed tears that he is gone
You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
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 him and only that he’s gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
In Liberating Breeze_.. - by Ruth Van Gramberg I soar above in spacious skies; I lift my spirits with glee
And swift above the clouds I rise; life’s shackles bursting free
Above the emerald brooks and ferns, skimming through dappled shadows
Beyond majestic gums and terns, careering across the meadows
Bitter constraints, bruised ego unleashed far reaching goals or glorious deeds
I flee this earth’s stringencies with ease
The ultimate joy I now embrace – the purity of space In liberating breeze'
A gentle mist upon my brow, soft sunlight spangles my hair
A kaleidoscopic flight so bright, on my new freedom thoroughfare
So strong my soul, my heart so light, this fresh buoyancy perceive
As waters blue and scintillating waves, whisper softly, beckoning me I’ve tarried long and wearily,
traipsing bravely hidden chasms and meads
I flee this earth’s stringencies with ease
The ultimate joy I now embrace – the purity of space
In liberating breeze'
CRY NOT FOR ME…by Ruth Van Gramberg
Shadows fall upon the world of my loved ones
They no longer see the dew upon the rose
The sun has slipped behind a darkened rain cloud
Their souls are clenched in pain as sorrow grows
From the surface of their minds they have set forth
Pursuing each daily chore with melancholy face
That yields no more, no less than asked
And yet, I long to reach right out and say aloud
Cry not for me my friends, hear the music in my heart
And kiss my memory-‘Farewell’.
I have lived so well upon this earth
I have followed many paths to reach the sun
If I had troubles, or pain, or heartaches
I cherished more the smiles, a thousand more, when one
Had said to me in friendship – ‘I wish you well!’
They were sweet words I treasured long.
To the hilltops, to the clouds to the moon and stars beyond
To a pasture glistening with fresh rain – I run
So, cry not for me, my friends, hear the music in my heart
And kiss my memory ‘Farewell’.
IF I BE THE FIRST OF US TO DIE -Nicholas Evans
If I be the first of us to die, let grief not blacken your sky.
Be bold yet modest in your grieving.
There is a change but not a leaving,
For just as death is part of life,
The dead live on forever in the living.
And all the gathered riches of our journey,
The moments shared, the mysteries explored,
The steady layering of intimacy stored,
The things that made us laugh or weep or sing,
The joy of the first unfurling of the spring.
The wordless language of look and touch, the knowing.
Each giving and each taking, these are not flowers that fade,
Nor trees that fall and crumble, nor are they stone,
For even stone cannot the wind and rain withstand
And, mighty mountain peaks in time reduce to sand.
What we were, we are. What we had, we have.
A conjoined past imperishably present.
So when you walk where we once walked together,
And scan in vain for my shadow,
Or pause where we always did
Upon the hill to gaze across the land,
And spotting something reach by habit for my hand,
And finding none, feel sorrow start to steal upon you.
Be still, close your eyes. Breathe.
Listen for my footfall in your heart,
I am not gone but merely walking within you.
For a person with different persona (public face and private face)
The Men Who Try and Try – RM Williams
I was never a great believer
In the things that men call luck
For it takes hard downright digging
Ere the vein of gold is struck
Dame Fortune may be fickle,
but no one can deny
Ah, she loves to lay her treasures
at the feet of men who try.
I've read the records closely
And I've watched the battles too
And it's taught me one good lesson
Which I pass on to you:
Fate cannot build a barrier
So rugged or so high
That cannot be surmounted
By the men who try and try.
And when in life's grand procession
Of people that pass on by
I'll raise my hat the highest
To the men who try and try.
WHEN LIFE COMES TO AN END - Ruth Van Gramberg ©
When Life comes to an end, when all seasons are spent...
When death comes and claims its right, to say to me “This is the End! I want to step through that door, full of curiosity, wondering
What is it going to be like $ that unknown realm of obscurity?
I will then look upon the past, as no more than an idea – a fleeting span,
That started some yesterday and raced through years concealed.
When it’s all over, I want to say – Yes, that was Me!!
I have gazed around with ‘amazement’, searching for answers
I lived, I breathed, I felt and touched and I followed many a dream!
I don’t need to wonder if I made my existence
Something particular, something unreal or something notable...
I don’t aim to leave ashamed or frightened, imploring ‘ one more day’!
To rectify some worthless deed.!
I don’t choose to end up simply having visited this terrain and failed.
I want to leave – having stained it with my struggles, a palette of varied hues,
I shared, simply or expansively, wildly or silently, with payments and dues,
Life’s complexities and triumphs hand in hand
As I did exist - from birth till now! And, it was ‘Grand’!!
Pages brushed elusively with music, tears and mirth
I hungered for the unknown, and sought what touched my soul..
And proudly leave it ‘Spectacular’, for having lived and loved upon this earth!