READINGS & POEMS FOR FUNERALS

Choosing the right reading or poem for a funeral is so important and can be quite hard. There are lots to be found online, of course, but here are some - including some of my own.

At home or away, he’d be there for his team,

Willing them on to a win,

And not only when sunny or at the top of the league,

But when their success had run thin.

 

With his mates on the stand, he’d join in the songs,

Shouting aloud when they scored,

And after the match with a pint in his hand,

He’d talk of the game he adored.

 

But now there’ll be one less voice in the crowd,

Cheering whether win, lose or draw,

One less person who faithfully shows up

A fan whatever the score.

 

But maybe there’ll be goal posts in heaven,

For games full of spirit and soul

And over the noise of a choir singing songs,

There’ll be [NAME] with his mates shouting ‘Goal!’

Time cannot steal the treasures

Time cannot steal the treasures
that we carry in our hearts.
Nor ever dim the shining thoughts
our cherished past imparts.
For the memories of the ones
we loved still cast a gentle glow.
To grace our days and light our paths
wherever we may go.

When the years of my life have come to an end (John Gordon)

When the years of my life have come to an end,

The time of farewell comes to pass,

Remember the days that we have all shared,

Say my name, tell a tale, raise a glass.

 

Each day of my life, I’ve been glad to have known

Good friends who have travelled each mile;

I ask of you this, if you will, now and then:

Think of me, picture us, with a smile.

My journey is over – or perhaps it goes on,

I’ll understand if you weep;

But the memories that I held in my heart

Are yours to treasure and keep.

Your life is a gift that cannot be kept

protected, avoiding the end,

So live for each truth that you already know:

Seize the day, care for all, be a friend.

A branch has fallen from the family tree (Author unknown)
I hear a voice that whispers, ‘Grieve not for me’
Remember the best times, the laughter, the songs
The good I lived while I was strong
Continue my heritage, I’m counting on you
Keep on smiling, the sun will shine through.
My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest
Remembering all…how I was truly blessed
Continue traditions, no matter how small
Go on with your lives, don’t stare at the wall
I miss you all dearly so keep up your chin
Until that fine day we’re together again.

When I am dead
When I am dead
Cry for me a little,
Think of me sometimes,
But not too much. 

Think of me now and again
As I was in life.


At some moments it‘s pleasant to recall
But not for long. 

Leave me in peace
And I shall leave you in peace
And while you live
Let your thoughts be with the living. 

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 sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn’s 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.

 

The Dash (Linda Ellis)

I read of a man who stood to speak,

At the funeral of a friend

He referred to the dates on his coffin

From the beginning to the end.

 

He noted that first came his 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 he spent alive on earth

And now only those who loved him

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.

From Winnie The Pooh (A.A. Milne)

If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together there is something you must always remember… You are braver than you believe. Stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is even if we are apart I’ll always be with you.

She Is Gone (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 will come back

Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left

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

Or you can be full of the love that 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 is 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 would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Though we need to weep your loss (from John O'Donohue)

Though we need to weep your loss, you dwell in that safe place in our hearts, where no storm or night or pain can reach you. Your love was like the dawn - brightening over our lives, awakening beneath the dark a further adventure of colour. The sound of your voice found for us a new music that brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze quickened in the joy of its being; you placed smiles like flowers on the altar of the heart. Your mind always sparkled with wonder at things. Your spirit was live, awake, complete.

We look towards each other no longer from the old distance of our names; now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath, as close to us as we are to ourselves. Let us not look for you only in memory, where we would grow lonely without you. You would want us to find you in presence, beside us when beauty brightens, when kindness glows and music echoes eternal tones.

May you continue to inspire us to enter each day with a generous heart;
Until we see your face again in that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind, and where we will never lose you again. ​

Remembered (John Gordon)

A particular song, a certain flower
Yellow curtains in a breeze. Paper planes.
Remembered.

 

The smell of leather in an old car.
A polo mint sucked between two chocolate buttons.
Remembered.

 

A black, leather-covered sketch pad.
Home-made Scotch eggs. The silver birch in the garden.
Remembered.

 

Dragonflies, Devonshire beaches, grandma’s knitting needles
A tiny, silver, sugar cruet. Toast with butter and lime marmalade.
Remembered.

 

Rose flavoured Turkish delight. Milky coffee.
Your rolling pin and cake tins. Using your recipe.
Remembered.

 

The sound of Scots Lowland Pipes. Sheet music for the piano.
A white feather on the ground, the smell of summer.
Remembered.

 

Barley sugars. Number plate games. The red tool box,
Your uniform badge, my inability to whistle.
Remembered.

 

Every time I polish my shoes, walk that path,
Wind the clock, cut the grass, trim the ivy.
Remembered.

Let Me Go (Christina Rossetti)

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 for long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that once we shared
Miss me, but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all part of the master plan
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick at heart
Go to the friends we know.
Laugh at all the things we used to do
Miss me, but let me go.

They Live On (John Gordon)

They live on, those we love and lose,
Perhaps elsewhere, if that is our hope,

but certainly, in our heart.
The imprint they have made is not washed away like a footprint in the sand;
The mark of those we love is made more deeply, more profoundly.

We feel it as loss just now, but of course, it is love.
It is love that will not let them fade from us,
Love that allows them to stay even as we say farewell,
Love that holds them close always.

 

And this is hope; not that they might live on elsewhere safely and well,

Elevated, remote and holy,
But that they will remain within us and around us in their ordinariness and closeness;
Not mystically, but celebrated in the memories we recall,

in the stories we tell, in the values we hold

and in the faces and ways of the generations who may follow

bearing their likeness.

 

They are really best remembered as they were;
their flaws, their failings, their foolishness

As well as their finer moments.

Anything less is a reduction of who they have been to us -

And we have already lost too much to lose more.

Let us tell their story with loss, with laughter and with love

For whom they were they are no longer,

And yet so they remain.

 

And so it goes; life, love, loss, love and life again,

Step by step.
Let us live life hopefully
For those we love and lose live on.

They live on (alternative version)

They live on, those we love and lose,
Perhaps elsewhere, if that is our hope,

but certainly, in our heart.
The imprint they have made is not washed away like a footprint in the sand;
The mark of those we love is made more deeply, more profoundly.

We feel it as loss just now, but of course, it is love.
It is love that will not let them fade from us,
Love that allows them to stay even as we say farewell,
Love that holds them close always.

 

And this is hope;

that they will remain within us and around us

in the stories we tell, the values we hold

- and in the faces and ways of the generations who follow

bearing their likeness.

 

May we tell our story of loss

With laughter and with smiles - as best we can -

For though, whom they were they are no longer,

Yet so in our hearts they will always remain.


Let us live life hopefully
For those we love and lose indeed live on.

They Are Not Dead

 

They are not dead,

Who leave us this great heritage

Of remembered joy.

 

They still live in our hearts,

In the happiness we knew,

In the dreams we shared.

 

They still breathe,

In the lingering fragrance windblown,

From their favourite flowers.

 

They still smile in the moonlight's silver

And laugh in the sunlight's sparkling gold.

 

They still speak in the echoes of words

We've heard them say again and again.

 

They still move,

In the rhythm of waving grasses,

In the dance of the tossing branches.

 

They are not dead;

Their memory is warm in our hearts,

Comfort in our sorrow.

 

They are not apart from us,

But a part of us

For love is eternal,

And those we love shall be with us

Throughout all eternity.

Come to the forest (Lurana Brown)

Come to the forest to visit me
Down by the roots of a tree
Waste not your tears on cold, stone graves
Water a flower for me.

Give me to the earth when my winter comes
Bury me deep in the ground
Mark not my place with statues or caves
Find me where life can be found.

Come to the woods when autumn leaves turn
Golden and copper and red
Rustle up memories, seeds of joy stored
Kick up the leaves in my stead.

Visit a garden on warm, summer days
Keep company with blossoms and bees
Remember my heart blooms forever in yours
Take comfort from shushing shade trees.

Let springtime surround you with life and the living
Birdsong and budding green leaves
Look up at the sky, give thanks for sun and rain
When you think of me, please smile more than grieve.

Come to the forest to visit me
Down by the roots of a tree
Waste not your tears on thoughts of death
Water a new flower for me

I am the smoothness of the pebble (Author Unknown)

I am the smoothness of the pebble nestled in your palm

I am the ocean breeze as it brushes past your arm

I am the blue of a cloudless summer sky

I am the whisper of a dream, a half remembered sigh

I may be the essence of the grains of desert sand

The miles of tear stained ink, the letters crumpled in your hand

I am the breath that cools your sheets with midnights sudden chill

The spike of ice, the drift of snow across some far distant hill

I am flying high above you the lone bird on its wing

I am the last fish in the ocean but still a living thing

Do not think of loneliness, do not lose strength of hope or will

For I am all around you my love, I am with you still.

I give you this one thought to keep. (Author unknown)
I am with you still. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on the snow.
I am the sunlight 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 think of me as gone.
I am with you still in each new dawn.

All nature has a feeling (John Clare 1793 - 1864)

All nature has a feeling: woods, fields, brooks

Are life eternal: and in silence they

Speak happiness beyond the reach of books;

There's nothing mortal in them; their decay

Is the green life of change; to pass away

And come again in blooms revivified.

Its birth was heaven, eternal is its stay,

And with the sun and moon shall still abide

Beneath their day and night and heaven wide.

The Olive (Marcus Aurelius)
Pass then through this little space of time conformably to nature,
and end thy journey in content, just as an olive falls off when it is ripe,
blessing nature who produced it, and thanking the tree on which it grew.

The tide recedes (Author unknown)
But leaves behind
Bright shells on the seashore.

The sun goes down
But gentle warmth
Still lingers on the land.

The music stops and yet
It lingers on in sweet refrains –
For every joy that passes
Something beautiful remains.

Let our goodbye be their hello, (Anonymous)

Their joy above our peace below,

Our sadness that we had to part

Transformed by their heart to heart.

A giant pine, magnificent and old (Georgia Harkness)
Stood staunch against the sky and all around
Shed beauty, grace and power.
Within its fold birds safely reared their young.
The velvet ground beneath was gentle,
and the cooling shade gave cheer to passers by.
Its towering arms a landmark stood, erect and unafraid,
As if to say, “Fear naught from life’s alarms”.
It fell one day.
Where it had dauntless stood was loneliness and void.
But men who passed paid tribute – and said,
“To know this life was good,
It left it’s mark on me. Its work stands fast”.
And so it lives. Such life no bonds can hold –
This giant pine, magnificent and old.

Look for me when the tide is high (Iris Hesselden)
And the gulls are wheeling overhead
When the autumn wind sweeps the cloudy sky
And one by one the leaves are shed

I am there, where the river flows
And the salmon leap to a silver moon
Where the insects hum and the tall grass grows
And sunlight warms the afternoon

I am there in the busy street
I take your hand in the city square
In the market place where the people meet
In your quiet room – I am there

I am the love you cannot see
And all I ask is – look for me.

As I remember (John Gordon)

As I remember someone I love; may I know love surrounding me.
As I remember the way they have shaped my life; may I find life strengthening me.
As I am alongside others who share a similar loss; may I find our shared loss assuring me.
May love and life and loss bring us together, lighten our load and bring us peace.

Life's like a book -- a chapter, a page. (Julie Coburn)
Remembering our youth as fast as we age.
Life is a song; we choose what to sing.
Living is hard; what will it bring?
Memories we cherish through family and friends.
Roots never broken; love never ends.
Life is a gift, so live it today.
Through struggle and heartache, we still find a way.
Through happiness and laughter,
Heartache and tears,
Good times and bad times,
Facing our fears.
From mountains to stars, our atoms are one.
The body may perish, but the soul lives on.
Life is the love we give and receive.
It defines our legacy and the mark that we leave.

There will always be those days (John Gordon)
When, without warning,

we are suddenly with them once again.

 

Small things with the power to devastate

Will take us there, whether it is convenient or not

To melt into a mess of mascara,

A blub of beard.

 

And, once there, remembering,

Our shape will change

as we accommodate them once again,

 

As we allow them home, just for a while.

We will swell at their presence,

And shrink at their leaving,

But perhaps grow stronger by allowing them to call.

Piers Lane

Bilbo’s Last Song (JRR Tolkien)

Day is ended, dim my eyes,
but journey long before me lies.
Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship’s beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey;
beyond the sunset leads my way.
Foam is salt, the wind is free;
I hear the rising of the Sea.

Farewell, friends! The sails are set,
the wind is east, the moorings fret.
Shadows long before me lie,
beneath the ever-bending sky,
but islands lie behind the Sun
that I shall raise ere all is done;
lands there are to west of West,
where night is quiet and sleep is rest.

Guided by the Lonely Star,
beyond the utmost harbour-bar,
I’ll find the heavens fair and free,
and beaches of the Starlit Sea.
Ship, my ship! I seek the West,
and fields and mountains ever blest.
Farewell to Middle-earth at last.
I see the Star above my mast!

Do Not Judge (Author unknown)

Do not judge a biography by it’s length,
Nor by the number of pages in it.
Judge it by the richness of it’s contents
Sometimes those unfinished are among the most poignant…
Do not judge a song by it’s duration
Nor by the number of it’s notes
Judge it by the way it touches and lifts the soul
Sometimes those unfinished are among the most beautiful…
And when something has enriched your life
And when it’s melody lingers on in your heart
Is it unfinished?
Or is it endless?

How Did They Live? (Author Unknown)

Not, how did they die, but how did they live?
Not, what did they gain, but what did they give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a person as a person, regardless of birth.

Not, what was their church, nor what was their creed?
But had they befriended those really in need?
Were they ever ready, with a word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?

Not, what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
But how many were sorry when they passed away?

 

If I Should Die Before the Rest of You (Joyce Grenfell)

If I should die 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.

At every turning of my life (Rabindranath Tagore)
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.

Afterglow (Author Unknown)

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 the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.

Remember (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 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 I once had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

In Blackwater Woods (Mary Oliver)
Look, the trees

are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
everything
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

A life well lived is a precious gift (Author Unknown)
Of hope and strength and grace,
From someone who has made our world
A brighter, better place

It’s filled with moments, sweet and sad
With smiles and sometimes tears,
With friendships formed and good times shared
And laughter through the years.

A life well lived is a legacy
Of joy and pride and pleasure,
A living, lasting memory
Our grateful hearts we’ll treasure.

Nothing gold can stay (Robert Frost)

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.

On the Death of the Beloved  (John O’Donohue)

Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.

Your love was like the dawn
Brightening over our lives
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of colour.

The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.
Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.

Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was live, awake, complete.

We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.

Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul's gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.

When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.

May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again. 

The Broken Chain (Author unknown)

We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name,
In life we loved you dearly; in death we do the same
It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone.
For part of us went with you, the day God called you home
You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide,
And though we cannot see you, you are always at our side
Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same,
But as God call us us one by one, the chain will link again.

Into the freedom of wind and sunshine (Ruth Burgess)
We let you go
Into the dance of the stars and the planets
We let you go
Into the wind’s breath and the hands of the star maker
We let you go
We love you, we miss you, we want you to be happy
Go safely, go dancing, go running home

The Window (Rumi)

Your body is away from me
but there is a window open
from my heart to yours.

From this window, like the moon
I keep sending news secretly.

The Road Not Taken (Robert Frost)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And
sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood And looked
down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair. And
having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear.
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay. In leave
so step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet
knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh.
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took
the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

There is No Night Without a Dawning (Helen Steiner Rice)

No winter without a spring
And beyond the dark horizon
Our hearts will once more sing ….
For those who leave us for a while
Have only gone away
Out of a restless, care worn world
Into a brighter day

All Is Well (Henry Scott Holland)

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 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.

An extract from Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so as long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away.

From too much (A.C. Swinburne)

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river winds somewhere safe to sea

Do not go gentle into that good night (Dylan Thomas)

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

His Journey’s Just Begun (Ellen Brenneman)

Don’t think of him as gone away
his journey’s just begun,
life holds so many facets
this earth is only one.

Just think of him as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years.

Think how he must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.

And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched…
for nothing loved is ever lost
and he was loved so much.

As We Look Back (Author unknown)

As we look back over time
We find ourselves wondering …..
Did we remember to thank you enough
For all you have done for us?
For all the times you were by our sides
To help and support us …..
To celebrate our successes
To understand our problems
And accept our defeats?
Or for teaching us by your example,
The value of hard work, good judgment,
Courage and integrity?
We wonder if we ever thanked you
For the sacrifices you made.
To let us have the very best?
And for the simple things
Like laughter, smiles and times we shared?
If we have forgotten to show our
Gratitude enough for all the things you did,
We’re thanking you now.
And we are hoping you knew all along,
How much you meant to us.

You’ve Just Walked on Ahead of Me (Joyce Grenfell)

And I’ve got to understand
You must release the ones you love
And let go of their hand.
I try and cope the best I can
But I’m missing you so much
If I could only see you
And once more feel your touch.
Yes, you’ve just walked on ahead of me
Don’t worry I’ll be fine
But now and then I swear I feel
Your hand slip into mine.

Funeral Blues (W.A. Auden)

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 (She) is Dead
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policeman wear black cotton gloves.

He (She) was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week, 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 everyone;
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.

In Lieu of Flowers (Shawna Lemay)

Although I love flowers very much, I won’t see them when I’m gone. So in lieu of flowers:  Buy a book of poetry written by someone still alive, sit outside with a cup of tea, a glass of wine, and read it out loud, by yourself or to someone, or silently.
Spend some time with a single flower. A rose maybe. Smell it, touch the petals.
Really look at it. 
Drink a nice bottle of wine with someone you love.
Or, Champagne. And think of what John Maynard Keynes said, “My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne.” Or what Dom Perignon said when he first tasted the stuff: “Come quickly! I am tasting stars!” 
Take out a paint set and lay down some colours.
Watch birds. Common sparrows are fine. Pigeons, too. Geese are nice. Robins.
In lieu of flowers, walk in the trees and watch the light fall into it. Eat an apple, a really nice big one. I hope it’s crisp. 
Have a long soak in the bathtub with candles, maybe some rose petals.
Sit on the front stoop and watch the clouds. Have a dish of strawberry ice cream in my name. 
If it’s winter, have a cup of hot chocolate outside for me. If it’s summer, a big glass of ice water. 
If it’s autumn, collect some leaves and press them in a book you love. I’d like that. 
Sit and look out a window and write down what you see. Write some other things down. 
In lieu of flowers, 
I would wish for you to flower. 
I would wish for you to blossom, to open, to be beautiful.

And Death Shall Have No Dominion (Dylan Thomas)

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

If you know the author for any unattributed poems, please let me know. My apologies for any errors.