Appropriate poem or similar for a reading at DMiL's funeral?

(15 Posts)
PacificDogwood Mon 14-Jul-14 20:19:53

I am looking for something that will express the hole she has left behind without being 'gushy' or over the top.

She was 85, lung cancer killed her, but dementia had taken who she was a couple of years ago. She had a good last year and a good death.

I got on well with her, but was not hugely close to her so am struggling to find anything appropriate. I may do a reading because DH is really struggling and does not feel that he could.

Any ideas? Poem, piece of prose - religious or not.


OP’s posts: |
MarianneSolong Mon 14-Jul-14 20:25:41

There's a poem called 'Song of Jean' which celebrates a woman who had dementia at the end of the life. You'll find it on p3 of

PacificDogwood Mon 14-Jul-14 20:26:51

Oh, that was quick!
Thank you so much, MarianneSolong - will have a look.

OP’s posts: |
OpiesOldLady Mon 14-Jul-14 20:27:46

Remember 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 plann'd:
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 once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

My favourite though, is this one, again by Rossetti.

When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

PacificDogwood Mon 14-Jul-14 20:30:18

It is a wonderful and v moving piece of writing thanks

It may be a bit too close to the bone for her bereaved children sad

OP’s posts: |
PacificDogwood Mon 14-Jul-14 20:32:18

Opies, I x-posted with you.

Those are both lovely, thank you.
I will read them to DH, see what he thinks.

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Bearandcub Mon 14-Jul-14 20:35:22

Mary Oliver's When Death Comes or sheenagh pugh's Sometimes.

PoloMintCity Mon 14-Jul-14 20:36:55

I like She Is Gone but can't remember who wrote it!

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 14-Jul-14 20:37:46

If I should die and leave you
Be not like the others, quick undone
Who keep long vigils by the silent
dust and weep.

For my sake turn to life and smile
Nerving thy heart and trembling
hand to comfort weaker souls than thee.
Complete these unfinished tasks of mine
And I perchance may therein comfort thee.

Thomas Gray (1716 - 1771)

Wednesbury Mon 14-Jul-14 20:39:12

At a friend's funeral a friend of hers read AA Milne's Spring Morning.
It's not really about death, more about the simple joy of having lived - don't know if it fits your situation. Lovely poem though, I think.

PacificDogwood Mon 14-Jul-14 20:40:15

This one, Polo?

"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 like that.

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SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 14-Jul-14 20:41:35

David Harkins. It was chosen by the Queen for the Queen Mum's funeral.

zumby Mon 14-Jul-14 20:48:46

I recently attended the funeral of a work colleague who i considered to be a friend to me, but whose family I did not know. At the funeral there were a number of readings. The one that made me cry most was " a reason, a season or a lifetime" it got me remembering that person and what they had brought into my life and which category they fit into. It wasnt gushy, it wasnt particularly about death, religion or spirituality. It was a beautiful poem which befitted a dignified man. It will stick in my mind forever.

PacificDogwood Mon 14-Jul-14 20:49:33

It was chosen by the Queen for the Queen Mum's funeral

Oh, she would like that smile - her birthday was the same day (not year) as Prince Charles'. Which she reminded us of often...

OP’s posts: |
PoloMintCity Wed 30-Jul-14 08:39:59

That's the one Pacific. Has helped me a lot over the years smile

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