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My grandmother has just died and I want to find something to read at her funeral

(21 Posts)
MrsHelenBee Wed 07-Jan-15 22:29:49

Hi everyone,
My grandmother died last week after a very difficult few years in a nursing home. She had dementia, a severe heart condition, mental health problems, osteoperosis, rheumatoid arthritis......the list goes on.
She hadn't been my grandmother for a long time, hadn't recognised me for many months. It wasn't a nice way to go, she was very sick, very troubled and scared and, perhaps worst of all, on her own.
My mother is overwhelmed with grief and feelings of guilt that she didn't do enough for her and should have been there to hold her hand. In recent years, Nannie had told her she hated her and wished she'd never met her. There has been a lot of hurt in recent years, but a long time ago, she was a lovely Nannie and mother.
My mum looks like her, likes many of the same things, has so many of the same values. Nannie was a fabulous nannie - we had sleepovers at her house as children, made dens in her garden, went on train trips to the beach (oh, how she loved the beach, adored the ocean and always asked that one day her ashes-together with Granfer's, who passed some years ago-be poured into the sea), had picnics in the forest, had our own fruit and vegetable gardens at her house, made bird feeders, baked cakes.....we did it all, and we adored her.
I'm looking for a reading - nothing obviously religious - or a poem or verse, which does all those memories justice. I've looked at so many verses online, a few sea-based ones are nice, but nothing inspires me. I don't want anything too long, too fussy - that wasn't her. Just hoping someone is kind enough to share something they know of which might be fitting.

bramblina Wed 07-Jan-15 22:33:26

Have you heard of "Death is nothing at all"? A lovely poem.

bramblina Wed 07-Jan-15 22:34:15

www.poeticexpressions.co.uk/POEMS/Death%20is%20nothing%20at%20all%20-%20Canon%20Henry%20Scott-Holland.htm

We had this read out at FIL's funeral, I think it helps.

Christmascandles Wed 07-Jan-15 22:36:52

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there
I do not sleep....

This is another nice one. I read it at DH Nans funeral and he read the one mentioned above at my DMs funeral.

So sorry for your loss thanks

post Wed 07-Jan-15 22:39:09

Have pm'd you.

thatsn0tmyname Wed 07-Jan-15 22:40:30

Readings are nice but personal tributes, anecdotes and memories are nicer. Could you manage to talk about your memories of her, just like your post?

MrsHelenBee Wed 07-Jan-15 22:40:43

Thanks Bramblina, that's very poignant.
I actually had seen that in several different places and wasn't sure about it, but having looked at your link, it's obvious it had been heavily edited. The full poem is really nice, thank you.

blindcaptaincat Wed 07-Jan-15 22:44:00

We had this at my Grandma's funeral. Missed out the last line though.

Gautami Wed 07-Jan-15 22:44:45

How about this:

You didn't die just recently,
You died some time ago.
Although your body stayed a while,
And didn't really know.

For you had got Alzheimer’s,
You failed to comprehend.
Your body went on living.
But your mind had reached its end.

So we've already said, "Goodbye",
To the person that we knew.
The person that we truly loved,
The person that was, "You".

And so we meet again today,
To toast your bodies end.
For it was true and faithful,
Until right at the end.

And so, when we remember,
We'll think of all the rest.
We'll concentrate on earlier,
And remember all the best.

For in the real scheme of things,
Your illness wasn't long.
Compared to all the happiness,
You brought your whole life long.

We think of you as yesterday,
When you were fit and well.
And when we're asked about you,
It's those things that we'll tell.

And so we meet in remembrance,
Of a mind so fit and true.
We're here to pay our last respects
To say that, "We love you".

© (2010) Dick Underwood.

Carrie5608 Wed 07-Jan-15 22:47:39

I really like this. Sorry no idea who wrote it.

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 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'd want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”

bramblina Wed 07-Jan-15 22:48:57

MrsHelenBee, and I'm sorry I forgot to say, I'm sorry for your loss. I hope you find something lovely for your Grandma. Best Wishes.

MrsHelenBee Wed 07-Jan-15 22:56:07

Wow Gautami, I had no idea there was such a verse. It's horribly accurate but somehow hopeful. Just made me cry a lot, it totally describes her, although I worry that could make Mum fall to pieces, and the thought of that makes me wonder whether I'd ever be brave enough to read it. Thank you though, I've found that quite cathartic.

MrsHelenBee Wed 07-Jan-15 22:57:34

Christmascandles - thank you. I've heard that one lot, it's lovely.

MrsHelenBee Wed 07-Jan-15 23:02:00

Thank you thatsnotmyname, I wonder if any words of mine, however personal, would be good enough. It's so hard to know what she would have wanted.

Gautami Wed 07-Jan-15 23:18:57

MrsHelenBee I'm sure she knew, when it mattered, how much you and your mum cared for her.

Your own words in your op are really lovely.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 09-Jan-15 12:11:58

I am sorry for your loss and don't really have anything to offer that hasn't already been suggested.

But a grandmother with a fondness for reading her GDCs Winnie the Pooh was thanked by those children at her funeral with a direct quote:
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Waitingonasunnyday Fri 09-Jan-15 12:24:44

I'm so sorry for your loss and your grandmother's illness taking her away from you even before she died.

I like Christina Rosetti's poem. Though a lot of people find it depressing, I think it is respectful and freeing.

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.

Waitingonasunnyday Fri 09-Jan-15 12:29:45

Also I should have said - good luck for the funeral.

I have read at a couple of funerals, it is hard, but there is always someone to take over if it is too hard.

Once was the poem above and another time was a bible passage (proverbs 31 - not 'too' religious and v apt for an amazing woman).

I think reading your own words is harder than reading something already written.

When my GM died, all the women of the family carried her coffin and it was a real honour for us as her descendants to do this last thing for her. I don't know if it would help your mum to be involved in carrying the coffin?

Ladyflip Fri 09-Jan-15 12:37:55

My grandmother died in similar circumstances just over a month ago and I have found her passing much harder than I thought I would. I wrote and read a eulogy, but we also asked someone to read this, which although religious (my grannie and family are) also aptly summed up how we felt particularly over the Christmas/New year period. We also found a little card with the words in in her personal things:

"And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied:

“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. "

It's by Minnie Louise Haskins.

Be prepared, like you I thought I had done my grieving for my Grannie, but actually I hadn't, and her death hit me very hard. flowers for you.

mrsmalarkey Fri 09-Jan-15 17:32:46

I am sorry for your loss. I heard 'gone from my sight' by henry van dyke read at a funeral which has an ocean reference, I thought it was a really poignant poem that has stayed with me.

BurnstonesBabies Thu 29-Jan-15 14:19:48

Hi, I'm in the same place this week. My darling Nana died on Tues night at home, surrounded by her family. I'm bereft.
I'll be doing a reading at her funeral next week. Which one did you choose and how did it go? X

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