Funeral Poetry for Loved Ones
When a loved one passes away it can be difficult to work through the grief. Everyone grieves in a different way and there is no instruction manual on how to get through the pain. For some people, sharing memories with others is a good way to honor your loved one. Sharing tears, laughter and pain helps ease the burden of your grief because it allows others to help you. Others may be more comfortable with quiet reflection. Written words, in the form of funeral poetry, can also be comforting.
Why Write or Read Funeral Poetry?
Funeral poetry has become a popular way of expressing how you feel after a loved one has died. You do not have to be a professional writer to compose a beautiful and moving tribute to the deceased. When you sit down and let the words flow on to the paper, you can release the emotions you are feeling in a constructive manner. The finished product may not mirror the words of Robert Louis Stevenson or Emily Dickinson but they will reflect your deep and personal feelings. This release may allow you to cope with the overwhelming feelings often associated with death. It is important to remember that everyone will deal with their grief in their own way. You must rely on your own feelings to establish what is right for you.
Ten Famous Funeral Poems
The most heartfelt and meaningful funeral poetry is often that which comes from someone close to the deceased. While the writing may be cathartic, some people will not be up to the challenge of writing while their emotions are so raw. If that is the case, there are many famous funeral poems that you can choose from. It is likely that one of these will suit the personality of your loved one.
- Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep - Mary Elizabeth Fry
- Farewell - Anne Bronte
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night - Dylan Thomas
- A Psalm of Life - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- I'll Lend You a Child - Edgar Guest
- His Journey's Just Begun - Ellen Brenneman
- Death is Nothing at All - Canon Henry Scott-Holland
- Funeral Flowers
- Because I Could Not Stop For Death - Emily Dickinson
- Funeral Blues - W.H. Auden
- The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost
Tips for Writing Funeral Poetry
The most important tip for writing a funeral poem is to write from the heart. Let your emotions show and don't be afraid to cry or to laugh. Search your memories for the most important aspects of your loved one. Remember the things they said and did that made you smile. Recall the advice you were given, good and bad. What did you do together? Every life that touches another leaves a lasting impression so examine how that impression has influenced who you are. Did your Grandma teach you how to make cookies, and now every time you bake you think of her? Did you go hiking with your Dad, and now just being outside and quietly enjoying nature you feel a connection? These are the things that will contribute to your poetry.
Try not to worry about making sure your words rhyme. Express your thoughts and then re-read what you have written. Sometimes rhyming verses fall into place but it is good to remember that not all poems rhyme. You will find the proper cadence for your words if you do not stress. You are looking to write something that describes the love you feel for someone who is no longer with you. If you share the piece you have written, people will remember your expression of loving feelings, not whether or not your words rhymed.
What If I Am Not a Writer?
While it is true that not many people are professional writers, everyone can write. If you don't feel that writing a funeral poem to read as part of your eulogy is right for you that is fine but don't discount writing as a way of dealing with grief. Grief counselors often recommend writing because it allows you to express things that may be too difficult to say. Nothing that you write needs to be made public in any way. You will choose whether to share your thoughts or not. A journal is a wonderful place to express yourself with words or pictures. Journals can be great resources that you can return to time after time. You may choose to write daily, or express your thoughts and feelings sporadically. The journal belongs to you, so the choice is also yours alone.
Regardless of your ability as a writer, your grief must be expressed in some way. Share your feelings with a friend, family member or counselor. Use the written word to release emotion. Read the words that were written by someone else. It doesn't matter so much what method you choose, just that you find an outlet for your grief so that you can move forward in life.
Written By Sophie Pierce.