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If you’re struggling to find the right words to talk about the loss of a baby or child, poetry can sometimes help. We’ve selected some poems for babies’ and children’s funerals that can help you to say goodbye. You could read one of these poems at the funeral, write them in a sympathy card, or simply keep them close so you can re-read them whenever you need to. 

Funeral poems for babies and children 

Too Soon - Mary Yarnall 

This baby loss poem by Mary Yarnell laments the lost opportunity to see a child grow to their full potential, while showing gratitude for the love they experienced during the time they had. It’s regularly chosen by people who are looking for poems for children’s funerals, as well as those who are seeking a poem to give comfort after a miscarriage or a stillbirth. 

“This was a life that had hardly begun 
No time to find your place in the Sun 
No time to do all you could have done 
But we loved you enough for a lifetime 
No time to enjoy the world and it’s wealth 
No time to take life down off the shelf 
No time to sing the songs of yourself 
Though you had enough love for a lifetime 
Those who live long endure sadness and tears 
But you’ll never suffer the sorrowing years 
No betrayal, no anger, no hatred, no fears 
Just love – Only love – In your lifetime.” 


Little Snowdrop – Anonymous 

Little Snowdrop is one of the most read poems for children’s funerals. When we’re experiencing loss, it’s normal to struggle with a sense that the rest of the world is continuing as usual.  The poem explores this sentiment, highlighting the huge difference that short lives make on those they touch. 

“The world may never notice 
If a Snowdrop doesn’t bloom, 
Or even pause to wonder 
If the petals fall too soon. 
But every life that ever forms, 
Or ever comes to be, 
Touches the world in some small way 
For all eternity. 
The little one we longed for 
Was swiftly here and gone. 
But the love that was then planted 
Is a light that still shines on. 
And though our arms are empty, 
Our hearts know what to do. 
For every beating of our hearts 
Says that we love you.” 


A Butterfly Lights Beside Us – Anonymous 

While the author of A Butterfly Lights Beside Us may be unknown, this remains one of the most popular choices for  poems about losing a baby, with its words regularly used in quotes about baby loss. It has a positive tone that focuses on fleeting moments held dear. 

Because this poem is so short, it’s also an ideal choice to include in a sympathy card or letter

“A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam, and for a 
brief moment its glory and beauty belong to our world: 
but then it flies again. And though we wish it could 
have stayed, we feel so lucky to have seen it.” 


Do Not Judge – Anonymous 

If you’re struggling with the loss of a child, it’s natural to reflect on what could have been. Do Not Judge is a poem about the loss of a child that encourages us to avoid dwelling on what could have been. Instead, it focuses on the importance of experiences we did have and the happy memories we can keep. 

“Do not judge a biography by its length, 
Nor by the number of pages in it. 
Judge it by the richness of its contents 
Sometimes those unfinished are among the most poignant… 
Do not judge a song by its duration 
Nor by the number of its 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 its melody lingers on in your heart 
Is it unfinished? 
Or is it endless?” 


P'u - Hua Fei Hua 

This short, non-religious poem by Hua Fei Hua is beautiful memorial to a baby boy or girl. It uses soft and symbolic words, comparing the child to parts of nature. The few lines can reflect the short time your child had and the beauty that they brought to your world while they could. 

“A flower and not a flower; of mist and yet not of mist; 
At midnight she was there; she went as daylight shone. 
She came and for a little while was like a dream of spring, 
And then, as morning clouds that vanish traceless, 
she was gone.” 


These Are My Tiny Footprints – Tamara Barker 

You might find this funeral poem suitable if you lost a child to miscarriage or stillbirth. It speaks of tiny footprints that might not have touched the ground, but that have left their mark on your heart. This is a short poem, so could be a good choice if you feel nervous about reading at a funeral, or are looking for a short message for a condolence card. 

“These are my footprints, so perfect and so small. 
These tiny footprints, never touched the ground at all. 
Not one tiny footprint, for now I have my wings. 
These tiny footprints were meant for other things.” 

You can read the full poem on Pick Me Up Poetry


My Dear Baby – Anonymous 

This poem talks about losing a child to miscarriage. It talks about the hardship you might experience in losing a son or a daughter, but places emphasis on the strength that you have. It focuses on the positives of the bond you had with your child and encourages you to remember the positive and happy moments you were able to have. 

“For you my baby, 

I will try and hold my head high and be strong because I was privileged enough to nurture you for those few precious weeks 

I will always feel honored to have had experienced the miracle of carrying you in my womb.” 

Read the full poem on Emma’s Diary

Reading at a baby’s or child’s funeral 

If you’re not used to public speaking, reading at a funeral might feel like a daunting experience. But it’s important to remember that everyone in the room has come together to show respect and to support one another. Some of the tips below can help you to prepare: 

  • Practice reading your chosen poem in advance 
  • Discuss the order of service with the funeral planner 
  • Print more than one physical copy of your poem, in case one is mislaid 
  • Take your time – it’s fine to feel emotional or to cry while you read 

Remember, you can always ask the person leading the funeral to carry out the reading if you feel unable to on the day. 

Child loss charities and support 

Remember that you’re not alone – there is support available to you when you need it. Across the UK, there are several charities that can help if you’ve experienced the loss of a child. You can find a full list of UK bereavement charities here that can offer you support.

Photo by Teresa Howes on Pexels.