Poems to say goodbye at a funeral

open poetry book on table with white tablecloth coffee cup and terracotta vase of flowers

It’s hard to find the right words to say goodbye to someone. Grief is a complicated emotion and sometimes it’s tricky to express how you feel with a speech or story.

That’s why many people turn to poetry when someone close to them has died. The right poem can capture something special about a person and say it in a beautiful and powerful way.

Here are some of our favourite saying goodbye poems. If you find one that you like, you might want to read it at the person’s funeral or print and share it as a tribute.

Goodbye poems about death

If you’re looking for a powerful way to say goodbye at a funeral, these poems are a good place to start. They would be a good fit for any funeral service, whether the person who has died was a friend, parent, sibling or child.

Of course, you don’t have to read them aloud at the service. You may find them comforting to read to yourself as you come to terms with your loss.

Remember by Christina Rossetti

‘Remember’ is written from the point of view of a person who has died. The person is saying goodbye to those they loved and asking them to be happy once their grief has faded.

It was written by Christina Rossetti, an English poet who lived in the 19th century.

 

 

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.

 

Farewell by Anne Brontë

Anne Brontë was part of a famous family of authors in the 19th century. She wrote lots of poems, many of which are about death and dying.

‘Farewell’ is a passionate tribute to a person who has died. It would work well as a goodbye poem for someone very close to you.

It’s quite a long poem that would take a few minutes to read in full. The first two verses are below. You can read the rest here.

 

 

Farewell to thee! but not farewell

To all my fondest thoughts of thee:

Within my heart they still shall dwell;

And they shall cheer and comfort me.

O, beautiful, and full of grace!

If thou hadst never met mine eye,

I had not dreamed a living face

Could fancied charms so far outvie.

 

If I may ne’er behold again

That form and face so dear to me,

Nor hear thy voice, still would I fain

Preserve, for aye, their memory.

 

Dear Friend by Grinnell Willis

This poem isn’t necessarily about death, but it has a bittersweet feel that would be appropriate for a funeral.

The first two verses are about the difficulty of saying goodbye to someone you love. The last verse wishes the person a safe journey and hopes for a happy reunion in the future. If you’re religious, you might interpret this reunion as a meeting in the afterlife.

 

Dear friend, ’tis hard to say farewell,

And harder yet it is to tell,

In parting words, how strong the tie

We sever now in this good-bye.

 

We all shall miss thy gentle grace.

Thy willing hand and cheerful face;

No other friend thy place can fill.

Though absent we shall claim thee still;

 

God bless the work thou hast begun,

And guard thee in the years to come.

And when thy heart is weary, or alone.

Come back and rest in this thy home.

 

Uplifting funeral goodbye poems

Funeral readings don’t have to be sad or serious. Why not say goodbye with a happy funeral poem instead? Here are a couple of pieces with an uplifting feel.

Afterglow by Helen Lowrie Marshall

Helen Lowrie Marshall was a writer from Nebraska who published several books of inspirational poetry. ‘Afterglow’ is one of her most popular pieces. It’s a simple poem about wanting to leave happy memories behind.

‘Afterglow’ could work well as a saying goodbye poem for someone who had a positive outlook on life. You can read it here.

 

 

Turn Again to Life by Mary Lee Hall

This is another poem written as a goodbye message from a loved one. It says that if the person dies, their friends and family should look for positive ways to express their grief. The idea is that by comforting others and living life to the full, they’ll find comfort for themselves.

‘Turn Again to Life’ was performed by Princess Diana’s sister at her funeral in 1997.

 

If I should die and leave you here a while,

Be not like others, sore undone, who keep

Long vigils by the silent dust, and weep.

For my sake—turn again to life and smile,

Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do

Something to comfort other hearts than thine.

Complete those unfinished tasks of mine,

And I, perchance, may therein comfort you.

 

Short goodbye poems

These poems are special because they say a lot with just a few lines. Either of them would work as a short funeral reading, perhaps at the end of a longer eulogy. Or you could write one in a condolence card and give it to the family of the person who has died.

Warm Summer Sun by Mark Twain/Robert Richardson

‘Warm Summer Sun’ is often attributed to Mark Twain, one of the most famous American writers of the 19th century. However, the work is actually adapted from a longer poem called ‘Annette’ by Robert Richardson.

The poem talks about being laid to rest and coming to terms with death. It would make for a brief yet powerful poem to say goodbye at a funeral.

 

 

Warm summer sun,

    Shine kindly here,

Warm southern wind,

    Blow softly here.

Green sod above,

    Lie light, lie light.

Good night, dear heart,

    Good night, good night.

 

A Farewell by Harriet Monroe

Harriet Monroe is most famous as the editor of Poetry magazine, but she was also a talented poet. ‘A Farewell’ is among her simplest and most beautiful pieces. It’s a short ‘goodbye’ poem that compares life and death to a bee buzzing between flowers.

 

Good-bye!—no, do not grieve that it is over,

    The perfect hour;

That the winged joy, sweet honey-loving rover,

    Flits from the flower.

 

Grieve not—it is the law. Love will be flying—

    Yes, love and all.

Glad was the living—blessed be the dying.

    Let the leaves fall.

 

More funeral and memorial poetry

 

Funeral Choice provides funeral planning advice and helps people find local funeral directors. Visit our funeral planning advice hub for more articles and ideas.

 

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

×

Request Advice

Call a member of the Funeral Choice advice team on 01983 754387

or complete our enquiry form.

×

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
Close
×

What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family
Close
×

Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

Close
×

Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

Close
×

Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
Close
×

Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to info@yourfuneralchoice.com confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

Close