When choosing a poem or verse for a celebration of life, funeral, or memorial service, you’ll first want to consider where you plan to use the poems and verses. Many people today are going beyond prayer cards and bookmarks and creating memorial service folders and various memorial favors. You can also print the same poem or verse on the thank you notes you send. If you are using the verse on a small sized card, you will obviously want to choose a shorter poem or verse.
Next, you’ll want a verse that more closely captures the essence of the person. Sometimes this can even come in the form of a musical verse from the person’s favorite band or singer. You may want to peruse your music selection to see if you can find some song lyrics that might be appropriate. Perhaps a family member or even a young family member could write a poem. Experts recommend writing as an effective way to grieve. Children, although very simple in their thoughts, can often write very moving words.
Consider that the poem does not have to be about death but about how they lived their lives. For example;
“Loving to be loved is human,
but loving to love is angelic”.
By Alphonse de Lamartine
Not all horses are born equal.
Some were born to win.
By Mark Twain
Laugh many times and a lot;
to gain the respect of intelligent people
and the love of children;
earn the appreciation of honest critics
and bear the betrayal of false friends;
find the best in others;
to leave the world a little better
either for a healthy child,
a patch of garden, or a redeemed social status;
knowing that a life has breathed better
because you lived here.
This is having achieved it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Love is also a common theme;
The ones I love and the ones who love me
When I’m gone, set me free, let me go
I have so many things to see and do
You must not tie yourself to me with tears
I am happy that I have had so many years.
I gave you my love, you can only guess
how much you gave me in happiness
I think because of the love that each one has shown
But now it’s time to travel alone
So grieved for a while for me, if grieved you must
So let your grievance be comforted by trust
It’s only for a while that we must part
So bless the memories in your heart
I won’t be far, because life goes on.
So if you need me, call and I’ll come.
Though you can’t see me or touch me, I’ll be near
And if you listen with your heart, you will hear
All my love around you soft and clear
So when you must come this way alone
I will greet you with a smile and a
Maria Alicia Ramish
love lives on
The ones we love stay with us
because love itself lives on,
and cherished memories never fade
because a loved one is gone.
Those we love can never be
more than a separate thought,
As long as there is memory
They will live in the heart.
If the person was religious, the most common or traditional verse for Catholic and religious services has been the 23rd Psalm.
The Lord is My Shepherd; I will lack nothing. In green pastures he makes me rest; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; he guides me in the path of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yes, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff will comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows Surely good and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and in the house of the Lord I will dwell for long days.
King James Version
The following poems and verses are more focused on death;
i wish you enough
I wish you enough sunshine to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain to make the smallest joys in life seem so much bigger.
I wish you earn enough to satisfy your desire.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate everything you own.
I wish you enough “Hi” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”
The death is nothing
Death is nothing at all.
I just sneaked into the next room.
I am me and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other
Which we still are.
Call me by my old family name
Talk to me in the easy way you always used
Don’t maintain a forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh like we always laugh at jokes
We enjoy together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me,
May my name always be the familiar word that
always it was
Let it be spoken without effort,
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means everything it ever meant
It’s the same as it always was
There is an absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind cause I’m
Out of sight? I’m just waiting for you
for an interval
somewhere very close
Just around the corner.
Everything is fine.
Cannon Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)
I turn my head and look towards death now.
Feeling my way through the tunnel with the space of
emptiness and stillness.
The shimmering silence that awaits me.
This is my address now; inward to the green pastures…
The concerns of the world no longer concern me.
I have completed this life. My work is done, my
My husband is well on his hero’s journey.
I have loved much and well…
Those I leave behind, I love.
I hope to remain in your hearts like them
Thank you for taking such good care of me…
And to all of you who have been my friends, thank you
for teaching me about love.
Karen Vervaet from “Karen’s Journal”, April 3, 1993
In closing, memorial services and celebrations of life are about the person who was lost and the life they lived. It’s up to you to decide what will help you and those in attendance better remember and celebrate that person’s life.