Celebration of life readings, poems and verses
	"A Million Times"

A million times we've needed you,

    A million times we've cried.

    If love alone could've saved you,

    You never would have died.

    In life we loved you dearly,

    In death we love you still.

    In our hearts you hold a place,

    No one else will ever fill.

    It broke our hearts to lose you,

    But you didn't go alone.

    Part of us went with you,

    The day God took you home. 

(author unknown)

 

 

 

You've just walked on ahead of me

And I've got to understand

You must release the ones you love

And let go of their hand.

I try and cope the best I can

But I'm missing you so much

If I could only see you

And once more feel your touch.

 

Yes, you've just walked on ahead of me

Don't worry I'll be fine

But now then I swear I feel

Your hand slip into mine.

 

Our memories build a special bridge

When loved ones have to part

To help us feel were with them still

And soothe a grieving heart

They span the years and warm our lives

Preserving ties that bind

Our memories build a special bridge

And bring us peace of mind.

  (Emily Matthews)

 

 

Weep not for me though I am gone into that gentle night.
Grieve if you will, but not for long upon my soul's sweet flight.

I am at peace; my soul's at rest there is no need for tears.
For with your love I was so blessed for all those many years.

There is no pain; I suffer not, the fear now all is gone.
Put now these things out of your thoughts, in your memory I live on.

Remember not my fight for breath, remember not the strife.
Please do not dwell upon my death, but celebrate my life.

(author unknown)

 

 

“Those we love don’t go away,

They walk beside us every day,

Unseen, unheard, but always near,

Still loved, still missed, and very dear.”

 

Readings for Mothers

"The Magic of a Mother's Touch"

There's magic in a Mother's touch,
and sunshine in her smile.
There's love in everything she does
to make our lives worthwhile.
We can find both hope and courage
Just by looking in her eyes.
Her laughter is a source of joy,
her works are warm and wise.
There is a kindness and compassion
to be found in her embrace,
and we see the light of heaven
shining from a Mother's face.

Anonymous

 

"A Mother's Love"

A Mother's love is something
that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.

Helen Steiner Rice

 

 

"Irish Funeral Prayer"

You can only have one mother
Patient kind and true;
No other friend in all the world,
Will be the same to you.

When other friends forsake you,
To mother you will return,
For all her loving kindness,
She asks nothing in return.

As we look upon her picture,
Sweet memories we recall,
Of a face so full of sunshine,
And a smile for one and all.

Sweet Jesus, take this message,
To our dear mother up above;
Tell her how we miss her,
And give her all our love.
- Irish Funeral Prayer

 

 

For all the times you gently picked me up,
When I fell down,
For all the times you tied my shoes
And tucked me into bed,
Or needed something
But put me first instead.

For everything we shared,
The dreams, the laughter,
And the tears,
I love you with a Special Love
That deepens every year.

Thank You Mum

 

 

"In memory of my mother"

You were a precious gift from God above,
so much beauty, grace and love.
You touched our hearts in so many ways,
your smile so bright even on the bad days.
You heard God's whisper calling you home,
you didn't want to go and leave us alone.
You loved us so much, you held on tight,
till all the stregnth was gone and you could no longer fight.
He had called your name twice before,
you knew you couldn't make him wait anymore.
So you gave your hand to God and slowly drifted away,
knowing that with our love we will be together again some day.

(Mary Estelle)

 

“A Legacy of Love”

A wife, a mother, a nanny too,
This is the legacy we have from you.
You taught us love and how to fight,
You gave us strength, you gave us might.
A stronger person would be hard to find,
And in your heart, you were always kind.
You fought for us all in one way or another,
Not just as a wife not just as a mother.
For all of us you gave your best,
Now the time has come for you to rest.
So go in peace, you've earned your sleep,
Your love in our hearts, we'll eternally keep.

(author unknown)

 

 

You can only have one mother
Patient kind and true;
No other friend in all the world,
Will be the same to you.

When other friends forsake you,
To mother you will return,
For all her loving kindness,
She asks nothing in return.

As we look upon her picture,
Sweet memories we recall,
Of a face so full of sunshine,
And a smile for one and all.

Sweet Jesus, take this message,
To our dear mother up above;
Tell her how we miss her,
And give her all our love.

-          Irish Funeral Prayer

 

 

Your mother is always with you.

She’s the whisper of the leaves

As you walk down the street.

She’s the smell of bleach

In your freshly laundered socks.

She’s the cool hand on your brow

When you’re not well.

Your mother lives inside your laughter.

She’s crystallized in every tear drop.

She’s the place you came from,

Your first home.

She’s the map you follow

With every step you take.

She’s your first love

And your first heartbreak …

And nothing on earth can separate you.

 

 

 

Grandmother.

We had a wonderful grandmother,
One who never really grew old;
Her smile was made of sunshine,
And her heart was solid gold;
Her eyes were as bright as shining stars,
And in her cheeks fair roses you see.
We had a wonderful grandmother,
And that' s the way it will always be.
But take heed, because
She's still keeping an eye on all of us,
So let's make sure
She will like what she sees.

To Grandmother With Love

I had an angel here beside me, Sent to Earth to help and guide me, An angel always there
for me Sent to love and care for me.
She did the things that angels should: She taught me what was bad and good, She gave
me hope when no one cared, She held my hand when I was scared, She cheered me up
when I was down (She could make a smile from a frown), She doctored me when I was
sick, And many another angel trick.
Today my angel earned her wings, Her halo, harp and other things. But today I'm lost and
all alone For today God
(anonymous)

 

“Mum”

Of all the days throughout our lives,

The saddest one has come,

For life will never be the same,

Without our loving Mum.

And though our hearts are breaking,

And will for quite a while,

We’ll remember all the love she gave,

And the radiance of her smile.

A Mother’s love provides the rock,

We build our lives upon,

It will stay with us forever,

And help us carry on.

(author unknown)

 

Each night we shed a silent tear,
As we speak to you in prayer.
To let you know we love you,
And just how much you care.
Take our million teardrops,
Wrap them up in love,
Then ask the wind to carry them,
To you in heaven above.

 

 

A SPECIAL MUM

There is a pain that’s burning

For the loss of our precious Mum

You wonder how you’ll cope

Through the days and nights to come

Well there is an answer

And it lies within our hearts

For that is where she is

And will never be apart

Just think of her smiling

Being Happy, even sad

For all these things together

Are what made her

Our Special Mum

 

 

 

Hush”

Hush my darlings, hush be still

I had to leave you it was god’s will

Hush my darlings do not cry

For I am standing here right by

 

I have not gone for good you see

I am always right here and join for tea

But alas you cannot see me and all that I give

Hush my darlings I am not dead I still live

 

When you feel down or very low

I will pick you up as I did below

There will be joy and laughter in your heat

When you realise that we are never apart

 

You will sing and dance once more again

Bright sunshine will fill you instead of rain

I live I live I live to tell these

Just a thought you need to remember me

 

In each flower plant or bird you see

We are all part of this you and me

So look at all things with gentle love and care

We will meet again I am just waiting there

 

Remember the good times never the bad

We loved together and shared the sad

Remember how precious and dear you are to me

Remember I am right here with you if only you could see.

 

 

Time has taken me from you,
although not very far.
I'll be watching through the sunshine
and through the brightest star.

I'll be watching all of you,
From the heavens up above.
So take good care of each other
and carry all my love.

If you're ever wondering
if I'm there, here's where you can start.
Take a look inside yourself
deep within your heart.

I'll always be your Wife,
 Mother, Nan and sister.
So anytime you need me,
close your eyes and I’ll be there

 

 

“What Can You Say?”
What can you say
To someone who has always been one of
The most essential parts of your world;
Someone who took you by the hand
When you were little
And helped to show the way.

What do you say to someone
Who stood by to help you grow,
Providing love, strength and support
So you could become the person you are today?

What can you say to let her know
That she's the best there is,
And that you hope you've inherited
Some of her wisdom and strength?

What words would you say
If you ever got the chance?
Maybe you just say,
I love you Mum,
And hope she understands.

Readings for Fathers

"What Makes A Dad"

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... "DAD!”
(Author Unknown)

 

"Dad"

We'll always remember
that special smile,
that caring heart,
that warm embrace,
you always gave us.
You being there
for Mom and us
through good and bad times,
no matter what.
We'll always remember
you Dad because
they'll never be another one
to replace you in our hearts,
and the love we will always
have for you.
Anon

 

 

"Memories"

The love we have for Granddad
Will never fade away.
We’ll think of him, our special friend
Throughout each passing day.
We’ll walk into the room
And see his empty chair;
Although we know he’s resting,
We’ll feel his presence there.
The memories of his laughter,
His warm and loving smile,
His eyes so full of happiness,
His heart that of a child.
Memories are forever
Be they laughter or of tears,
Memories we will treasure
Through all the forthcoming years.
(Author Unknown)

 

 

"Grandad is coming for Grandma

We all know it ....we all feel it

Just as the sun can be felt through a windowpane

Grandad presence comes here time and time again

Day by day he comes

And he lingers by her side

He waits for death to claim her

When heartbeat and breath subside

He sees her fight the battle

We know she just can't

And tells her to be brave and strong              

She'll soon be with him again

He gently takes her hand in his

The softest of touches he makes

Grandad spirit gently caresses her skin

As he touches his sweetheart's face

On occasion Grandma can feel him now

How wonderful it seems!

A moment's rest through this battle stage

Like a sweet and beautiful dream

And for one brief moment she forgets her pain

And feels much like a young new bride

She yearns to see Grandad's face again

To never leave his side

So while we wait through the days and hours

Till the dreaded goodbye must come

Grandad waits with growing excitement

He's been without her far too long

Grandad understands the sorrow we feel

For we also once mourned him in grief

He stands by our side to lend us support

And hopes we'll find comfort and peace..."

"And when that final, sacred moment came

Grandma slipped just beyond our grasp

And Grandad embraced her with open arms

Welcoming her home at last  .."

 

 

 

 

"Mum is coming for Dad

We all know it ....we all feel it

Just as the sun can be felt through a windowpane

Mums presence comes here time and time again

 

Day by day she comes

And she lingers by his side

She waits for death to claim him

When heartbeat and breath subside

 

She sees him fight the battle

We know he just can't

And tells him to be brave and strong              

he will soon be with her again

 

She gently takes his hand in hers

the softest of touches she makes

Mums spirit gently caresses his skin

As she touches her sweetheart's face

 

On occasion dad can feel her now

How wonderful it seems!

A moment's rest through this battle stage

Like a sweet and beautiful dream

 

And for one brief moment he forgets his pain

And feels much like a young new groom

He yearns to see Mum’s face again

To never leave her side

 

So while we wait through the days and hours

Till the dreaded goodbye must come

Mum waits with growing excitement

She’s been without him far too long

 

Mum understands the sorrow we feel

For we also once mourned her in grief

She stands by our side to lend us support

And hopes we'll find comfort and peace..."

 

"And when that final, sacred moment came

Dad slipped just beyond our grasp

And Mum embraced him with open arms

Welcoming him home at last  …"

(adapted by the Collis family - in memory of Dad)

 

 

On the road that all must tread,

you have travelled on ahead.

Out into the morning light,

 out of reach

and out of sight

But never very far away, for every

night and every day

On wings of memory,

something brings you back to me

Some simple and familiar thing,

will start my heart remembering

The times we had, the good the bad,

the days the years,

sweet thing and sad

A time, a joke, a cup of tea,

something brings you back to me.

 

 

“Remembrance”

Remembrance is a golden chain

Death tries to break, but all in vain.

To have, to love, and then to part

Is the greatest sorrow of one's heart.

The years may wipe out many things

But some they wipe out never.

Like memories of those happy times

When we were all together.

(author unknown)

 

 

 

There’s always another tomorrow,

However dark the sky,

There’s always an end to sorrow,

Time wipes out tears away.

There’s always a reason for living,

Though sad your heart may be,

There’s always another horizon,

Beyond the one you see.

(author unknown)

 

 

 

Each night we shed a silent tear,
As we speak to you in prayer.
To let you know we love you,
And just how much you care.
Take our million teardrops,
Wrap them up in love,
Then ask the wind to carry them,
To you in heaven above.

“Perhaps, if we could see the splendour of the land to which our loved ones are called from you and me … we’d understand. Perhaps, if we could hear the welcome they receive from old, familiar voices all so dear … we would not grieve.  Perhaps, if we could know the reason why they went … we’d smile and wipe away the tears that flow.  We’d wait content.”

 

 

“Goodbye”

The chapel is full of people who came to say goodbye

but no one wants to see you go,

And we’re all left asking why.

In our pain and tears we share,

A heart that cannot heal,

But in our minds we will keep

memories no one else can steal.

We all feel your hand in ours,

and see your loving face,

You haven’t gone we feel you here,

a love we can’t replace.

You meant so much to each of us

And in our hearts you’ll always be,

We hope you can see how precious you were

to them, to us and to me.

(author unknown)

 

Don’t think of him as gone away

His journey’s just begun

Life holds so many facets

This earth is only one.

 

Just think of him as resting

From the sorrows and the tears

In a place of warmth and comfort

Where there are no days and years.

 

Think how he must be wishing

That we could know today

How nothing but our sadness

Can really pass away.

 

And think of him as living

In the hearts of those he touched

For nothing loved is ever lost

And he was loved so much.

(author unknown)

 

 

 

“ Though life may be past enduring, the happy times that we knew are still there. In the moments that you remember, be sure that I will be there. In future years, when tears come unbidden, think of the good times, the fun things we had together.  When the passage of time hasn’t dulled the memory of my passing, think of all we did fit into the short time we had.  In times of sadness, when you think of what could have been, remember this … I had a fuller life than most people realise.”

 

 

"When tomorrow starts without me"

When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not here to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me.
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things
We didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you
And each time you think of me
I know you'll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me
Please try to understand
That an angel came and called my name
And took me by the hand
And said my place was ready
In heaven far above
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I'd always thought
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
And so much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the love we've shared,
And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday,
I thought, for just a while,
I'd say goodbye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized
That this could never be
For emptiness and memories
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things
That I'd miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
So when tomorrow starts without me
Don't think were far apart...
For everytime you think of me,
I'm right here in your heart

(By Michael D. Miller)

 

 

 

“Stepping Stones”

My life has been

like stepping stones,

Some stood together,

some stood alone.

As life like the water

rushed on by

Some stones made wet,

some stones stayed dry.

As years like the stones

came and went

Some stones were shakey,

some heaven sent.

As love like the snowflakes

fell from the sky,

Some touched the stones,

some floated by.

So now my journey's ended

and I've found dry land.

God is there as always

to reach and take my hand.

(author unknown)

 

 

No more can I leave footprints in the snow or in the sand
And you can only touch me with your heart and not your hand.
I don't ask that you should grieve for me or demand that you wear black,
You have your life in front of you, don't let me hold you back.
So remember if you wish to, don't be forced to play a role
But be yourself, the one I loved before life took its toll.
I don't know if you will hear me but I'll try to raise my voice:
I didn't want to leave you, there really was no choice.

(David Axton)

 

 

“I’m Free”

 

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free,

I'm following paths God made for me

I took his hand, I heard him call

Then turned, and bid farewell to all

 

I could not stay another day

To laugh, to love, to sing, to play

Tasks left undone must stay that way

I found my peace ... at close of play

 

And if my parting left a void

Then fill it with remembered joy

A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss

Ah yes, these things I too will miss.

 

Be not burdened... deep with sorrow

I wish you sunshine of tomorrow

My life's been full I've savoured much

Good friends, good times

A loved one's touch/

 

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief

Don't lengthen it now with grief

Lift up your heart and share with me,

God wants me now ... He set me free.

(or alternative last line = The joy of love and life - for now I'm free) 

 

As we look back over time
We find ourselves wondering .....
Did we remember to thank you enough
For all you have done for us?
For all the times you were by our sides
To help and support us .....
To celebrate our successes
To understand our problems
And accept our defeats?
Or for teaching us by your example,
The value of hard work, good judgment,
Courage and integrity?
We wonder if we ever thanked you
For the sacrifices you made.
And for the simple things
Like laughter, smiles and times we shared?
If we have forgotten to show our
Gratitude enough for all the things you did,
We're thanking you now.
And we are hoping you knew all along,
How much you meant to us.

 

 

“Gone, but Not Forgotten”
Gone, but not forgotten
This pain, I cannot hide
In memory, I see you
A million tears, I’ve cried.

The tender thoughts you left me
Come to my memory
Your loving smile, so precious
Will always be with me.

You will visit me in summer
When flowers are in bloom
Upon a ray of sunshine
A star-lit night in June.

When winds are gently blowing
Across a cloudless sky
Within a rolling meadow
Where horse and cattle lie.

I will see you in the treetops
As summer comes to be
In shadows, you will linger
A soul so young and free.

I will see you in the garden
Your scent will fill the air
Just like a precious flower
A rose, so ever fair.

On country roads, I will find you
Along the wooded lane
Within the distant thunder
I will see you in the rain.

In early hush of morning
You will come without a sound
Upon a blazing sunset
Your memory can be found.

Like sprigs of morning glory
Upon the vine, they grow
With branches reaching outward
Into my heart, you go.

Just like a special angel
God wrapped you in His care
And took you off to heaven
To live with Him, up there.

But often, I will see you
Upon a light blue sky
And long so much to hold you
Why did you have to die?

(by Marilyn Ferguson)

 

“If I Should Ever Leave You”

If I should ever leave you,
Whom I love
To go along the silent way,
Grieve not,
Nor speak of me with tears.

But laugh and talk of me
as if I were beside you there
For I will come-I'll come!
Would I not find a way,
Were tears and grief not be barriers?

And when you hear a song or see a bird I loved,
Please do not let your thoughts of me be sad.
For I am loving you just as I always have . . .
You who were so good to me!

There are so many things I wanted still to do-
So many things to say to you, but
Remember, please, that I did not fear death.
It was just leaving you that was so hard to face.

You cannot see beyond this life
But this you know . . . I loved you so.


Never doubt that I am with you still!
For love does not die with the body
And nothing in heaven or on earth
Can keep apart those who love.

(author unknown)

 

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace

(Reinhold Niebuhr)

 

 

“Memories in the Heart”

 

Feel no guilt in laughter, she knows how much you care

  Feel no sorrow in a smile that she’s not here to share

  You cannot grieve forever, she would not want you to

  She’d hope that you could carry on, the way you always do

  So talk about the good times and the ways you showed you cared

  The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared

  A word someone may say

  Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day

  That brings her back as clearly as though she were still here

  And fills you with the feelings that she is always near

  For if you keep these moments, you will never be apart

  And she will live forever locked safely within your heart

 

 

The Lake of Innisfree (W B Yeats)

          
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

 

 

"Angels"

When you were born, an angel smiled,

As you became a child, an angel sat on your shoulder,

When you became an adult, an angel held your hand

As you grew old, an angel walked down the road with you,

And, when you died, another angel got their wings.

 

Your gentle face and patient smile
With sadness we recall,
You had a kindly word for each
And died beloved by all.

The voice is mute and
stilled the heart
"That loved us well and true,
Ah, bitter was the trial to part
From one so good as you.

You are not forgotten loved one
Nor will you ever be,
As long as life and memory last
we will remember thee.

We miss you now, our hearts are sore,
As time goes by we miss you more.
Your loving smile, your gentle face,
No one can fill your empty place.

(author unknown)

 

“The Rose Beyond The Wall”

Near shady wall a rose once grew,
budded and blossomed in God's free light,
Watered and fed by morning dew,
Shedding it's sweetness day and night.

As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
Slowly rising to loftier height,
It came to a crevice in the wall,
Through which there shone a beam of light.

Onward it crept with added strength,
With never a thought of fear or pride,
It followed the crevice-length
And unfolded itself on the other side.

The light, the dew, the broadening view,
Were found the same as they were before
And it lost itself in beauties new,
Breathing its fragrance more and more.

Shall claim of death cause us to grieve
And make our courage faint or fall?
Nay, let us faith and hope receive
The rose still grows beyond the wall.

Scattering fragrance far and wide,
Just as it did in days of yore,
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will forevermore.

(A.L.Frink)

 

Love never disappears for death is a non-event.

I have merely retired to the room next door.

You and I are the same; what we were for each other, we still are.

Speak to me as you always have, do not use a different tone, do not be sad.

Continue to laugh at what made us laugh.

Smile and think of me.

Life means what it has always meant.

The link is not severed.

Why should I be out of your soul if I am out of your sight?

I will wait for you, I am not here, but just on the other side of this path.

You see, all is well.

--St. Augustine

 

 

“I Am Always With You”

When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn't tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many good years.
I gave you my love, and you can only guess
How much you've given me in happiness.
I thank you for the love that you have shown,
But now it is time I travelled on alone
So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
That it is only for a while that we must part,
So treasure the memories within your heart 

I won't be far away for life goes on.
And if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I will be near
And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear
All my love around you soft and clear And then, when you come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and a "Welcome Home".

 

A Letter From Heaven

To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say,
Though first of all to let you know I arrived OK.
I'm writing this from heaven, here I dwell with God above,
Here there's no more tears of sadness, here is just eternal love.
Please do not be unhappy because I am out of sight,
Remember I am with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said "I welcome you".
"It's good to have you back again, you were missed while you were gone,
As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here so badly, you're part of my great plan,
There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man."

God gave me a list of things that He wished for me to do,
And foremost on that list - was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in your bed at night the day's chores put to flight,
God and I are closest to you...in the middle of the night.
When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years,
Because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.

But do not be afraid to cry; it helps relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers unless there was some rain.
I wish I could explain to you all that God has planned.
If I were to tell you, you would not understand.
One thing is for certain, though my life on earth is over,
I'm closer to you now than I ever was before.
There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb,
But together we can do it by taking one day at a time.

It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too;
That as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.
If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and in pain,
Then you can say to God at night.. "My day was not in vain".
So now I am contented...that my life was worthwhile,
Knowing as I passed along the way I made somebody smile.
So if you meet someone who is sad and feeling low;
Just lend a hand to pick him up as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps, only half a step behind.
And when it's time for you to go. from that body to be free,
Remember you're not going...you're coming here to me.

 

 

IF I ONLY KNEW

If I knew it would be the last time that I’d see you fall asleep, I would tuck you in more tightly and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time that I see you walk out the door, I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise, I would video tape each action and word, so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time I could spare an extra minute to stop and say “I love you,” instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time I would be there to share your day, well I’m sure you’ll have so many more, so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there’s always tomorrow to make up for an oversight, and we always get a second chance to make everything just right.

There will always be another day to say “I love you,” and certainly there’s another chance to say our “Anything I can do?”

But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get, I’d like to say how much I love you and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike, and today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you’re waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today? For if tomorrow never comes, you’ll surely regret the day that you didn’t take that extra time for a smile, or a kiss and you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today, and whisper in their ear, tell them how much you love them and that you’ll always hold them dear.

Take time to say “I’m sorry,” “Please forgive me, “Thank you,” or “it’s okay.”

And if tomorrow never comes, you’ll have no regrets about today.

 

 

 

If Tears Could Build A Stairway"

If tears could build a stairway
and memories were a lane
We would walk right up to heaven
And bring you back again.
No farewell words were spoken
No time to say goodbye
You were gone before we knew it
And only God knows why
Our hearts still ache in sadness
and secret tears still flow
What it meant to lose you
No one will ever know
But now we know you want us
To mourn for you no more
To remember all the happy times
Life still has much in store
Since you'll never be forgotten
We pledge to you today
A cherished place within our heart
Is where you'll always stay

 

“The Special Garden”

There's a very special garden
Where the trees of memory grow
Nurtured by the kindness
And concern that good friends show.
The roots are cherished memories
Of good times in the past
The branches tender promises
That souls endure and last.
It's a place of peace and beauty
Where bright new hopes can start
It's memory's lovely garden
That soothes the hurting heart.

 

 

God looked around His garden and found an empty place.
He then looked down upon the earth and saw your tired face.
He put His arms around you and lifted you to rest.
God's garden must be beautiful. He only takes the best.

He knew that you were suffering. He knew you were in pain.
He knew that you would never get well on earth again.
He saw the road getting rough and the hills were hard to climb.
So He closed your weary eyelids and whispered, "Peace be thine."

It broke our hearts to lose you but you didn't go alone.
Part of us went with you the day God took you home.
If tears could build a stairway and heartaches make a lane,
We'd walk a path to heaven to be with you again.

 

 

A vicar was walking through the village when he stopped to admire a garden full of the choicest vegetables.  Row upon row of succulent onions, cabbage, sprouts, lettuce, beetroot and so on stretched away into the distance.  As he stood there peering over the hedge he caught sight of the gardener approaching. “Good afternoon, Fred”, nodded the vicar.  “This weather seems to be bringing the crops on well”. “Yes it is”, replied Fred, “but I feel sorry for the commercial market gardeners.  They’re not getting very good prices at the moment.  It’s all the foreign stuff that’s being imported and undercutting their prices”.“Well you might be right”, sighed the vicar, “but whatever the market is like, I think these vegetables are superb.  I cannot but say that I think God’s garden is a beautiful place”.“Yes, that’s as may be”, replied Fred, with a twinkle in his eye, “but you should have seen the mess this patch of land was in when God had it all to himself!”

 

 

 

“To Those Whom I Love And Those Who Love Me”

When I am gone, release me, let me go
I have so many things to see and do
You must not tie yourself to me with tears
Be 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 thankyou for the love each have shown
But now it is time I travelled on alone

So grieve a while for me, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
It is only for a while that we must part
So bless the memories in your heart

I will not be far away, for life goes on
So if you need me, call and I will come
Though you cannot see or touch me, I will be near
And if you listen with your heart, you will hear
All of my love around you soft and clear

Then, when you must come this way alone
I will greet you with a smile and a
"Welcome Home"

(-Mary Alice Ramish-)

 

We are all ships returning home
laden with life's experience,
memories of work, good times and sorrows,
each with his special cargo;
And it is our common lot
to show the marks of the voyage,
here a shattered prow, there a patched rigging,
and every hulk turned black
by the unceasing batter of the restless wave. 
May we be thankful for fair weather and smooth seas,
and in times of storm have the courage
and patience that mark every good mariner;
And, overall, may we have the cheering hope of joyful meetings,
as our ship at last drops anchor
in the still water of the eternal harbour. 

(Max Erhman)

 

 

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

 

 

I Said a Prayer for You Today

I said a prayer for you today
  And know God must have heard.
            I felt the answer in my heart
            Although he spoke no word!

I didn't ask for wealth or fame
            (I knew you wouldn't mind).
            I asked him to send treasures
            Of a far more lasting kind!

I asked that he be near you
            At the start of each new day;
            To grant you health and blessings
            And friends to share your way!

I asked for happiness for you
            In all things great and small.
            But it was for his loving care
            I prayed the most of all!

 

 

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

By Wm. Henry Davies.

When I must leave you
for a little while
Please do not grieve
and shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you
through the years
But start out bravely
with a gallant smile;
And for my sake and
in my name live on
and do all things the same,
Feed not your loneliness
on empty days,
But fill each waking hour
in useful ways,
Reach out your hand
in comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you
and hold you near

(unknown)

 

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple



With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.



And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves



And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.



I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired



And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells



And run my stick along the public railings



And make up for the sobriety of my youth.



I shall go out in my slippers in the rain



And pick the flowers in other people's gardens



And learn to spit.



You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat



And eat three pounds of sausages at a go



Or only bread and pickle for a week



And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.



But now we must have clothes that keep us dry



And pay our rent and not swear in the street



And set a good example for the children.



We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.



But maybe I ought to practice a little now?



So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised



When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.



 



 

 

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little--but not too long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me--but let me go.

For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Master's plan,
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss Me--But Let me Go!

 

"Farewell My Friend"

It was beautiful as long as it lasted
The journey of my life.
I have no regrets whatsoever
save the pain I'll leave behind.
Those dear hearts who love and care...
And the strings pulling at the heart and soul...
The strong arms that held me up
When my own strength let me down.
At every turning of my life I came across good friends,
Friends who stood by me,
Even when the time raced me by.
Farewell, farewell my friends
I smile and bid you goodbye.
No, shed no tears for I need them not
All I need is your smile.
If you feel sad do think of me
for that's what I'll like when you live in the hearts
of those you love, remember then
you never die.
(Rabindranath Tagore
)

 

 

 

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white

Sail’s shaking.

And a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking.

 I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the

running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the

            Seagulls crying.

 

I must go down to the sea again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a

            Whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s

            over.

(John Masefield)

 

"Crossing the Bar"

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

(Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

You can shed tears that he is gone,

Or you can smile because he has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that he’ll come back

Or you can open your eyes and see all he’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him

Or you can be full of the love you have shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday

Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember him and only that he’s gone

Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back

Or you can do what he’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

(David Harkins)

 


 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, 


As I foretold you, were all spirits and 


Are melted into air, into thin air: 
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, 


The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, 


The solemn temples, the great globe itself, 


Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve 


And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, 


Leave not a track behind. We are such stuff 


As dreams are made on, and our little life 


Is rounded with a sleep. 


(William Shakespeare 


From The Tempest, Act 4 Scene 1) 


 

“If I should go before the rest of you,

Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone.

Nor when I am gone speak in a Sunday voice,

But be the usual selves that I have known.

Weep if you must,

Parting is hell,

But life goes on,

So sing as well”

(Joyce Grenfell)

 

I’m Fine Thank You!

There is nothing the matter with me,

I’m as healthy as one can be,

I have arthritis in both my knees,

And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze,

My pulse is weak, and my blood is thin,

But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

 

Arch supports I have for my feet,

Or I wouldn’t be able to be on the street,

Sleep is denied me night after night,

But every morning I find I’m alright.

My memory is failing, my head in a spin,

But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

 

The moral of this, as my tale I unfold –

That for you and me who are growing old,

It’s better to say “I’m fine” with a grin

Than to let folks know the shape we are in.

 

How do I know that my youth is all spent?

Well, my “get up and go” has got up and went.

But I really don’t mind when I think with a grin

Of all the grand places my “Get up” has bin.

 

I get up each morning and dust off my wits,

And pick up the paper and read the Obits,

If my name is missing I know I’m not dead,

So I have a good breakfast and go back to bed.

 

“… Death’s a debt that everybody owes,

and if you’ll last the night out no one knows.

Learn your lesson then, and thank your stars

For wine and company and all-night bars.

Life careers gravewards at breakneck rate,

So drink and love, and leave the rest to Fate.”

 

 

I Said a Prayer for You Today

I said a prayer for you today
  And know God must have heard.
            I felt the answer in my heart
            Although he spoke no word!

I didn't ask for wealth or fame
            (I knew you wouldn't mind).
            I asked him to send treasures
            Of a far more lasting kind!

I asked that he be near you
            At the start of each new day;
            To grant you health and blessings
            And friends to share your way!

I asked for happiness for you
            In all things great and small.
            But it was for his loving care
            I prayed the most of all!

 

 

"Are all the Children In?"

I think oft-times as the night draws nigh

Of an old house on the hill,

Of a yard all wide and blossom-starred,

Where the children played at will;

And when at last the night comes down,

Hushing the merry din,

Mother would look around and ask:

“Are all the children in?”

‘Tis many and many a year since then,

And the old house on the hill

No longer echoes to children’s feet,

And the yard is still, so still;

But I see it all as the shadows creep,

And though many the years have been

Since then, I can still hear Mother ask;

“Are all the children in?”

I wonder if, when the shadows fall

On the last, short, earthly day,

When we say goodbye to the world outside,

All tired with our childish play;

When we step out into the Other Land

Where Mother so long has been,

Will we hear her ask, just as of old:

“Are all the children in?”

 

 

 

 

 

Living Bouquets
 
When I quit this mortal shore
And mosey 'round this earth no more,
Do not weep and do not sob;
I may have found a better job.
Don't go and buy a large bouquet
For which you'll find it hard to pay,
Don't mope around and feel all blue;
I may be better off than you.
 
Don't tell the folks I was a saint
Or any old thing that I ain't.
If you have jam like that to spread,
Please hand it out before I'm dead.
If you have roses bless your soul,
Just pin one in my buttonhole
While I'm alive and well today;
Don't wait until I'm gone away.
 
Mabel Easley

 

“Happy the Man”

Happy the man, and happy he alone,

He who can call today his own:

He, who, secure within can say,

Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.

Be fair or foul or rain or shine

The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.

Not heaven itself upon the past has power.

But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour

 

(John Dryden)

 

 

Not, how did he die, but how did he live?

Not, what did he gain, but what did he give?

These are the units to measure the worth

Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

Not what was his church, nor what was his creed?

But had he befriended those really in need?

Was he ever ready, with a word of good cheer,

To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?

Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,

But how many were sorry when he passed away

 

Life is but a stopping place,
A pause in what's to be,
A resting place along the road,
to sweet eternity.
We all have different journeys,
Different paths along the way,
We all were meant to learn some things,
but never meant to stay...
Our destination is a place,
Far greater than we know.
For some the journey's quicker,
For some the journey's slow.
And when the journey finally ends,
We'll claim a great reward,
And find an everlasting peace,
Together with the lord

 

Death is nothing at all

Death is nothing at all.  I have only slipped away into the next room.  I am I, and you are you.  Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.  Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used.  Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at little jokes we enjoyed together.  Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.  Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effect, without trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all it ever meant.  It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity.  Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?  I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.

All is well

Henry Scott Holland

 

Longevity is not the truest measure of life

But all the life that was packed in

All the love joy and spontaneous fun

And [name] was fuller than the span of her

Years

 

Filled with energy and love that spread to

Family and those who experienced the

Gift of her friendship in life

In loss, we are left for a time, with empty

Spaces that someone we loved once filled

 

But as time passes you will begin to feel

Again, and soon joyful thoughts will steal

Across a heavy clouded sky.

 

You will heave a breath, that will give way

to a smile as memories of the real [name] return

to bring you once again comfort and cheer, and

you will feel her very near.

 

For all that love and courage she placed in your

Heart will provide all you need for a

Brand new start.

 

For all her love placed in the depth of your

Heart burns eternally.

Just think gently on her name and let your

Love flow once again.”

 

“After I Have Gone”

Speak my name softly after I have gone.

I loved the quiet things, the flowers and the dew,

Field mice, birds homing; and the frost that shone

On nursery windows when my years were few;

And autumn mists subduing hill and plain

And blurring outlines of those older moods

that follow, after loss and grief and pain –

And last and best, a gentle laugh with friends,

All bitterness foregone, and evening near.

If we be kind and faithful when day ends,

We shall not meet that ragged starveling ‘fear’

As one by one we take the unknown way –

Speak my name softly – there’s no more to say.

  (Vera I. Arlett)

 

Time has taken me from you,
although not very far.
I'll be watching through the sunshine
and through the brightest star.

I'll be watching all of you,
From the heavens up above.
So take good care of each other
and carry all my love.

If you're ever wondering
if I'm there, here's where you can start.
Take a look inside yourself
deep within your heart.

I'll always be your Wife,
 Mother, Nan and sister.
So anytime you need me,
close your eyes and I’ll be there

 

 

"Footprints"

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, You said that once I decided to follow you, You would walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times of my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed You most You would leave me." The Lord replied, "My son, My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.

Mary Stephenson (1939)

 

Our parents cast long shadows over our lives. When we grow up we imagine that we can walk into the sun, free of them.  We don’t realise until it’s too late that we have no choice in the matter, they are always ahead of us.  We carry them within us all our lives, in the shape of our face, the way we walk, the sound of our voice, our skin,

our hair, our hands, our heart.  We try all our lives to separate ourselves from them, and it is only when they are gone from us that we find we are indivisible.

We grow to expect that our parents, like the weather, will always be with us. Then they go, leaving a mark like a hand print on glass or a wet kiss on a rainy day,

And with their parting we realise we are no longer children.

(Richard Eyre)

 

And if I go while you're still here...
Know that I still live on,
Vibrating to a different measure
behind a thin veil you cannot see through.
You will not see me,
so you must have faith.
I wait for the time when we can soar together again,
both aware of each other.
Until then, live your life to the fullest.
And when you need me,
just whisper my name in your heart,
... and I will be there.

(Colleen Hitchcock)

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 she all she’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her

Or you can be full of the love you have 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 and only that she’s 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.

(David Harkins)

 

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there, I did not die.

(Mary Frye)

 

"Because I could not stop for Death"

Because I could not stop for Death –

He kindly stopped for me –

The carriage held but just Ourselves-

And Immortality.

 

We slowly drove – He knew no haste

And I had put away

My labour and my leisure too,

For His Civility –

 

We passed the School, where Children strove,

At recess – in the Ring –

We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –

We passed the setting sun –

 

Or rather – He passed us –

The Dews grew quivering and chill –

For only Gossamer, my Gown –

My Tippet – only Tulle

 

We paused before a House that seemed

A swelling of the Ground –

The Roof was scarcely visble –

The Cornice – in the Ground –

 

Since then – ‘tis Centuries – and yet

Feels shorter than the Day

I first surmised the Horses’ heads

Were toward Eternity.

 

 

For Those Who Weep

I have a pearl

To give to you who weep

Whose beauty is born

From simple life

And fashioned out of pain.

It fills a mandala

With space to breathe

And gently gathers light.

It is not struck from rock

Or circled like a diamond noose

To bind you by,

But free and perfect

Grew unknown

Where nature turns invading pain

To beauty and delight.

So hold it fast

And catch the spread of sunrise

In the single point of light

"After Glow"
I’d like the memory of me
to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an after glow
of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times
and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve,
to dry before the sun
of happy memories
that I leave when life is done

 

 

"The Dash"

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on his tombstone
from the beginning...to the end.

He noted that first came the date of his birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.


For that dash represents all the time
that he spent alive on earth...
and now only those who loved him
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars....the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard...
are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left.
(You could be at "dash midrange.")

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile...
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy's being read
with your life's actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they
say about how you spend your dash?

(Linda Ellis)

 

 

“Spring Song” by Joyce Inglow

 

One morning, oh! so early, my beloved, my beloved,
All the birds were singing blithely, as if never they would cease;
'Twas the Thrush sang in the garden,
Hear the story, hear the story!'
And the lark sang, "give us glory",
And the Dove sang, "give us peace!"
Then I listened, oh! so early, my beloved, my beloved
To the murmur from the woodland, of the Dove, my dear, the Dove;
When the Nightingale came after, "give us Fame to sweeten Duty",
When the Wren sang, "give us beauty,"
she made answer, "give us love!"
Fair is April, fair the morning, my beloved, my beloved,
Now for us doth Spring's bright morning wait upon the year's increase,
Let my voice be heard, that asketh not for fame and not for glory,
Give for all our life's dear story,
Give us Love, and give us Peace!

 

If Tomorrow Starts Without Me”

If tomorrow starts without me, And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things, we didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me, As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me, I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me, Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name, And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready, In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind; All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away, A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I'd always thought, I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for, So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible, That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays, The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared, And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, Just even for a while,
I'd say good-bye and kiss you And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized, That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories, Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things, I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did, My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven's gates, I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me, From His great golden throne,
He said, "This is eternity, And all I've promised you."
Today your life on earth is past, But here life starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow, But today will always last,
And since each day's the same way, There's no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful, So trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things, You knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven, and now at last you're free.
So won't you come and take my hand, and share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me, don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me, I'm right here, in your heart.

(David Romano)

 

"Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind,

Whose breath gives life to all the world.

Hear me; I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.

Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice

Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people.

Help me to remain calm and strong in the face of all that comes towards me.

Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf & rock.

Help me seek pure thoughts & act with the intention of helping others.

Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy - Myself.

Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.

So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.

(Native American Prayer)

 

“Tall Trees”

When thinking of my dreams

I see high trees against the sky

And hear the whisper of the leaves

That rustle as the wind goes by.

 

I love to live where tall trees lift

Their musical arms.

Bright in summer’s golden glow

Or dark in winter, stark and bare.

 

For tall trees always raise my thoughts

Above the petty and mundane.

Unmoved they stand. And from their strength,

New strength I gain.

(Arthur Shears)

 

"A smile for you"

Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I'd passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth.

So, if you feel a smile begin,
don't leave it undetected.
Let's start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!

 

"When I Die and Leave Behind"

When I die and leave behind
This earth I love
These trees, this sky,
The pounding sea,
The yearly hope of spring,
Cry not for me,
Rejoice.
My soul has wings
And in it’s freedom sings.

 

 

The Beauty of Death (Part Two - The Ascending)  Kahlil Gibran

I have passed a mountain peak and my soul is soaring in the
Firmament of complete and unbound freedom;
I am far, far away, my companions, and the clouds are
Hiding the hills from my eyes.
The valleys are becoming flooded with an ocean of silence, and the
Hands of oblivion are engulfing the roads and the houses;
The prairies and fields are disappearing behind a white specter
That looks like the spring cloud, yellow as the candlelight
And red as the twilight.

The songs of the waves and the humans of the streams
Are scattered, and the voices of the throngs reduced to silence;
And I can hear naught but the music of Eternity
In exact harmony with the spirit's desires.
I am cloaked in full whiteness;
I am in comfort; I am in peace.
 

For What Is It To Die  - Kahil Gibran


For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing,
but to free the breath from its restless tides,
that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you reach the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

In Flanders Fields, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

“At rest”

Think of me as one at rest, for me you should not weep,
I have no pain, no troubled thoughts, for I am just asleep.
the living, thinking me that was, is now forever still
and life goes on without me now, as time forever will

 

If your heart is heavy now, because I’ve gone away,
dwell not long upon it friends, for none of us can stay.
those of you who liked me, I sincerely thank you all,
and those of you who loved me, I thank you most of all

 

And in my fleeting lifespan, as time went rushing by,
I found some time to hesitate, to laugh to love to cry.
matters it now if time began, if time will never cease,
I was here, I used it all, and now I am at peace.

 

 

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (Corinthians 13)

The Sailor’s version of The Lord’s Prayer



The lord is my pilot; I shall not drift.

He lights me across the dark waters.

He steers me through the deep channels.

He keeps my log.

He guides me by the star of holiness for his name’s sake.

As I sail through the storms and tempests of life I will dread no danger; for you are near me; your love and care shelter me.

You prepare a haven before me in the homeland of eternity;

 You quieten the waves with oil;

 My ship rides calmly.

Surely sunlight and starlight shall be with me wherever I sail, and at the end of my voyaging I shall rest in the port of my God

 

"OLD SAILORS"

 

Old sailors sit and chew the fat

'bout how things used to be

of the things they've seen

and places they've been

When they ventured out to sea.

They remember friends from long ago

and the times they had back then

of the money they've spilled

and the beer they've swilled

In their days as sailing men.

Their numbers grow less with each passing day

as their chits in this life are called in

But they've nothing to lose

for they've all paid their dues

and they'll sail with their shipmates again.

Now I've heard them say

before getting underway

that there's still some sailin' to do

and they'll exclaim with a grin

that their ship has come in

and the Lord is commanding the crew.

(Larry Dunn)

 


 

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes …and ships … and sealing-wax … Of cabbages ….and kings … And why the sea is boiling hot … And whether pigs have wings."

(Lewis Carroll)

May you see the light on the path ahead
When the road you walk is dark.
May you always hear,
Even in your hour of sorrow,
The gentle singing of the lark.
When times are hard may hardness
Never turn your heart to stone,
May you always remember
when the shadows fall—
You do not walk alone.

 

 

Farewell My Friend 
It was beautiful as long as it lasted
The journey of my life.
I have no regrets whatsoever
save the pain I'll leave behind.
Those dear hearts who love and care...
And the strings pulling at the heart and soul...
The strong arms that held me up
When my own strength let me down.
At every turning of my life I came across good friends,
Friends who stood by me,
Even when the time raced me by.
Farewell, farewell my friends
I smile and bid you goodbye.
No, shed no tears for I need them not
All I need is your smile.
If you feel sad do think of me
for that's what I'll like when you live in the hearts
of those you love, remember then
you never die.
(
Rabindranath Tagore)

THE FINAL INSPECTION

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

'Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you ?
Have you always turned the other cheek ?
To My Church have you been true?'

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

'Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'

Author Unknown~

(This poem was written in 1908 by Minnie Louise Haskins, an American lecturer at the London School of Economics, who wrote as a hobby. It was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth the late Queen Mother, who showed it to her husband King George VI. He included it in his famous Christmas message broadcast in 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War. After the King's death the Queen Mother had it engraved on bronze plaques on the entrance to the King George VI Memorial Chapel, Windsor, where both are now interred. It was also read at the funeral service of the Queen Mother.)

 
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 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
He led me towards the hills
And the breaking of day in the lone east.
 


So heart be still!
What need our human life to know
If God hath comprehension?
 


In all the dizzy strife of things
Both high and low,
God hideth his intention."
 

Because You Have Lived.

To laugh often and much.
To win the respect of intelligent people, and
the affection of children.

To earn the appreciation of honest critics.
To appreciate beauty.
To find the best in others.

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
or a garden patch.

To know even one life has breathed easier because you
have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

 

 

Silent Tear.

Each night we shed a silent tear,
As we speak to you in prayer.
To let you know we love you,
And just how much we care.
Take our million teardrops,
Wrap them up in love,
Then ask the wind to carry them,
To you in heaven above.

 

 

WHEN THE SUN COMES AFTER RAIN

 

When the sun comes after rain
And the bird is in the blue,
The girls go down the lane
Two by two.

When the sun comes after shadow
And the singing of the showers,
The girls go up the meadow,
Fair as flowers.

When the eve comes dusky red
And the moon succeeds the sun,
The girls go home to bed
One by one.

And when life draws to its even
And the day of man is past,
They shall all go home to heaven,
Home at last.

 

 

 

Time is too slow for those who wait,

Too swift for those who fear,

Too long for those who grieve,

Too short for those who rejoice,

But for those who love,

Time is eternity.

 

Bowling’s my please, I shall not want,

It maketh me to walk up and down green pastures,

And leadeth me to compete in competitions,

It restoreth my gamesmanship.

It leadeth me in the path of David Brant,

For the game’s sake.

Yea though I bowl in the wind and rain,

I will feel no evil,

For my skip is with me,

His measure and chalk, they comfort me.

Though preparest a rink for me,

In the presence of mine opponents,

I annointest my bowls with ‘Grippo’,

And my bowls runneth true.

Surely, good wicks and lucky shots

Shall follow me all the days of my life,

And I shall dwell on my bowling green forever.

 

 

I've taken in recent years to thinking about my funeral and have decided to make one paramount request:
play jolly music at that ritual.

What good does it do to heap on dirges or other mournful melodies?

I won't be there to be gratified by the grieving and if I could tune in I'd be happier to see those present have some relief.

Dixieland would be nice.
Joplin would be fine.
Something by Fats Waller would certainly do.

Those early jazzmen knew what they were up to when they set about making funeral marches swing.

So swing me away, please, with a rousing tune.

Richard Greene (1918-1985)

 

“Remembering a Life Well Lived”

Some people just can’t help

Making a difference in our lives.

By simply being who they are,

They make the world

A little brighter

A little warmer

A little gentler.

And when they’re gone

We realise how lucky we are

To have known them.

The world has lost a very special person.

 

While Waiting for Thee
Don't weep at my grave,
For I am not there,
I've a date with a butterfly
To dance in the air.
I'll be singing in the sunshine,
Wild and free,
Playing tag with the wind,
While I'm waiting for thee.
The Comfort and Sweetness of Peace
After the clouds, the sunshine,
after the winter, the spring,
after the shower, the rainbow,
for life is a changeable thing.
After the night, the morning,
bidding all darkness cease,
after life's cares and sorrows,
the comfort and sweetness of peace.
Helen Steiner Rice

“Memories Road”
Now should we care to wander

Back down memories road

Just slowly walk and ponder

The past through which we strode

There we’ll find it’s mottle hued

In patches light and dark

There we’ll see our past reviewed

Clearly etched and stark

Back there we’ll find some pleasant spots

And others thick with shade

Back there we’ll know our gain or loss

Then watch the past parade

So look behind you now and then

And shape your future so

That when the past you view again

There’s only sunshine glow.

(Norman Webster)

 

We thought of you today,
But that is nothing new
We thought of you yesterday
And will tomorrow, too.

We think of you in silence
And make no outward show.
For what it meant to lose you
Only those who love you know.

Remembering you is easy,
We do it everyday.
It's the heartache of losing you
That will never go away.

(author unknown)

 

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace

(Reinhold Niebuhr)

 

 

I watched a seagull spread its wings and rise into the blue.

Out towards the far horizon straight and strong it flew.

But slowly it became a speck  - and disappeared from sight,

vanishing behind a hazy veil of golden light.

Lost to view – but still it flew, though not observed by me.

So it is when souls go out into eternity.

They pass beyond the range of vision and we say they’ve gone,

but, like the bird that fades into the distance, they go on.

On into a greater life, the journey to complete – across the dim dividing line where earth and heaven meet.

 

 

 

Here, where the world is quiet;

Here, where all trouble seems

Dead winds' and spent waves' riot

In doubtful dreams of dreams;

I watch the green field growing

For reaping folk and sowing,

For harvest-time and mowing,

A sleepy world of streams.

 

I am tired of tears and laughter,

And men that laugh and weep;

Of what may come hereafter

For men that sow to reap:

I am weary of days and hours,

Blown buds of barren flowers,

Desires and dreams and powers

And everything but sleep.

 

We are not sure of sorrow,

And joy was never sure;

To-day will die to-morrow;

Time stoops to no man's lure;

And love, grown faint and fretful,

With lips but half regretful

Sighs, and with eyes forgetful

Weeps that no loves endure.

 

From too much love of living,

From hope and fear set free,

We thank with brief thanksgiving

Whatever gods may be

That no life lives for ever;

That dead men rise up never;

That even the weariest river

Winds somewhere safe to sea.

 

Then star nor sun shall waken,

Nor any change of light:

Nor sound of waters shaken,

Nor any sound or sight:

Nor wintry leaves nor vernal,

Nor days nor things diurnal;

Only the sleep eternal

In an eternal night.

 

“The way through the woods”

 

They shut the road through the woods

Seventy years ago.

Weather and rain have undone it again,

And now you would never know

There was once a road through the woods

Before they planted the trees.

It is underneath the coppice and heath,

And the thin anemones.

Only the keeper sees

That, where the ring-dove broods,

And the badgers roll at ease,

There was once a road through the woods.

 

Yet, if you enter the woods

Of a summer evening late,

When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools

Where the otter whistles his mate.

(They fear not men in the woods,

Because they see so few)

You will hear the beat of a horse's feet,

And the swish of a skirt in the dew,

Steadily cantering through

The misty solitudes,

As though they perfectly knew

The old lost road through the woods . . . .

But there is no road through the woods.

 

-- Rudyard Kipling

 

Spring Morning
By A. A. (Alan Alexander) Milne

Where am I going? I don't quite know.
Down to the stream where the king-cups grow -
Up on the hill where the pine-trees blow -
Anywhere, anywhere, I don't know

Where am I going? The clouds sail by,
Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
Where am I going? The shadows pass,
Little ones, baby ones, over the grass

If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,
You'd sail on water as blue as air,
And you'd see me here in the fields and say:
"Doesn't the sky look green today?"

Where am I going? The high rooks call:
"It's awful fun to be born at all."
Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:
"We do have beautiful things to do."

If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You'd lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You'd say to the wind when it took you away:
"That's where I wanted to go today!"

Where am I going? I don't quite know.
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow -
Anywhere, anywhere. I don't know.

 

 

Vespers

The golden sun has gone, the busy day is done.
Twilight has come and with it peace draws near
To dwell an hour .within my garden walls, while in
The lambent sky the first pale stars appear.
The wheeling shadows that so slowly marked the hours
Have left no impress on the tender grass,
Nor does the air hold fast the patterns bold and free
That winging birds weave as the warm days pass.
The rued pool is stilled at last, and Lily buds
Prepare to open gently to the night
And to the questing moth whose fragile, gauzy wings
Quiver too rapidly for human sight.
In. this tranquillity, touch, hearing, sight are lulled.
I am as selfless as the scented airs
That wrap me round, while daylight's drowsy flowers
Send out the fragrance of? their vesper prayers.
(Marie Nettleton Carroll)

Day's End

The twilight comes to cool the. air,
The shadows lengthen on the sod,
Soft breezes blow the garden through,
The leaves and blossoms sway and nod.

On garden path, in sheltering hedge,
In treetops dark and cloudless sky,
The evening birds awake to life,
To stir; to sing and upward fly.
And flowers, warm with summer heat,
Expand to greet the softened light
And shed, to show their gratitude,
A fragrance in the summer night.
Now all is peace. From meadows near
A cooling mist blows o'er the wall
And strangely lonesome in the night
There comes the thrush's silvery call.
-EDWIN W. PROCTOR


“GRIN”

Grin
  If you're up against a bruiser and you're getting knocked about --

Grin

If you're feeling pretty groggy, and you're licked beyond a doubt --

Grin.

Don't let him see you're funking, let him know with every clout,
Though your face is battered to a pulp, your blooming heart is stout;
Just stand upon your pins until the beggar knocks you out --

And grin.

This life's a bally battle, and the same advice holds true

Of grin.

If you're up against it badly, then it's only one on you,

So grin.

If the future's black as thunder, don't let people see you're blue;
Just cultivate a cast-iron smile of joy the whole day through;
If they call you "Little Sunshine", wish that THEY'D no troubles, too --

You may -- grin.

Rise up in the morning with the will that, smooth or rough,

You'll grin.

Sink to sleep at midnight, and although you're feeling tough,

Yet grin.

There's nothing gained by whining, and you're not that kind of stuff;
You're a fighter from away back, and you WON'T take a rebuff;
Your trouble is that you don't know when you have had enough --

Don't give in.

If Fate should down you, just get up and take another cuff;
You may bank on it that there is no philosophy like bluff,

And grin.

(Robert Service)

 

 

“Farewell”

I have got my leave.
Bid me farewell, my friends!
I bow to you all and take my departure.
Here I give back the keys of my door
and I give up all claims to my house.

I only ask for last kind words from you.
We were neighbours for long,
but I received more than I could give.

Now the day has dawned and
the lamp that lit my dark corner is out.
A summons has come and
I am ready for my journey.

(Rabindra Nath Tagore)

 

“Look for me in Rainbows”

Time for me to go now, I won't say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, way up in the sky.
In the morning sunrise when all the world is new,
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

Time for me to leave you, I won't say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, high up in the sky.
In the evening sunset, when all the world is through,
Just look for me and love me, and I'll be close to you.

It won't be forever, the day will come and then
My loving arms will hold you, when we meet again.

Time for us to part now, we won't say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, shining in the sky.
Every waking moment, and all your whole life through
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

Just wish me to be near you,
And I'll be there with you.

Music and lyrics: Conn Bernard (1990). Vicki Brown

 

“An Indian Prayer”

When I am dead,

Cry for me a little,

Think of me sometimes

But not too much.

Think of me now and again

As I was in life at some moment

That is pleasant to recall –

But not too long.

Leave me in peace

And I shall leave you in peace.

And whilst you live

Let your thoughts be with the living.

 

"In the presence of death, we must continue to sing the song of life. We must be able to accept death and go from it's presence better able to bear our burdens and to lighten the load of others. Out of our sorrows should come understanding. Through our sorrows, we join with all of those before who have had to suffer and all of those who will yet have to do so. Let us not be gripped by the fear of death. If another day be added to our lives, let us joyfully receive it, but let us not anxiously depend on our tomorrows. Though we grieve the deaths of our loved ones, we accept them and hold on to our memories as precious gifts. Let us make the best of our loved ones while they are with us, and let us not bury our love with death." 

(Seneca)

 

 

   

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last updated 20th April 2010

 

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