When it comes to saying farewell to those we love the most, finding the right words can be difficult. After all, how can you try to express everything that they meant to you in just a few words?
Some of us are lucky enough to be able to write their own eulogies but others are often lost for words, facing an exhausting search for ‘the perfect’ reading.
Being tasked with honouring the person who has passed away can be an overwhelming, loaded task. If you are related, then you are faced with the additional burden of paying your respects to your family member in the way they would have wanted, facing a potential fear of choosing the wrong piece and getting the tone/delivery wrong.
Worse still, the thought of choosing an overtly generic piece risks undervaluing what they meant to you and giving off the impression that you didn’t try very hard. So why not write something yourself? In times of grief and stress, the thought of writing your own tribute is often beyond the realms of possibility for even the most discerning of wordsmiths.
When you’re not good with words
If writing your own tribute is just too much at the moment, a simple heartfelt poem or piece of prose can perfectly articulate what your loved one meant to you. It might seem surreal or strange scrolling through reams of internet information to do this, perhaps even overwhelming. But choosing a simple, well-crafted poem or piece from some of the world’s great writers is a way you can honour your loved one with style and grace.
Here are five beautiful lyrics, poems which may help you in times of grief:
- An extract from ‘Fahrenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury:
”Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so as long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. ” This reminds us that success is not measured in terms of fame. It is measured in the impact we made on the lives of those around us.
- An extract from ‘No Matter What’ by Debi Gliori:
Small said: “But what about when you’re dead and gone? Would you love me then? Does love go on?”
Large held Small snug as they looked out at the night, at the moon in the dark and the stars shining bright.
“Small, look at the stars – how they shine and glow. Yet some of those stars died a long time ago. Still, they shine in the evening skies… love, like starlight, never dies”.
‘No Matter What’ seeks to teach children a powerful message about love and loss. Death does not take away the memories you shared with them, nor the love they felt for you. Love goes on and on.
- ‘I Carry Your Heart’ by E.E. Cummings :
”I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)
I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling).”
This touching poem it’s about keeping loved ones in your heart, even after they are gone.
- ‘Afterglow’ by Helen Lowrie Marshall :
”I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow 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.”
A short poem about happy memories living on after a loved one has gone.
- ‘To Those I Love’ by Isla Paschal Richardson:
”If I should ever leave you whom I love
To go along the Silent Way,
Nor speak of me with tears,
But laugh and talk
Of me as if I were beside you there.
(I‘d come-I‘d come, could I but find a way!
But would not tears and grief be barriers?)
And when you hear a song or
See a bird I loved,
Please do not let the thought of me be sad…
For I am loving you just as I always have…
You were so good to me!
There are so many things I wanted still
To do—so many things to say to you…
Remember that I did not fear—
It was just leaving you that was so hard to face…
We cannot see Beyond…
But this I know:
I loved you so –
Twas heaven here with you!”
A Beautiful poem about being thankful for happy memories.
Losing someone it’s very hard but try to embrace your grief. Try to not mask the emotions associated with loss in their way of moving on and hoping to forget. This is an unhealthy way of dealing with it. It’s not going to help you.
Allow the grief process to naturally take place and seek healing & growth. Coping with a death or loss is slow and hard work and it is essential to allow us to feel all the emotions that arise, as hurtful as they may be. Try to forgive yourself for all the things you believe you should have said or done. I know this helped me a lot.
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