Irish Funeral Poem
November 27, 2019 10:36 PM   Subscribe

Seeking a similar poem and sentiment for a memorial service. Non-religious.

Seeking some suggestions for an alternative to the poem below.
To be incorporated in a very young child's memorial, following a tragic battle over most of his short life. The spirit (uplifting) is right but the overwhelmed and heartbroken parents are for reasons, looking for options.
It does not have to be long.
Thanks very much.
An Irish Funeral Prayer

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Everything remains as it was.
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no sorrow in your tone.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that 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 effort
Life means all that 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 but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.
posted by BeBetter to Human Relations (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
There is “Gone From My Sight” by Luther Beecher

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze,
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch her until she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says: “There! She’s gone!”
Gone where? Gone from my sight – that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side,
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the place of her destination.
Her diminished size is in me, and not in her.

And just at the moment
when someone at my side says: “There! She’s gone!”
there are other eyes that are watching for her coming;
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout:
“There she comes!”

I’m so very sorry that these parents are going through this.
posted by corey flood at 10:58 PM on November 27, 2019 [5 favorites]

(Just for your reference, this is not an "Irish Funeral Prayer." It is from a sermon by the very English Henry Scott Holland. I'm sorry that this has happened.)
posted by praemunire at 11:26 PM on November 27, 2019 [4 favorites]

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 the 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.

by Mary Elizabeth Frye

Here is a slightly different version
posted by BoscosMom at 7:04 AM on November 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you."
From Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne

“...Everything in wild nature fits into us, as if truly part and parent of us. The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”
Excerpt from John Muir Mountain Thoughts

When I die give what’s left of me away
to children and old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
cry for your brother walking the street beside you.
And when you need me, put your arms around anyone
and give them what you need to give me.
I want to leave you something,
something better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I’ve known or loved,
and if you cannot give me away,
at least let me live in your eyes and not in your mind.
You can love me best by letting hands touch hands,
and by letting go of children that need to be free.
Love doesn’t die, people do.
So, when all that’s left of me is love,
give me away.
Epitaph by Merrit Malloy

Grieve for me, for I would grieve for you.
Then brush away the sorrow and the tears
Life is not over, but begins anew,
With courage you must greet the coming years.
To live forever in the past is wrong;
It can only cause you misery and pain.
Dwell not on memories overlong,
With others you must share and care again.
Reach out and comfort those who comfort you;
Recall the years, but only for a while.
Nurse not your loneliness; but live again.
Forget not. Remember with a smile.
Life Must Go On - Navajo/Diné Poem*

*Given that this rhymes in English, I think its intent has been taken or inspired from Diné prayers or attitudes and then translated or written in English.

Much peace to these parents in the seasons ahead.
posted by cocoagirl at 8:35 AM on November 28, 2019 [5 favorites]

May you be given calm and peace, and
may you no longer see through a glass darkly;

May you be given, in a blinding instant,
the realization we cannot know as mortals
of the inherent beauty in
all its myriad shapes, forms,
perspectives and glances
of the earth and its inhabitants;

May the citizens of the world
in unknowing chorus
guide you to your
home, among the stars.
posted by WCityMike at 11:50 AM on November 28, 2019

We Remember Them - Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer

At the rising of the sun and at its going down
We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter
We remember them.
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring
We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer
We remember them.
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn
We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends
We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us
as we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength
We remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart
We remember them.
When we have joy we crave to share
We remember them.
When we have decisions that are difficult to make
We remember them.
When we have achievements that are based on theirs
We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us
as we remember them.

Jewish Prayer Book/ Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer


I also happen to like this short poem, but it is not to everyone's taste:
The Noble Nature
posted by gudrun at 12:00 PM on November 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeats, of course, always has good Irish poems. This one is often read at funerals:

The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
and a small cabin built 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 will 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, upon the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
posted by mermaidcafe at 8:25 PM on November 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

Thank you to all who contributed. Each was very moving. John Muir ' Mountain Thoughts' is very fitting and that's the one.
Henry Scott Holland, thank you for that info - good to have.

Australian poet, Clive James died in the last couple of days. I link his farewell poem. Perhaps of interest and in way thanking you all for the suggestions and messages of condolence.
This is now closed for me as it's the eve of the memorial.
posted by BeBetter at 1:01 AM on November 29, 2019

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