Famous Death Poem

The original poem was written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905-2004) from Baltimore, MD. There are in existence many slightly different versions of the poem. This extremely famous poem has been read at countless funerals and public occasions. The author composed this poem in a moment of inspiration, and scribbled it on a paper bag. She wrote it to comfort a family friend who had just lost her mother and was unable to even visit her grave. This is the only surviving poem of Mary Elizabeth Frye and quite possibly her only poem.

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My fourteen year old daughter was killed in an accident less than two weeks ago. Last night I was just browsing on my laptop to pass the time and found this poem that I bookmarked sometime in...

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By Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do Not Stand By My Grave And Weep

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 sun 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.


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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • by Jennifer Oliver, South Africa
  • 5 months ago

My fourteen year old daughter was killed in an accident less than two weeks ago. Last night I was just browsing on my laptop to pass the time and found this poem that I bookmarked sometime in the past. It made me cry but also comforted me because that is exactly what Caitlyn would tell me.


  • by Chloe Jones, UK
  • 5 months ago

I was nine when my mum died; she had been fighting cancer for years and none of us kids even knew. She was one of the kindest and most compassionate people I have, and probably will ever meet. My auntie read her own poem about my mum and then she read this one. I didn't really appreciate the poem at the time, but quite recently my auntie gave me my memory box ( a box of the four she made for each of us, myself and my siblings, that contained mementos that would remind us of our mum). Inside it, along side other things, was a book. It was a copy of a version of this poem illustrated by Paul Saunders, and the first time I read it it brought me to tears. Thank you for such a beautiful poem that I will now cherish always.


  • by Anonymous, CA
  • 8 months ago

I had heard that a close friend of mine died in the newspaper. She was so nice, but her condition got to the better of her. I found this poem soon after, and literally the second I read it I felt so, so, SO much better. It heals the heart, and now that heavy weight that's been on my heart since her and my grandparent's passing has lost some pounds. Such a beautiful poem Bless you, Mary!


  • by Georgina, Hertfordshire
  • 9 months ago

My baby boy was stillborn in October last year. I miss him every day. This poem reminds me that he will always be with me.


  • by Jessica, United States
  • 10 months ago

I am young but have experienced a lot of death, 24 since I was 10. Cancer, car accidents (their fault and others), suicide, and murder. This poem helped me so much. Thank you to the person who wrote it. Thank you so much for helping myself and so many others heal.


  • by Georgina Baker, Manchester England.
  • 10 months ago

This was read out at my dad's funeral, he was 49 and died suddenly of a heart attack.


  • by Sandra New Hampshire
  • 10 months ago

I read this at my 16 yr old .... Andrea Lee funeral Mass. In 1995


  • by Dan Harazin, Bridgman Michigan
  • 10 months ago

Last December, I received a call from one of my football teammates that a coach of ours was in the hospital. I didn't know the severity or extent of what was going on. But when I got there, my friend looked me in the eye and said "He's gone". I was extremely close with this particular coach, we were workout partners and genuine friends. I was in complete shock. When is sat down in the waiting room chair, I remembered this poem, or something like it. So I immediately looked it up and began reading it. I sat in that chair for at least an hour waiting for something to happen, and I read this poem at least 20 times. It's a beautiful work. Rest in peace Coach.


  • by Tina Kadir, London
  • 1 year ago

I read this poem at my brothers funeral. I still feel him sometimes so this poem was a good example of eternal love.


  • by Cheryl Chapman Kent
  • 1 year ago

My sister read this poem at my husband funeral service.


  • by Kailee Kunz
  • 2 years ago

I have this beautiful poem at home. The poem was typed behind a picture of a young lady who died at age 18 because of cancer. The poem is so comforting and thoughtful.


  • by Donna Thornburg, California
  • 3 years ago

I have this poem on an old piece of paper that was my great grandmothers. I am almost 70 years old. So this poem has been around a very long time and I am now going to use it for my mother-in-laws funeral service. She passed away at the age of almost 91 years old. It is a long loved favorite


  • by Sharon Cornell Elkton
  • 5 years ago

this is the best I have read I had it posted at work on the board and when my dad passed away the girls took it down before I came back to work in fear that I would be hurt and It was the first thing I looked for when I came back I loved my dad very much he passed away in 2000 Dad I know you hear me I love you still


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