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.

Do Not Stand By My Grave And Weep

Mary Elizabeth Frye
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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Published: Mar 2009

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  • 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

    Sharon Cornell Elkton Submitted Sep 2010
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  • 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

    Donna Thornburg, California Submitted Nov 2012
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  • 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.

    Kailee Kunz Submitted 8/21/2013
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