Funeral Poems For Friends

Published: January 5, 2023

Friend Funeral Poems - Tributes For A Friend's Funeral

There are many traditions from around the world that determine what a funeral looks like. In some cultures the body is cremated and the ashes may be kept in an urn. In other cultures, the body is put into the ground itself without a coffin. Some traditions have people who are designated wailers who are there to help people cry. Eulogies may be said in honor of the departed. What these cultures all have in common is the desire to mark the importance of the individual's life and to mourn for the loss of the departed.

Looking for the perfect words to honor a dear friend who has passed away? Our collection of memorial poems includes poems for eulogies, speeches, and tributes. From short poems for funerals to longer, more personal tributes, you'll find the perfect poem to express your love and grief. Use these poems to help you say goodbye to a dear friend who will be greatly missed."

12 Friend Funeral Poems - Tributes For A Friend's Funeral

  1. 1. Death Is Nothing At All

    This poem is often read at funerals. The author, Henry Scott-Holland (1847 - 1918), a priest at St. Paul's Cathedral of London, did not intend it as a poem, it was actually delivered as part of a sermon in 1910. The sermon, titled, "Death the King of Terrors" was preached while the body of King Edward VII was lying in state at Westminster.

    in Famous Death Poems

    Death is nothing at all.
    It does not count.
    I have only slipped away into the next room.
    Nothing has happened.

    Everything remains exactly as it was.
    I am I, and you are you,
    and 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 difference into your tone.
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

    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 an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

    Life means all that it ever meant.
    It is the same as it ever was.
    There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
    What is this death but a negligible accident?

    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 round 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!

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  2. 2. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

    "Do not stand at my grave and weep" is the first line and popular title of this bereavement poem of disputed authorship. This extremely famous poem has been read at countless funerals and public occasions. There are in existence many slightly different versions of the poem. Written in the 1930's, it was repopularized during the late 1970s thanks to a reading by John Wayne at a funeral. Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905-2004), a florist from Baltimore, MD claimed to have composed this poem in 1932 in a moment of inspiration to comfort a family friend who had just lost her mother and was unable to even visit her grave. However, the poem was only first formally published in the December 1934 issue of The Gypsy poetry magazine where it was titled "Immortality", with the author as Clare Harner (1909–1977) from Kansas. Several of Harner’s other poems were published and anthologized.
    The poem below is the version published in 1934 in The Gypsy poetry magazine.

    in Famous Death Poems

      Do not stand
        By my grave, and weep.
        I am not there,
      I do not sleep-
    I am the thousand winds that blow
    I am the diamond glints in snow
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle, autumn rain.
    As you awake with morning’s hush,
    I am the swift up-flinging rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight,
    I am the day transcending soft night.
      Do not stand
        By my grave, and cry-
      I am not there.
        I did not die.

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  4. 3. Remember

    Christina Rossetti was an English poet who lived from 1830-1894. In this poem, she wants her loved one to remember her after death. The word “remember” is shared five times, bringing attention to the importance of holding onto those memories, but the tone changes at the end. She then gives her loved one the permission to move on after her death. She hopes to be remembered, but she doesn’t want those memories to cause sadness to those she leaves behind. The form of Remember is a Petrarchan Sonnet.

    in Famous Death Poems

    Remember me when I am gone away,
             Gone far away into the silent land;
             When you can no more hold me by the hand,
    Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
    Remember me when no more day by day
             You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
             Only remember me; you understand
    It will be late to counsel then or pray.
    Yet if you should forget me for a while
             And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
             For if the darkness and corruption leave
             A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
    Better by far you should forget and smile
             Than that you should remember and be sad.

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  5. 4. Song

    In this poem, the narrator urges others not to do the typical things of remembrance when she passes away. Instead, the narrator encourages the reader to endure - just as grass does through droughts and famine. Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) uses alliteration throughout the poem: dead/dearest, sing/sad/songs, and green/grass. She struggled with her physical and mental health and experienced various bouts of depression. Through this poem, it's possible to see the process of working through difficult thoughts and emotions.

    in Famous Death Poems

    When I am dead, my dearest,
        Sing no sad songs for me;
    Plant thou no roses at my head,
        Nor shady cypress tree:
    Be the green grass above me
        With showers and dewdrops wet;
    And if thou wilt, remember,
        And if thou wilt, forget.

    I shall not see the shadows,
       I shall not feel the rain;
    I shall not hear the nightingale
       Sing on, as if in pain:
    And dreaming through the twilight
        That doth not rise nor set,
    Haply I may remember,
        And haply may forget.

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    Christina Rossetti was my main inspiration for taking up poetry in 1972. This poem was a standout to me. I have 3 self-published books of poetry that I put together. The third one, Poetry in...

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  7. 5. When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

    • By David Romano

    When Tomorrow Starts Without Me" is a heartfelt poem that aims to comfort and console those who will be left behind after the their death. The poet expresses their love and concern for their loved ones, and reassures them that they will be with God in heaven. The poem uses simple and moving language to convey its message of hope and comfort, and the use of rhyme and repetition helps to reinforce the emotional impact of the poem. It serves as a reminder that death is a natural part of life, and that the memories of those we love will always be with us.

    in Famous Death Poems

    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 you wouldn’t cry
    The way you did today
    While thinking of the many things
    We did not get to say

    I know how much you love me
    As much as I love you
    Each time that you think of me
    I know you will miss me too

    When tomorrow starts with out me
    Please try to understand
    That an angel came and called my name
    And took me by the hand

    The angel said my place was ready
    In heaven far above
    And that I would have to leave behind
    All those I dearly love

    But when I walked through Heaven’s Gates
    I felt so much at home
    When God looked down and smiled at me
    From his golden throne

    He said this is eternity
    And all I promised you
    Today for life on earth is done
    But here it starts a new

    I promise no tomorrow
    For today will always last
    And since each day’s the exact same way
    There is no longing for the past

    So when tomorrow starts without me
    Do not think we’re apart
    For every time you think of me
    Remember I’m right here in your heart

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  8. 6. My Wish For You

    • By Debra Chesnoff
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems March 2011 with the permission of the Author.

    This poem was written for a very dear family friend. She was diagnosed with lung cancer and was told that she had only several months to live. I wanted her to know how I felt and how much she meant to me. When I finished the poem, I gave it to her to read. Just a few months later, she passed. I was asked to read it at her funeral. I was able to share it with all her family and friends.

    in Loss of a Friend Poems

    I wish I could give you many more years.
    I wish I could erase away all of your tears.

    I want to take away all of your pain.
    I want to give you sunshine in the rain.

    May each new day be a perfect gift. 
    May love surround you, may your spirits lift.

    If someone had to describe you, so many words come to mind.
    Beauty and grace, a heart so kind.

    You radiate warmth like a blazing fire.
    You are courage and wisdom. You truly inspire.

    You attract like a magnet beautiful things.
    You sparkle and shine like a diamond ring.

    You light up a room when you walk in.
    If someone feels sad, you can make them grin.

    You are elegant and charming. You know right from wrong.
    You are the melody from a beautiful love song.

    You are a breath of fresh air on a hot summer's night.
    When there is darkness, you turn on the light.

    I do not want these words to make you cry.
    I do not want to ever say goodbye.

    I believe miracles really do come true.
    No one deserves one more than you.

    Please know how many lives you touch.
    These words are my present. You are loved so much.

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  9. 7. The Celebration Of Your Life

    This poem is about losing someone very close to you and going to services and discovering how many lives that person touched outside of those you knew and coming together to pay your last respects.

    in Loss of a Friend Poems

    We are here to celebrate your life
    And the measure of its worth
    And every single life you touched
    While you were on this earth.
    We wish to pay our last respects.
    That's why we are all here,
    To thank you for your friendship
    And all the memories we hold dear.
    It's been a privilege to have known you.
    We were family, not just friends,
    And we will carry you in spirit
    Until we meet up once again.

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  10. 8. Farewell My Friend

    A Farewell Poem. Carol was my best friend from first grade right through our golden years. We shared many happy times and many sad times. She was the best friend that I have ever had, and I wrote this poem for her family. I will never forget Carol - she was a wonderful friend.

    in Loss of a Friend Poems

    Farewell my friend, you're leaving.
    It's time for you to go.
    Your friendship was a blessing,
    And I will miss you so.
    We shared so many secrets.
    You brightened up my days.
    You brought me so much happiness
    With your kind and loving ways.
    You lifted up my spirits
    When I was feeling blue.
    No matter what was happening,
    You knew just what to do.
    We ran between the raindrops
    And walked beneath the sun,
    Ran barefoot in the summertime,
    And oh, we had such fun.
    Through all the ups and downs of life
    The good times and the sad,
    From high school days to golden years,
    The best friend I ever had.
    God is here to take you home.
    Now you and I must part.
    I love you, and forever
    You will live within my heart.

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    On MAY 9, 2017, around 04:00 in early hours of the morning heaven couldn't wait for Lindo. May 8th is my birthday. I celebrated it all by myself and planned that on the coming weekend Lindo...

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  11. 9. Requiem

    In this short and powerful poem, Robert Louis Stevenson's writes from the perspective of the deceased who calmly faces death with peace and contentment. The poem's message is one of comfort and acceptance, viewing death as a return home. It can serve as a touching tribute and funeral reading for families whose loved one have lived a full and complete life. The poem's use of imagery and metaphor reinforces the theme of death as a journey and offers comfort to those who are grieving.

    in Famous Death Poems

    Under the wide and starry sky,
        Dig the grave and let me lie.
    Glad did I live and gladly die,
        And I laid me down with a will.

    This be the verse you grave for me:
        Here he lies where he longed to be;
    Home is the sailor, home from sea,
        And the hunter home from the hill.

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  12. 10. MaryAnn's Eternal Garden

    • By Sherry Rockhill
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems February 2014 with the permission of the Author.

    I wrote this poem for my very special friend MaryAnn who lost her battle with cancer on 4/28/12. She was so full of life and always there to help anyone who was in need. The mornings of our birthdays and holidays would start with a phone call from MaryAnn and Bobby singing us a song - Happy Birthday, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, and even Here Comes Peter Cottontail :) No day will ever be the same without her here -- can't wait to see her garden!

    in Loss of a Friend Poems

    You can no longer see me, but please know that I am there 
    I am the flowers in the garden, I am the wind beneath your hair
    The memories that I left behind, shall forever be with you 
    As for me I am in heaven now, where my life will start anew

    No longer do I suffer 
    No longer do I feel pain 
    I'm at peace watching you from heaven now
    Until we meet again 

    I have always loved my flowers 
    With nature I was one 
    My flowers are in heaven now
    As my time on Earth is done

    I am planting my roses in heaven
    My lilies and daisies too
    For I want my garden to be perfect
    On the day God calls for you

    When you walk through the gates of Heaven 
    I will take you by the hand
    And lead you to my eternal garden 
    Where we will shall never part again!

    Poem In Memory Of A Special Friend, MaryAnn's Eternal Garden

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  13. 11. Dear Friend

    • By Stephanie Solis
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems March 2015 with the permission of the Author.

    My friend Nick passed away a few days ago. He was an awesome person with such an incredible personality. The cause of death is still undetermined, although some speculate that he took his own life. His family is keeping everything silent, so writing this poem was a grieving process that I went through. I wish I could have told him how much I valued his friendship; I wish I could have seen the pain he was hiding inside. I just wish I could have been there to stop him, if the speculations are true.

    in Loss of a Friend Poems

    Today is the day you will be laid to rest,
    But you know what they say,
    God only takes the best.
    Everything happens for a reason,
    Even if we may not agree.
    Just promise to look after us,
    And if you can,
    Save a spot up there for me.
    The thought of never seeing you again brings tears to my eyes,
    And even more so,
    Because all of this was such a surprise.
    But we should never question what God has planned.
    Sometimes it's not meant for us to understand.
    So as we sit here and mourn the loss of a beloved friend,
    We have to keep telling ourselves that we will meet again.

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    I lost a dear friend and very close colleague of mine during the Easter Break precisely April 25, 2019 (Easter Sunday) in a ghastly motor accident while visiting family at country home....

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  14. 12. My Little Butterfly

    • By Barbara Ann Rogers
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems January 2009 with the permission of the Author.

    My Little Butterfly was written the night of the day my boss, who was a good friend of mine died from a brain aneurysm. The doctors said she had born with it and she never knew it was there. It was a time bomb waiting to go off. She had been in our office that day and was getting ready to attend a meeting. She was humming and laughing as she always did. The poem is word for word what came to me that night. I had to rush to get a pen and paper. I had never written anything before this poem.

    in Loss of a Friend Poems

    Today a little butterfly flew by me.
    I thought to myself where have you been little butterfly.
    You come into this world as a cocoon all by yourself and blossom into
    this beautiful butterfly and fly off to see the world.
    What you don't realize little butterfly as you flutter through your days
    is how you touch those around you in your soft gentle way.
    You don't even realize the wonder and awe you create around you.
    she fluttered her wings toward me as if she was waving good-by as she
    headed towards the horizon.
    She looked very happy and content as she went on her way, as if to say
    to me "Don't worry I'll be okay".
    I was sad to see her go for she had touched my heart in such a way that
    I knew my life would never be the same.
    She had left an imprint of all the beauty life has to offer.
    I knew each time I looked at another butterfly or horizon I would
    remember our moment in time when it was only her and I.
    I knew I would be a better person all because this little butterfly flew by
    me one bright sunny day.

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    On August 7, 2004, my darling daughter Lisa and her friend, was instantly killed in a car accident, by a guy driving over 130 mph. She was a very special type of a person. She volunteered her...

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