Famous Death Poem

This famous poem by Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959) has been bringing comfort to grief stricken parents for years. Guest himself suffered the loss of two of his children. A Child of Mine is a popular poem to read at funerals of children. To lose a child is one of life's most awful experiences. Focusing on the gift of your few years together can bring a measure of comfort.

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I lost my 13-year-old son to Huntington's Disease 15 years ago, and I remember before he passed, I whispered in his ear that it was okay to go and I promised him Mommy would be all right....

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A Child Of Mine

Edgar Guest By more Edgar Guest

I will lend you, for a little time,
A child of mine, He said.
For you to love the while he lives,
And mourn for when he's dead.
It may be six or seven years,
Or twenty-two or three.
But will you, till I call him back,
Take care of him for Me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you,
And should his stay be brief.
You'll have his lovely memories,
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught down there,
I want this child to learn.
I've looked the wide world over,
In search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love,
Nor think the labour vain.
Nor hate me when I come
To take him home again?
I fancied that I heard them say,
'Dear Lord, Thy will be done!'
For all the joys Thy child shall bring,
The risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness,
We'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for him,
Much sooner than we've planned.
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand.



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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Delores Devree by Delores Devree
  • 3 weeks ago

I lost my oldest son last year in July. He was only 32 years old. I was supposed to meet him for breakfast that morning, but his coworkers found him dead in his bed from an accidental overdose of heroine laced with fentanyl. It was a week before my birthday. My family was shocked. We had no idea he did drugs. My ex-husband gave me this poem after we buried our son. It meant the world to me.

  • Lisa Delias Tugmon by Lisa Delias Tugmon
  • 2 months ago

I lost my 13-year-old son to Huntington's Disease 15 years ago, and I remember before he passed, I whispered in his ear that it was okay to go and I promised him Mommy would be all right. Well, that was a promise I fought hard to keep I hated God. I hated everyone. It took me almost losing my other son at 28 to sudden cardiac death to believe again. It took them 6 minutes to bring him back. Now he has a defibrillator, and I worry all the time since he is a habitual drug user. If I lost him too, I don't think I could continue to live. Every single day for 15 years I struggled to wake up, but I have to keep going for my 3 other kids. Losing a child is so hard, and no mother should ever have to hand their child over to a funeral director and watch them walk away with your heart in their hands. God bless everyone who has lost a child too soon!

  • Hilda by Hilda
  • 3 months ago

My son died 28 years ago from cystic fibrosis. I hated God for taking him. I thought I did something wrong, but when I lost my other son 22 years ago I really didn't believe there was a God. I wanted to kill myself. There was no reason to live, but somehow I made it through with the help of my loving husband, and I turned to God for help. He was there for me and gave me another son who is 19 years old, and he is my miracle baby.

  • Lisa Delias Tugmon by Lisa Delias Tugmon
  • 2 months ago

I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my son 15 years ago when he was 13, and I swear I hated God too for taking him from me. It took me a long time to believe again. My other son suffered a cardiac arrest at 28 and after they brought him back, he had to have a defibrillator placed. At that point I knew there had to be a God because he gave my son back to me. I honestly don't know if I could live if I lost another one of my children. God bless you and your family!

  • Karlar by Karlar
  • 5 months ago

When my son died twenty eight years ago part of my soul was gone. As much as everyone tries to console you, nothing seems to help. I was so mad at God for taking my child from me. A few weeks after my son was buried, I received a card with this poem. At first I didn't appreciate the value it held. After reading over and over again, it took away my bitterness and allowed me to grieve instead of being so mad! I still have the poem and read it on tough days. My hope is that every parent that lost their child keeps this poem nearby; it does help. God bless!

  • Sue Russell by Sue Russell
  • 11 months ago

I lost my daughter on Valentine’s Day 1986. She was 6 months old. I have been haunted in my dreams ever since. I wake screaming or crying and cannot be consoled. It's 2018 and it feels like yesterday. But not long after the funeral, I came back to where I lived to get the mail. In amongst the letters there was a piece of folded yellow paper. When I opened it, someone had lovingly written this poem down for me. I do not know who took the time to do this for me. I still have it put away with the cards. I thank the person who did that for me.

  • Shirley Hardy by Shirley Hardy
  • 1 year ago

This poem arrived on our son Brian's 45th birthday. He died when he was 15. We can't say how much the written word can heal and make total grief less painful. We miss his beautiful smile, his wit and intelligence every single day. I know I will see him again someday, of that I'm sure. He makes his presence known to us at times; that's how strong our love is. Lovely poem and thank you, Edgar Guest, for your heartfelt words...

  • Amympr by Amympr
  • 1 year ago

This poem means so much to me as a mother. I lost my baby boy when he was only a week and a day old in the hospital. I read this poem at his funeral. This poem was supporting me as I was reading it out. The words are so true and so beautiful.

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