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 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...

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A Child Of Mine

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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!
  • by Sue Russell
  • 1 month 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.

  • by Shirley Hardy
  • 4 months 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...

  • by Amympr
  • 9 months 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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