Famous Death Poem

Death Is Nothing At All By Henry Scott-Holland

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.

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My cousin sent me this poem after my beloved fifteen year old cat passed years ago. It brought so much comfort, reiterating what I believed to be true. I do grieve deeply when loss comes,...

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Death Is Nothing At All

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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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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • by Diana Fortinberry
  • 1 month ago

My cousin sent me this poem after my beloved fifteen year old cat passed years ago. It brought so much comfort, reiterating what I believed to be true.
I do grieve deeply when loss comes, still, but I read this poem again and feel better. I send it out to friends when they experience deep loss. It always comforts them.

  • by Kevin Da Poet, Durban,DBN
  • 2 months ago

Wow, this poem gave me the new idea about death. I no longer fear death, but I'm actually waiting for that day to see the loved ones I lost.

  • by Allison Mackley
  • 3 months ago

I read this at my little brother's visitation. I felt this is what he would have told me to comfort me had it been someone else I had lost...They are just waiting for you sis, somewhere close by... I'll miss you for the rest of my life, Will. Until we are together again...

  • by Lisa
  • 3 months ago

I will read this poem at the memorial of my late brother who passed away recently. I know that this is how he would feel. I look forward to the time when we meet again. Heartbroken.

  • by Ginny Riley
  • 4 months ago

I read this poem at the funeral of my mother in 2008. The poem brought me enormous comfort and it still brings tears to my eyes when I read it. I believe the poet was dying of cancer as he wrote it and was so brave as he comforted his loved ones. There is a strong religious message, although he does not refer directly to God. I love the warmth, humor, and intimacy, yet it is as though he is speaking from the grave. The poem is optimistic, yet it captures the sense of surrealism one feels when one is bereaved. The poet faced his own mortality and people have continued to identify strongly with what he was able to express so bravely about love, which does not end with death.

  • by Irene
  • 4 months ago

My last born brother died through a road accident on 16th July 2016. He died before getting to the hospital. We didn't get to say our goodbyes. Not saying our goodbyes was the hardest for me...I don't know if he'd lived long enough for us to say goodbye would have made a difference. I felt overwhelming sadness, like I was drowning in grief. During his funeral my elder brother read this poem and it gave me so much comfort. "How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again." I wait for that day when I shall laugh with him again.

  • by Sue Van Eyck
  • 5 months ago

I read this poem at my sister's funeral 10 years ago. The pain of losing her was overwhelming, yet I was so grateful God had called her home. She was free and would suffer no more. I've read this poem many times since she passed; it's given me some comfort. My heart goes out to those of you who are grieving the loss of a loved one. It's one of the most difficult paths we walk in this life. Give your pain to God and lean on Him. He will never forsake you. May He hold you in the palm of his hand and grant you peace.

  • by Chris Fisher
  • 5 months ago

Mike and I met in 1978 and lived and loved each other and on the date 10/11/13 we were lawfully joined in marriage. The law of the land finally allowed it to be. We were happy in love and lived to the fullest. But then on 7/7/15 we got the word; the spot on the lung was cancer. Everything in life stopped for us except the time we spent trying to get ahead of the cancer. Leaving our home for temporary quarters near the treatment center for 7 weeks was not a move we wanted to make, but life offered no other choice for us. Daily radiation and 4 massive chemo treatments was the plan. As if it were not enough for my Mike to endure, he suffered a stroke on 6/27/16. A week in the hospital and 5 weeks of PT brought about little or no improvement. I moved him home and saw to his needs daily for five weeks. The best gift Michael gave to me was entrusting his care to me. My beloved Michael became of angel of God's on 9/3/16. This poem brings me hope for an eternal reunion when my day comes.

  • by Alison
  • 5 months ago

Dear Chris,
Thank you for sharing your very sweet love story. Mike the Angel --your Angel--is for sure with you always. What a blessing to have such love in your life. I have many angels in heaven and get lonely for them, but then I hear a story like yours and my hope is renewed, and I know they are always with me. I completely understand your comment about the honor of taking care of your loved one. It is a gift. I had many of these moments with my mother and it changed us both forever. There is this trust and bond that's simply there. It changes how we live in the world. Hold tight to that, and know that even as Mike was a blessing to you, YOU were his blessing, and that does not change. Love never dies. It is always with us and changes us forever. Peace and blessings. Thank you again for being brave and generous and sharing your story.

  • by Maria P
  • 5 months ago

My heart aches for you. I hope you will meet again. I, too, hold onto that thought.

  • by Sue
  • 7 months ago

I just read this poem yesterday and was so moved that I made a copy to carry in my wallet. My husband Rick, the love of my life, passed away suddenly this past October. We had been married 27-1/2 years, but it feels as if that time together was just a blink of an eye. I draw comfort in the thoughts of this poem - that death is nothing; he is just around the corner, in another room, waiting for the time for us to be together again. Still, it makes me so sad that I cannot read this poem without weeping.

  • by Antonio
  • 7 months ago

Hello Sue,
I just read your comment and had to reply. My family is going through the same sudden shock too. My father passed away on February 5th suddenly and unexpectedly. He was only 65 and had no sign of illness. Two weeks have passed and I still cannot believe it. How do I go on with my life now that it has fundamentally changed? This poem also brings me comfort knowing I will see him again, and what we were on earth, we shall be once more in the next life. I hope you have the support of family and loved ones helping you, as I know I will need mine helping me.

  • by Susan Dollhopf
  • 8 months ago

I had this poem read at the cemetery for my husband who passed away unexpectedly on Labor Day.

  • by Charlene Manning
  • 8 months ago

I enclose this "poem" with every sympathy card I send and advise that these are the most soothing words I have ever heard at such a sad time of loss. Recipients all agree!

  • by Chris Fisher
  • 5 months ago

Charlene, thanks for sharing that you enclose this poem with every sympathy card. I am going to start doing the same, as it brings me comfort with the passing of my husband.

  • by Susan Foster
  • 9 months ago

My dad died suddenly on the 11th of December. It's still not settled in. I keep rereading this poem to anchor my mind and heart.

  • by Ruth Robinson
  • 9 months ago

Our family suffered an unexpected great loss on 12/8/16. My great nephew Christopher Alexander was taken home. He was only 24 yrs old. He leaves behind a devastated mother, stepfather, brothers, grandmother, niece, nephew, aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends. He could light up a dark room with his smile. He was very loving and caring. He had a great sense of humor. He loved everyone, and everyone loved him. He will be missed dearly. It is not easy, but we are trying to cope with it. Our family is scattered all around the USA. I know he is watching over his family and friends. He would not want us to grieve for him. That is easier said than done. Hopefully this poem will help.

  • by Sody Ezekiel-Hart
  • 9 months ago

I've only recently lost my dad on Dec. 5, 2016. I lost my hero, my dad, and a dear friend. It's too difficult to put into words all my feelings. I feel so much sadness because I wasn't given the chance to say, "Thank you, Daddy," just one last time. I feel exceptionally blessed and proud to have had a dad who for the last 30 years suffered from Parkinson's disease. He never made me feel any less worthy than those whose fathers were well and able. From his sick bed, even when at times it was impossible to speak, he provided for his wife and seven kids. He never complained or grumbled despite his plight and always said please and thank you. I remember a time when, instead of my mum, I gave him a bath. He apologized for the inconvenience! What a great man.

Dad, as you go to join our creator, I take consolation that our creator has need of you more than I. You are loved by those you left behind and you will remain in my heart until we meet again. Your baby daughter, Sody.

  • by David
  • 1 year ago

A question has been asked, " What do you think makes this poem a classic?" What makes anything in life a classic, is that it's meaning or message stands the test of time. When we try to understand the death of the physical body with our minds, it shows in our physical bodies as sadness, depression, fatigue etc....When reading this poem we feel as if our loved ones are speaking to us and without a doubt they are smiling as we read it because this poem speaks to our eternal soul and wakes up the truth in all of us, we don't die! This realization that our loved ones are not dead comforts us and we just know the words in the poem are true. Understand we all have infinite wisdom and knowledge within us but before we incarnated into these bodies we agreed to let this knowledge lie dormant within the depths of our soul and we have to because if you knew everything while you were here this life would not be a challenge. Every time you read this poem for a brief moment you are living with your soul.

  • by Fran Ord
  • 11 months ago

The famous author, Catherine Marshall (To Live Again), lost her 43 year old husband when she was 33 and their son was 9. He was a preacher for the Senate and wrote sermons of which she drew her strength from. Quoting the Bible, she wrote, "The Spirit Never Dies," which led her to believe that her husband was alongside her as she made her way through the grief and moved forward while writing books based on his sermons. It's a must read for all who grieve because the knowledge of our loved ones' spiritual presence beside us helps immensely.

  • by Karen Zimmer
  • 1 year ago

My 105 years young mother left this poem for me to find, the day of her passing on February 16, 2016.
She knew I would need help in understanding it all. I read it every day and miss her still every minute.
Her bedroom was across the hallway, and I keep a night light on for her as I said I would, in the room around the corner.

  • by Monica
  • 1 year ago

I lost the man I thought I would marry one day, on 21 March 2016. Unbelief, grief, tremendous loneliness, regrets, things left unsaid, questions unanswered... Words of sympathy do not console, none who have not experienced such loss truly understand how I feel, I am alone in this grief.

I know him for only 2 years. Why had not I met him 20 years ago, I asked? Why? Oh how I wish to see him once more, to caress him again. Why did we have to run out time?

I miss him very much. I miss his deep, reassuring voice, his jokes, his stories about the countries he visited. So much that my heart experiences physical pain when I remember about him. Memories about him struck me anytime, anywhere. This restaurant we intended to go back to but never did. That quiet beach at the north of the island which we planned to visit together once. My tears would flow relentlessly...

This poem strikes the strings of my heart. Poignant, tender. I imagine him saying those words to me. I love you, Geoffrey.

  • by Rebecca
  • 1 year ago

Monica, I know your pain. I lost the man I was supposed to marry as well, in May. I also had only known him for two years. I miss him like I have been torn into pieces. We had so many plans and so many dreams that will never happen now. I cry for the things I have lost. His voice, his laughter, his hugs, his tender words..... I know that his heart will always beat in mine. I love and miss you John. You will never be forgotten.

  • by Soumyo
  • 1 year ago

Monica,
I can empathize with you. My dad had been snatched from me on 16th July when he had a massive cardiac arrest. I exactly know how you must be feeling when you are surrounded by the feeling of irreparable loss 24*7. My father passed away almost 6 years ago. Still there is not a single day when I don't think about him. But death is inevitable. Though sometimes it strikes faster than it should. Now why am I writing to you.. Because my birthday is on 21st March. It pains me to think that you had lost someone so close to you on my birthday!

  • by Michael O'Connell
  • 1 year ago

On 8/16/2015, the world lost a rare and wonderful individual when my nephew died at 26 years of age, after a 13 year long fight with Ewing's Sarcoma. For the last week of his life here on earth, family & friends gathered at Children's in Boston to express their love, to support each other & to say goodbye to Bryan Max. Early on during that brutal week I found this poem and read it repeatedly -often quoting portions to everyone from family to nurses to complete strangers. It helped me then and it helped many who were and, still are, trying to comprehend our loss. My sister asked me to read the poem at Bryan's funeral. Remembering to keep taking one breath at a time, I was able to do so. Bryan's path was shorter than he, and we, would have liked. But, it was his path, and he had to follow it. Now, it is up to us to ensure that he is always remembered, his passion for the arts is continuously supported and we all live up to our commitment to find a cure for cancer. Closer by the mile.

  • by Veronica Gardner, New Jersey
  • 1 year ago

The love of my life left this world on August 13, 2015 after almost 10 years of living with a grave disease. Romans 8:28 says
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
I have asked my Heavenly Father over and over again, how can losing my Scott work for my good? I have come to know that it is not for my good, but for the good of my beloved. In this I find some solace, but it has not healed my shattered heart. As Stephanie has said, 'the sadness of not being able to hold him or see him in the flesh is so strong' it overtakes me at times. I am blessed to have family and friends that are here each day to pray for me and I have Jesus to keep me from falling until I can again stand on my own. And then one day I will be united with him and others who have gone to be with the Lord in glory!

  • by Ernie D.
  • 1 year ago

Thank you, Veronica. I lost my precious daughter nine months ago. This pain is tremendous. At times numbing my soul. I'm a believer, so I know I will be reunited with my precious Enza! I miss her so much!! God bless!

  • by Dennis Preston
  • 1 year ago

My heart goes to you. Bless you dear. I know it is true that if no Christian ever lost a loved one how could empathy be had. It seems that God can trust you with his reputation. I see no bitterness. We have his word as quoted above but we do not have full understanding in this life.
You may feel that I mock your pain. Not so...I have never experienced anything remotely as devastating as you have.
I will offer only this:The theme of the Book of Job is "why do the righteous suffer?" They surely do suffer. There are Christians who have such a fine commitment to God that they will serve him and never forsake the Savior. You seem to be such a person.

  • by Andrea, Pa
  • 1 year ago

I also have lost my love, my "beloved one" David. March 2 it will be 1 year. As I was consumed in grief I remembered the scriptures from Isaiah 53:4, "Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows". I prayed Lord, if You already bore our grief, does it included the grief I'm experiencing with my love passing?? I began to cast the cares of my loss upon Him, and His love has brought strength where I have had pain. I pray that the Holy Spirit lift you up in the midst of your storm giving you peace that passes understanding, love that surpasses knowledge, and joy unspeakable.

  • by Stephanie Ferrara, New York, USA
  • 1 year ago

My soul mate died suddenly on June 9, 2015, at 33 years old. We were together for 13 years...we lived together since practically the day we met, we were best friends and as I mentioned - we were soul mates.

Chris dying is the single worse thing that has ever happened to me and ever will. I love this poem, and a lot of my friends and family have sent it to me. I talk to Chris out loud every day and when I ask him to show himself, he comes to me in my dreams. He has showed me many signs that he is still right here with me, however, the sadness of not being able to hold him or see him in the flesh is so strong that sometimes I don't know if I believe that he is still here with me.

I read this poem over and over again...and until the day I can finally be with Chris again, I have to hold on to this poem and try to believe that he is with me... Stephanie

  • by Sarah W UK
  • 1 year ago

Hello Stephanie

I feel your pain and understand what you are going through. I lost the love of my life on 21 June 1995, he was 24 years old. 21 years on and I still feel the pain and sadness. I have remarried and had two children but he is never far from my thoughts.

I think of him when I am driving to work and a song comes on the radio or watch an old movie on the TV; ironically "Ghost" was the last film we watched together.

Allow yourself to grieve and be sad. You must cry for what you have lost and cry for what you hoped would be.... the poem was on the back of my husbands funeral program. I used to read it all the time like you. One day I read it and I stopped and re read it and I saw it another way.... he was giving me permission to live my life and carry on without him. Remember him, talk about him and laugh at your old jokes and silly things you did together. Think of happy times and sad times but Stephanie, life carries on and so will you sweetheart. x

  • by Amanda Colson, Texas
  • 1 year ago

Stephanie,
I, too, lost the love of my life this year. On January 02, 2015 my 33 year old soulmate succumbed to lymphoma, only nine months after his diagnosis and after only 3 months being "sick". As our 5 year old so aptly put it, "Daddy was getting better..", and then he didn't...
My heart hurts for you, knowing all too well the ache of all you lost. Joe and I would have celebrated our 10 year anniversary in March; Every hour of every day is full of the things I wish I'd said, the things I wish we could share, and heavy with the loss of the years we were meant to spend together. This poem spoke to me as it did to you - it's a reminder that my Joe is still with me, out of sight but not gone from our lives....he's only slipped away into another room....

  • by Vanessa
  • 1 year ago

I just wanted you to know that I read your comment, and cannot imagine the grief and sorrow you are experiencing. I am sad and sorry to know you lost the love of your life.

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