Famous Death Poem

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep By Mary Elizabeth Frye

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.

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This was left in my mom's belongings and found when she passed away in 1986. I love this poem!

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Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

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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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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • by Beth Mayhew
  • 1 week ago

This was left in my mom's belongings and found when she passed away in 1986. I love this poem!

  • by Karen Palmer
  • 1 month ago

I had this read at the gravesite of my daughter, 26, and granddaughter, 5 months. They were victims of a drunk driver and the people were devastated. I wanted this to be the only thing done at the grave-site. It gave me great comfort. It still gives me comfort 21 years later.

  • by Allan Hirsch
  • 2 months ago

I first discovered this poem when I was searching amongst anonymous poems on the internet. I wanted to include it in a song I wrote, which was a kind of prayer. It was meant to be an answer to the struggle a painter was having understanding or coming to find peace with death. I later discovered this is an extremely popular poem written by Mary Elizabeth Frye. It is a wonder that so much could be said, so much love and compassion could be expressed in just a few words.

  • by Muhamad Shaaban
  • 2 months ago

When Mr. Lee Kuan Yew- the first prime minister of Singapore (my home country)- passed away, the principal of my school read this poem during the morning assembly as a farewell to him. It had touched me because I had learned in history classes how he had shaped said country into what it is today.

  • by Rneloma
  • 2 months ago

I have always loved this poem. When I die, I want my ashes to be sprinkled over the ocean and the rainforest in my country. Hence, I can truly relate to this poem.

  • by Brian Tulloch
  • 4 months ago

I found this lovely poem on a gravestone while jogging through a Seattle cemetery near my son's house. It was in a cluster of graves of younger folk from the mid-80's, which had to be part of the City's AIDS fallen. Hindu culture believes in reincarnation to life's many forms, and this offering expresses that belief in a more universally relevant form. I cannot read it with dry eyes.

  • by John Johnson
  • 5 months ago

I read the poem at my brother's 20th anniversary in 2014.....where his ashes were scattered off the coast of Barna, Galway, Ireland.

  • by William Sadoski Jr.
  • 5 months ago

On January 31, 1995, this poem appeared in the Dear Abby column of the Orlando (Florida) Sentinel. Always liking poetry. I read this to my Father at the breakfast table shortly after 7:00 a.m. My father passed away around 8:00 that Tuesday morning. This poem has comforted me so many times over the years.

  • by Dottie Rigsby
  • 6 months ago

This poem is a classic because it provides a link to a loved one who has died. For me, the sudden loss of my mom was unbearable. It's difficult to be forced to give up someone you are very close to. And also who has been taken away suddenly. So I kept searching for something that would help me to stay connected to my Mom. This poem was it.

  • by Louise Goldberg Friend
  • 6 months ago

What makes Mary Roger's poem a "classic" is that it has a life of its own that is more powerful than time or space or distance. It lives on inside the heart/soul and mediated between life and death in the most gentle way.

  • by Dottie Rigsby
  • 6 months ago

My mom died in May 1965, when I was 18 years old. Her death devastated me. When I first heard this poem, it touched me, and I almost felt it had been written for me. It helps me because I still mourn losing my Mom, 52 years later.

  • by Susan Ruck
  • 6 months ago

I first read this poem when I was reading Gill Ireland's book. She lost her son, and this was read at his funeral. I have never forgotten it. I found out today that my neighbor’s little dog of 14 years passed away yesterday. She is devastated. I, too, have lost pets, and every time you lose one, you lose part of your own soul. I thought of this poem, so I found a card that I still had with puppies on it, printed out the poem, and placed it in the card. A poem can say what you would like to say, when you don't know quite how.

  • by Lily
  • 9 months ago

I lost my best friend in an accident when I was 12. I've wanted to get over it now that it's been 3 years, but no one even knows what he was to me. Now I have decided this grieving stuff wouldn't be what he'd want. This poem helped!

  • by Zahra Raza
  • 1 year ago

I am almost twelve and my mom told me a few months ago because she probably thought that I was grown up enough to know this...she told me there could have been another sister of hers, but she didn't survive; she died in my grandmom.

  • by LeChel
  • 1 year ago

Beautiful. My biggest loss came 13 years ago. Seems like yesterday. Everything turned a hazy shade of gray and I just couldn't see the sun shine. Reading over the comments of so many lost loved ones, even your own children, makes me cry because you've been there. It will lighten up in time. This poem helps as you will begin to stop and feel the rain,and watch the birds, and the gentle breeze feels like your loved one walking beside you. EXCELLENT JOB. I wish I could have told Mary Elizabeth Frye that on July 9,2004 in the small town of Silo,Oklahoma, a 9 year old girl tapped her mom on the knee while sitting in the pew of that tiny church. She held her head a little sideways and pointed to her blond hair, blowing as if in a gentle breeze and whispered, "Mom! There's no wind in here!" Then ran her fingers under the line, "I am a thousand winds that blow".

  • by Carol Snow
  • 1 year ago

It's what we want to believe. We don't cry because our loved one is dead, we cry because we won't ever see or talk to them again and we will miss them. We are crying for ourselves. Someone sent me this poem in a sympathy card when my daughter died 46 years ago. I can still recite it by heart and that is why it is a classic, it speaks to our hearts and tells us what we want to hear. Our loved one is not really dead.

  • by Sina Ngoepe
  • 1 year ago

I recently lost a friend. I can't believe he is gone. I thought it was just a prank. I still can't get over the loss. He died at age 26. He was a beautiful soul. Reading this poem made me feel better knowing that he is out there watching over us. I will always love him.. He will forever be in my heart. May your soul rest in peace Rick.

  • by David Jones
  • 1 year ago

My close friend Peter, who lived in Germany, died suddenly from a heart attack. His family were naturally grieving heavily. I was unable to attend his funeral, so instead sent a blank card into which I had copied this poem, which I love dearly. My friend's daughter, Christine, translated the poem into German at the funeral and she said that it brought great comfort to those assembled and to Peter's widow, Ute. Thank you for this.

  • by Rupert, Republic Of South Africa, Johannesburg
  • 1 year ago

I lost my Aunt exactly 1 year ago, it was so painful , she was close to my heart. I recited the poem during her funeral with utmost reverence. This poem is full of character and emotions. Eternal rest grant unto her O'Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. Amen

  • by Emily Lovingood, NC
  • 1 year ago

On 12/09/15, I was sitting in Applebee's waiting for my food . A friend walked up to my table and said your 2 friends Stone and Zeb were in a car accident and one is dead but they don't know who..... 5 minutes later the same person came back and said Stone died and Zeb is badly hurt... Here I am a 16 year old girl crying her eyes out cause I just lost a friend in a car crash; almost two.. the day before Stone's funeral this poem showed on my news feed on Facebook and it honestly made me feel so much better, knowing he is in a better place with the lord and that he wouldn't want us to cry. I miss you Stone. Forever in my heart.

  • by Jennifer Oliver, South Africa
  • 2 years ago

My fourteen year old daughter was killed in an accident less than two weeks ago. Last night I was just browsing on my laptop to pass the time and found this poem that I bookmarked sometime in the past. It made me cry but also comforted me because that is exactly what Caitlyn would tell me.

  • by Chloe Jones, UK
  • 2 years ago

I was nine when my mum died; she had been fighting cancer for years and none of us kids even knew. She was one of the kindest and most compassionate people I have, and probably will ever meet. My auntie read her own poem about my mum and then she read this one. I didn't really appreciate the poem at the time, but quite recently my auntie gave me my memory box ( a box of the four she made for each of us, myself and my siblings, that contained mementos that would remind us of our mum). Inside it, along side other things, was a book. It was a copy of a version of this poem illustrated by Paul Saunders, and the first time I read it it brought me to tears. Thank you for such a beautiful poem that I will now cherish always.

  • by Anonymous, CA
  • 2 years ago

I had heard that a close friend of mine died in the newspaper. She was so nice, but her condition got to the better of her. I found this poem soon after, and literally the second I read it I felt so, so, SO much better. It heals the heart, and now that heavy weight that's been on my heart since her and my grandparent's passing has lost some pounds. Such a beautiful poem Bless you, Mary!

  • by Georgina, Hertfordshire
  • 2 years ago

My baby boy was stillborn in October last year. I miss him every day. This poem reminds me that he will always be with me.

  • by Jessica, United States
  • 2 years ago

I am young but have experienced a lot of death, 24 since I was 10. Cancer, car accidents (their fault and others), suicide, and murder. This poem helped me so much. Thank you to the person who wrote it. Thank you so much for helping myself and so many others heal.

  • by Georgina Baker, Manchester England.
  • 2 years ago

This was read out at my dad's funeral, he was 49 and died suddenly of a heart attack.

  • by Sandra New Hampshire
  • 2 years ago

I read this at my 16 yr old .... Andrea Lee funeral Mass. In 1995

  • by Dan Harazin, Bridgman Michigan
  • 2 years ago

Last December, I received a call from one of my football teammates that a coach of ours was in the hospital. I didn't know the severity or extent of what was going on. But when I got there, my friend looked me in the eye and said "He's gone". I was extremely close with this particular coach, we were workout partners and genuine friends. I was in complete shock. When is sat down in the waiting room chair, I remembered this poem, or something like it. So I immediately looked it up and began reading it. I sat in that chair for at least an hour waiting for something to happen, and I read this poem at least 20 times. It's a beautiful work. Rest in peace Coach.

  • by Tina Kadir, London
  • 3 years ago

I read this poem at my brothers funeral. I still feel him sometimes so this poem was a good example of eternal love.

  • by Cheryl Chapman Kent
  • 3 years ago

My sister read this poem at my husband funeral service.

  • by Kailee Kunz
  • 4 years ago

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.

  • by Donna Thornburg, California
  • 5 years ago

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

  • by Sharon Cornell Elkton
  • 7 years ago

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

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