Here is an on-going scrapbook of verses or readings which have worked well.
Many are used regularly.
She Is Gone
You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she’s gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she would want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
I have been pleased to unearth particular poems for difficult situations.
This, by Colin McNaughton, concluded a funeral to a head teacher, who had devoted her life to the education of small children in quite deprived areas.
Lack of grease.
“Rust in peace.”
This, by UA Fanthorpe, stands as a beautiful testament to what ‘loving’ someone means in real life. It was used at the funeral of someone who had been lost to his family for many years, through early on-set dementia. They had all struggled with the effort of caring for him. This poem gave appreciation and worth to their years of dull, self-sacrifice.
There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;
Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;
Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists
And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds
The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.
And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dry rotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.