Memorial poems to celebrate and remember a precious life.
Memorials give friends and family a chance to remember the life of their loved one, by sharing favorite memories and celebrating their life.
Memorial services tend to happen at a later time than the funeral. They are by no means easy for the bereaved, but they do tend to be a little lighter than funerals.
It is common for family members to show video tributes or to display pictures from all of the important events in their loved one’s life.
It is a way for the bereaved to celebrate, honor and cherish the life of their loved one. Memorial poetry can add a special touch to a memorial, whether it is read aloud or displayed next to photographs.
There are many poems on this site, most are listed under funeral poems. The memorial poems I’ve listed here that are more focused on celebrating a person’s life, you may also want to look under poems for a funeral service.
Not, How Did He Die, But How Did He Live?
Not how did he die, but how did he live?
Not what did he gain, but what did he give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.
Not, what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
But how many were sorry when he passed away.
I’d like the memory of me
to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an after glow
of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times
and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve,
to dry before the sun
of happy memories
that I leave when life is done
Untitled Memorial Poem
If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others, sore undone, who keep
Long vigils by the silent dust, and weep:
For my sake turn again to life, and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
Something to comfort weaker hearts than thine;
Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine,
And I, perchance, may therein comfort you.
Untitled Memorial Poem
When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many good years.
I gave you my love, and you can only guess
How much you’ve given me in happiness.
I thank you for the love that you have shown,
But now it is time I traveled on alone.
So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
That it is only for a while that we must part,
So treasure the memories within your heart.
I won’t be far away for life goes on.
And if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can’t see or touch me, I will be near
And if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear
All my love around you soft and clear
And then, when you come this way alone,
I’ll greet you with a smile and a “Welcome Home”.
When I Must Leave You
By Helen Steiner Rice
When I must leave you for a little while-
Please do not grieve and shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you through the years.
But start out bravely with a gallant smile;
And for my sake and in my name
Live on and do all things the same.
Feed not your loneliness on empty days,
But fill each waking hour in useful ways,
Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;
And never, never be afraid to die
For I am waiting for you in the sky!
Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Many Winters – by Nancy Wood
All my life is a dance.
When I was young and feeling the earth,
My steps were quick and easy.
The beat of the earth was so loud
That my drum was silent beside it.
All of my life rolled out from my feet
Like my land which had no end as far as I could see.
The rhythm of my life was pure and free.
As I grew older my feet kept dancing so hard
That I wore a spot in the earth.
At the same time I made a hole in the sky.
I danced to the sun and the rain and the moon lifted me up
So that I could dance to the stars.
My head touched the clouds sometimes
And my feet danced deep in the earth
So that I became the music I danced to everywhere
It was the music I dance to everywhere
It was the music of life.
Now my steps are slow and hard
And my body fails my spirit,
Yet my dance is still within me and
My song is the air I breathe.
My song insists that I keep dancing forever.
My song insists that I keep rhythm
With all of the earth and the sky.
My song insists that I will never die.
- Letters of Sympathy: An Easy Guide for Writing Sympathy Letters
- Memorial Verses