Poetry can bring comfort at the most difficult of times and there are many resources available for anyone looking for a fitting tribute to a loved one.
There are several websites which feature a selection of bereavement poems:
There are also several books available:
The Picador Book of Funeral Poems by Don Paterson
“These poems, drawn from many different ages and cultures, remind us that the experience of parting is a timelessly human one: however alone the loss of a loved one leaves us, our mourning is also something that deeply unites us; these poems of parting and passing, of sorrow and healing, will find a deep echo within those who find themselves dealing with grief or bereavement. Whatever our loss, it is assuaged in finding a voice – and whether that voice is one of private remembrance or public memorial, The Picador Book of Funeral Poems will help you towards it.” https://www.amazon.co.uk/Picador-Book-Funeral-Poems/dp/0330456873
Poems and Readings for Funerals by Julia Watson
“As more and more secular funerals are taking place, there is a need for appropriate texts. The Poet Laureate spoke recently of the importance of ‘epitaphs’ for people: poems or songs which commemorate their lives. Actress Julia Watson, married to the poet David Harsent, was confronted with the issue when her father died, and the result is this inspiring collection of 70 poems and prose extracts suitable for reading at funerals and celebrations of a life. The selections range from Shakespeare to Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee Nation, from Christina Rossetti to St Francis of Assissi, and included are some very short pieces which could be printed on an order of service.”
Complete Book of Funeral Planning, Readings and Music by R Johnstone-Burt
To find the right words to use and right music to play is so difficult at certain times in life… There are few times when this is more true than when a loved one dies. When death comes, we want to find readings and music that most accurately express our thoughts and feelings. Whether they are for a parent, child, partner or best friend, you will find them in this invaluable book. There is great variety in the style and content of funerals as well as choice about where they take place and everything is covered here. Above all we want this final farewell to be the best we can arrange as an occasion for both reflection and remembrance. This book has been designed to help you make arrangements for yourself or another. You will find here a clear and informative resource to help you deal with both the practical and emotional issues that surround death.
Do Not Go Gentle: poems for funerals: Funeral Poems by Neil Astley
This volume of poetry provides a collection of funeral poems, appropriate for reading at a funeral or memorial service.