Thanks again guys. Beautiful moving stuff. I should have specified that this is a non-traditional, non-religious funeral. There will be no minister and the only religious reading is the 23rd psalm. This is per the deceased instructions.
So the secular readings and poems are more of what we were looking for.
When my grandmother passed away, I read a poem of Harriet Beecher Stowe's, "The Other World". I chose Stowe for my grandmother because I think they would have approved of each other :) but this is a beautiful poem. I googled it but for some reason can't cut & paste the text, but here's a link:
Originally Posted by queenb
I've always loved that poem, queenb. I first discovered it as a teenager when my grandfather died. The first real loss I'd ever experienced. It was comforting to me.
I've heard "The Dance" and "Tears in Heaven" played at funerals before. Both are pretty emotional for me to hear to this day because of those memories.
This is another poem that I've always thought was pretty cool. More appropriate for a women, though.
I'm sorry for your loss, rosiedog :grouphug
"She Dwelt Among Untrodden Ways"
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:
A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
---Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!- William Wordsworth
I've always thought this W.H. Auden one was stark and moving.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever; I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood,
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
W. H. Auden
Lucy, that's the one I was going to suggest. I knew it before Four Weddings and a Funeral, but now I can only hear it in John Hannah's lovely Scottish brogue. Always makes me cry.
MRD, I'm sorry for your loss :(
myrosiedog - I am sorry for your loss. From reading your posts, I think your friend is fortunate to have you as a friend. I am sure you will find the best reading, from your heart.
JLuvs - On Eagle' Wings is a beautiful hymn. My best friend sang it at my dad's funeral several years ago. I get teary just hearing it.
misskitty - I've been reading your poem. I know you intended it for myrosiedog, but I am keeping that one close to my heart right now.
Thank you anemone. Please let us know if we can do anything for you. :grouphug Whatever you're going through.
Originally Posted by anemone
One of my best friends died the summer after our high school graduation, and this poem is one that always makes me think of her. There are a few variations out there, but this is my favorite. I'm sorry for your loss, MRD.
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.
Oh, the reading from 4 weddings and a funeral is always so sad.
Actually while good reading, these are all so sad.
AGain, thank you all for your suggestions.
We are trying not to do sad as its really being called a Celebration of LIfe and not a memorial or funeral. Everything about the day is geared to a tribute to him and not a sad occasion.
They are having a huge party afterwards which is what he wanted and the grocery store he worked for is donating all the food.
Everyone is to wear Buccaneer's shirts as that was his FAVORITE team.
Even the songs are not sad songs, but songs he loved.
We did find a reading that I posted upthread because he loved New Orleans and that reading isn't real sad. His wife said that would be perfect for him.
I have been to several celebrations of life and I really prefer them to regular funerals. We did that for my parents, had a Celebration of their life.
That is what I want too. Too many times the funeral itself seems to make things worse with its solemness and the way the minister conducts it.
This is going to be a time for people to share stories about him and the family wants laughter not tears and I'm all for that.
He was a very happy person and liked to make others happy and he told us before he died he didn't want a regular funeral, but one that made everyone happy. And that is what we are striving for.
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