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Thread: Need a reading for a memorial service

  1. #11
    MRD is offline
    FORT Fogey MRD's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    somewhere resting
    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.
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
    (Who loves me will love my dog also)

  2. #12
    Anarchist AJane's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    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:

    All my life, I have felt destiny tugging at my sleeve.~ Thursday Next
    I don't want to "go with the flow". The flow just washes you down the drain. I want to fight the flow.- Henry Rollins
    All this spiritual talk is great and everything...but at the end of the day, there's nothing like a pair of skinny jeans. - Jillian Michaels

  3. #13
    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    On a Rocky Mountain High
    Quote Originally Posted by queenb View Post
    I remembered this from when my Granddaddy died...when I was 7 years old, which was 1967. I'm surprised I remembered enough of it to find online...

    I Can Not Say

    I cannot say, and I will not say
    That he is dead. He is just away.
    With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,
    He has wandered into an unknown land.
    And left us dreaming how very fair
    It needs must be since he lingers there.
    And you-O you, who the wildest yearn
    For the old-time step and the glad return-
    Think of him faring on, as dear
    In the love of there as the love of here;
    Think of him still as the same, I say;
    He is not dead - he is just away!

    by James Whitcomb Riley

    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.

    "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'm sorry for your loss, rosiedog
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

  4. #14
    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    Playing kickball for the beer
    I've always thought this W.H. Auden one was stark and moving.

    Funeral Blues

    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
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

  5. #15
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    Fangtasia - The Bar With Bite
    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
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  6. #16
    FORT Fanatic anemone's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    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.

  7. #17
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    In the Kat House in Kanada
    Quote Originally Posted by anemone
    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. Whatever you're going through.
    Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly

  8. #18
    Premium Member glennajo's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    middle of nowhere
    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.

  9. #19
    An innocent bystander nlmcp's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    The mitten state
    Oh, the reading from 4 weddings and a funeral is always so sad.

    Actually while good reading, these are all so sad.
    I could go east, I could go west, it was all up to me to decide. Just then I saw a young hawk flyin' and my soul began to rise. ~Bob Seger

  10. #20
    MRD is offline
    FORT Fogey MRD's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    somewhere resting
    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.
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
    (Who loves me will love my dog also)

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