When struggling with loss and grief, some people find comfort in poetry. When read aloud, a moving poem has the ability to bring people together in quiet contemplation and mourning. The ritual of reading a poem at a funeral is a way of collectively mourning the loss of a loved one.
Whether you’re looking for a poem to read quietly to yourself, or to be read at a funeral, we hope these bring comfort.
Little Snowdrop, Anon
The world may never notice
If a Snowdrop doesn’t bloom,
Or even pause to wonder
If the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.
The little one we longed for
Was swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
For every beating of our hearts
Says that we love you.
‘The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.’ Helen Keller
A butterfly lights beside us, Anon
A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam, and for a
brief moment its glory and beauty belong to our world:
but then it flies again. And though we wish it could
have stayed, we feel so lucky to have seen it.
‘When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.’ Anon
Warm Summer Sun, Mark Twain
Adapted from Robert Richardson’s poem ‘Annette’.
Warm summer sun,
Shine kindly here,
Warm southern wind,
Blow softly here.
Green sod above,
Lie light, lie light.
Good night, dear heart,
Good night, good night.
‘Each new life, no matter how brief, forever changes the world.’ Anon
Too Soon, Mary Yarnall
This was a life that had hardly begun
No time to find your place in the Sun
No time to do all you could have done
But we loved you enough for a lifetime
No time to enjoy the world and it’s wealth
No time to take life down off the shelf
No time to sing the songs of yourself
Though you had enough love for a lifetime
Those who live long endure sadness and tears
But you’ll never suffer the sorrowing years
No betrayal, no anger, no hatred, no fears
Just love – Only love – In your lifetime
A humanist funeral for a child
Your celebrant will create a ceremony that is bespoke to your needs. They will be able to suggest poetry, readings, and music for you to consider, and they will give you a copy of the script to keep.
How to find a humanist celebrant
To find a celebrant near you, visit our online map.