The following is a selection of poems for mothers, suitable for reading at the funeral or memorial service. A poem can be added to the funeral program, that is handed out to guests.
Expressing our feelings towards our mother can be very emotional and difficult. This is when poetry or the lyrics from a song can rescue us.
Our most popular funeral poems for mothers are:
Scroll down to read several more, as well as additional pages of funeral poems for mom.
Does love still last?
Then do not weep for me
When from this mortal cast
I am at length set free.
For I am free,
and gone is all my pain.
If you have love for me
Don't wish me back again.
Oh loved ones dear,
Now you are left alone,
Have not a doubt or fear
I have just gone home.
Phill Rawlins (1917 - 2008)
I am a civil funeral celebrant in Australia and have led thousands of services since 1979. My late father wrote this poem at the time of the death of his own mother back in 1956. Many of my clients have chosen it for their own mother's funeral service (not knowing my father wrote it).
I hope it is helpful to others. email@example.com
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name,
In life we loved you dearly; in death we do the same
It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone.
For part of us went with you, the day God called you home
You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide,
And though we cannot see you, you are always at our side
Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same,
But as God call us us one by one, the chain will link again.
- anon -
The Peace of Wild Things
(This poem is written in the mother's voice.
It is a beautiful poem for the nature lover.)
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
By Wendell Berry
More funeral quotes here.
A beautiful poem sent in from one of our readers.
In infancy's unconscious day,
I weak and helpless long did lay,
Who o'er my form did watch and pray,
Who nourished me with fondest care,
And bore me forth to take the air,
And plucked me fruits and flowers rare,
Who daily, as I older grew,
Still taught me lessons bright and true,
And virtue's path kept in my view,
Oh, may I truly, every year,
Return with love and tender care,
The blessings I from thee did share,
You can only have one mother
Patient kind and true;
No other friend in all the world,
Will be the same to you.
When other friends forsake you,
To mother you will return,
For all her loving kindness,
She asks nothing in return.
As we look upon her picture,
Sweet memories we recall,
Of a face so full of sunshine,
And a smile for one and all.
Sweet Jesus, take this message,
To our dear mother up above;
Tell her how we miss her,
And give her all our love.
- Irish Funeral Prayer -
So let them pass, these songs of mine,
Into oblivion, nor repine;
Abandoned ruins of large schemes,
Dimmed lights adrift from nobler dreams,
Weak wings I sped on quests divine,
So let them pass, these songs of mine.
They soar, or sink ephemeral-
I care not greatly which befall!
For if no song I e'er had wrought,
Still have I loved and laughed and fought;
So let them pass, these songs of mine;
I sting too hot with life to whine!
Still shall I struggle, fail, aspire,
Lose God, and find Gods in the mire,
And drink dream-deep life's heady wine-
So let them pass, these songs of mine.
- Don Marquis -
A reader wrote,
"This is the poem we put in my mother's program for her memorial service."
Death is not too high a price to pay
for having lived. Mountains never die,
nor do the seas or rocks or endless sky.
Through countless centuries of time, they stay
eternal, deathless. Yet they never lived!
If choice there were, I would not hesitate
to choose mortality. Whatever Fate
demanded in return for life I'd give,
for, never to have seen the fertile plains,
nor heard the winds nor felt the warm sun on sands
beside the salty sea, nor touched the hands
of those I love - without these, all the gains
of timelessness would not be worth one day
of living and of loving; come what may.
by Dorothy Monroe
if there are any heavens my mother will (all by herself) have
one. It will not be a pansy heaven nor
a fragile heaven of lilies-of-the-valley but
it will be a heaven of blackred roses
my father will be(deep like a rose
tall like a rose)
standing near my
(swaying over her
with eyes which are really petals and see
nothing with the face of a poet really which
is a flower and not a face with
This is my beloved my
(suddenly in sunlight
he will bow,
& the whole garden will bow)
From One of Our Readers
by Brian Francis
(Tucson, Arizona USA)
and forgotten songs,
reflect from a time
when flowers still bloomed.
Moments of clarity
in a swirling void.
The balance of life --
what good did thee do?
of a smile or frown.
Tears for the sorrow
of a lonely walk on.
A handful of earth
and the breath of a prayer.
Farewell, oh, sweet mother
Farewell and adieu.
Copyright © 2014 Brian Francis
Shed no tear! O shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Weep no more! O, weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root's white core.
Dry your eyes! Oh! dry your eyes!
or I was taught in Paradise
To ease my breast of melodies
Shed no tear.
Overhead! look overhead!
'Mong the blossoms white and red
Look up, look up. I flutter now
On this flush pomegranate bough.
See me! 'tis this silvery bell
Ever cures the good man's ill.
Shed no tear! O, shed no tear!
The flowers will bloom another year.
Adieu, adieu—I fly, adieu,
I vanish in the heaven's blue
- John Keats-
Heaven is not reached at a single bound,
But we build the ladder by which we rise
From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies,
And we mount to its summit round by round.
- J.G. Holland -
When the sun comes after rain
And the bird is in the blue,
The girls go down the lane
Two by two.
When the sun comes after shadow
And the singing of the showers,
The girls go up the meadow,
Fair as flowers.
When the eve comes dusky red
And the moon succeeds the sun,
The girls go home to bed
One by one.
And when life draws to its even
And the day of man is past,
They shall all go home to heaven,
Home at last.
- Robert Louis Stevenson -
With flowing tears, dear cherished one,
We lay thee with the dead;
And flowers, which thou didst love so well
Shall wave above thy head.
Sweet emblems of thy dearer self,
They find a wintry tomb;
And at the south wind's gentle touch,
Spring forth to life and bloom.
Thus, when the sun of righteousness
Shall gild thy dark abode,
Thy slumb'ring dust shall bloom afresh,
And soar to meet thy God.
- by Sarah Mower -
I lift mine eyes against the sky,
The clouds are weeping, so am I;
I lift mine eyes again on high,
The sun is smiling, so am I.
Why do I smile? Why do I weep?
I do not know; it lies too deep.
I hear the winds of autumn sigh,
They break my heart, they make me cry;
I hear the birds of lovely spring,
My hopes revive, I help them sing.
Why do I sing? Why do I cry?
It lies so deep, I know not why.
By Morris Rosenfeld
Death comes once, let it be easy.
Ring one bell for me once, let it go at that.
Or ring no bell at all, better yet.
Sing one song if I die.
Sing John Brown’s Body or Shout All Over God’s Heaven.
Or sing nothing at all, better yet.
Death comes once, let it be easy.
- By Carl Sandburg -
There will be a singing in your heart,
There will be a rapture in your eyes;
You will be a woman set apart,
You will be so wonderful and wise.
You will sleep, and when from dreams you start,
As of one that wakes in Paradise,
There will be a singing in your heart,
There will be a rapture in your eyes.
There will be a moaning in your heart
There will be an anguish in your eyes;
You will see your dearest ones depart,
You will hear their quivering good-byes.
Yours will be the heart-ache and the smart,
Tears that scald and lonely sacrifice;
There will be a moaning in your heart,
There will be an anguish in your eyes.
There will come a glory in your eyes,
There will come a peace within your heart;
Sitting 'neath the quiet evening skies,
Time will dry the tear and dull the smart.
You will know that you have played your part;
Yours shall be the love that never dies:
You, with Heaven's peace within your heart,
You, with God's own glory in your eyes.
- by Robert Service -
If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known
Weep if you must
Parting is hell
But life goes on,
So sing as well.
- by Joyce Grenfell -
The life that I have is all that I have
the life that I have is yours
The love that I have for the life that I have
is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have, a rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause
for the peace of my years
in the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours
- by Leo Marks -
From one of our readers.
by Carly Berube
( Vallejo, ca. 94591)
This is so very hard
But I know I'll make it thru.
I will forever refuse...
To say goodbye to you.
Your absence is just temporary
For it won't be too long
Till we're together again
That's what keeps me pressing on.
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