Funeral Poems, Readings, Music, Quotations & Thoughts

From The Gardener's Almanac of John Evelyn 1669

I found these words after a long search for a good reading for the funeral of a keen gardener. We wanted something serious and dignified but not too sad, that reflected the labour and dedication he had put into his last years doing nothing less than creating a garden of great beauty. The words are all from John Evelyn's introductory dedication to [...] Read more

Helen Thomas's Farewell to Edward

A funeral is always a farewell and a parting. Inevitably we often hope to be reunited and we hope sometime to have a better understanding of life and all it's confusion and memories. In 1917 Helen Thomas saw her husband Edward, father of her two children off to the war in France. the letter she wrote him contained these words. She was never to see [...] Read more

Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen

Leonard Cohen's beautiful message to his lifelong love Marianne Ihlen, sent as she was dying last year touched many people. He wrote: Well Marianne it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think [...] Read more

More Meditations from the Quaker Tradition

Another short extract from the writings of the great Quaker William Penn, founder of the State of Pennsylvania. They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies. Nor can spirits ever be divided, that love and live in the same divine principle, the root and record of their friendship. If absence be not [...] Read more

Wordsworth on the Loss of his Brother

William Wordsworth had a younger brother John who was a sea captain. William didn't often see his brother but loved him nonetheless. John Lost his life at sea in 1805 and here from Wordsworth's letters are some of his thoughts on loss and grief, edited and arranged to make a short reading; We weep much to-day, and that relieves us. Grief will, and [...] Read more

The Sparrow in the Mead Hall

The only recorded statement of British pre-christian paganism is found in an account by the Venerable Bede in his History of the English Church and People. Bede describes the arrival of Christian monks at the court of the pagan King Edwin of Northumbria and in their discussion of religion one of the King's advisers says this: The present life of [...] Read more

Obituary: Jane Lotter (by herself)

Last Month the Seattle Times published the obituary of a local woman, Jane Catherine Lotter. There was nothing unusual about it until you read on to the end of the first sentence which went like this: One of the few advantages of dying from Grade 3, Stage IIIC endometrial cancer, recurrent and metastasized to the liver and abdomen, is that you [...] Read more

Wilko Johnson: 'Man, it makes you feel alive to be told you’re dying’

Funerals are sad affairs. Bereavement can be a terrible blow and part of the purpose of a funeral is to provide an outlet for grief and a time for weeping and mourning. At the same time though it is a time when we need to hear something positive because we are also at a funeral to remember with joy a person's life and to look to the future with [...] Read more