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Barbarella
02-05-2011, 03:22 PM
My best friends grandfather died yesterday and she's asked me to help her find something to read at the service.
Any favorites or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

SisterDew
02-05-2011, 03:38 PM
i read the poem below at my grandfather's funeral. it is a bit of a classic for funerals i guess. poems are very personal, so it might not be everyone's cup of tea, but several people afterwards said to me they liked it very much.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_not_stand_at_my_grave_and_weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave bereft
I am not there. I have not left.

C33
02-05-2011, 03:58 PM
^ Yes, I love that.

I know a different variation that ends with the first two lines.

double_psyche
02-05-2011, 06:23 PM
I am standing upon that foreshore. A ship at my side spreads her white sail to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is am object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, "There! She's gone!" "Gone where?" "Gone from my sight, that's all." She is just as large in mast and spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side; just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, "There! She's gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!" And that is dying.

This gets attributed to Victor Hugo's "Toilers of the Sea", but that might not be right.

Shady Pines, Ma
02-05-2011, 08:32 PM
Birago Diop, “Spirits”



Listen to Things

More often than Beings,

Hear the voice of fire,

Hear the voice of water.

Listen in the wind,

To the sighs of the bush;

This is the ancestors breathing.



Those who are dead are not ever gone;

They are in the darkness that grows lighter

[The rest under here...]
And in the darkness that grows darker.

The dead are not down in the earth;

They are in the trembling of the trees

In the groaning of the woods,

In the water that runs,

In the water that sleeps,

They are in the hut, they are in the crowd:

The dead are not dead.



Listen to things

More often than beings,

Hear the voice of fire,

Hear the voice of water.

Listen in the wind,

To the bush that is sighing:

This is the breathing of ancestors,

Who have not gone away

Who are not under earth

Who are not really dead.



Those who are dead are not ever gone;

They are in a woman’s breast,

In the wailing of a child,

And the burning of a log,

In the moaning rock,

In the weeping grasses,

In the forest and the home.

The dead are not dead.



Listen more often

To Things than to Beings,

Hear the voice of fire,

Hear the voice of water.

Listen in the wind to

The bush that is sobbing:

This is the ancestors breathing.



Each day they renew ancient bonds,

Ancient bonds that hold fast

Binding our lot to their law,

To the will of the spirits stronger than we

To the spell of our dead who are not really dead,

Whose covenant binds us to life,

Whose authority binds to their will,

The will of the spirits that stir

In the bed of the river, on the banks of the river,

The breathing of spirits

Who moan in the rocks and weep in the grasses.



Spirits inhabit

The darkness that lightens, the darkness that darkens,

The quivering tree, the murmuring wood,

The water that runs and the water that sleeps:

Spirits much stronger than we,

The breathing of the dead who are not really dead,

Of the dead who are not really gone,

Of the dead now no more in the earth.



Listen to Things

More often than Beings,

Hear the voice of fire,

Hear the voice of water.

Listen in the wind,

To the bush that is sobbing:

This is the ancestors, breathing.

Maeby
02-06-2011, 12:04 AM
God, does anyone remember the poem in Four Weddings & a Funeral? Was it by Yeats? That one chokes me up.

Barb, I'm sorry to hear about your friend's grandpa.

Doh! It was Auden. Here's the poem:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone

W. H. Auden


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.

double_psyche
02-06-2011, 02:15 AM
^Oh, I love that one. I'd forgotten about it!

Maeby
02-06-2011, 03:50 AM
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 sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die...

- Mary Frye

Shady Pines, Ma
02-06-2011, 02:15 PM
I almost posted the Auden poem! That is such a great one. "My working week and my Sunday rest.." always gets me. :(

Barbarella
02-06-2011, 02:45 PM
Thanks guys. I will pass them along.

Maeby
02-06-2011, 06:13 PM
I almost posted the Auden poem! That is such a great one. "My working week and my Sunday rest.." always gets me. :(

"He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,"

My favorite lines, too.

secretsekertary
05-10-2011, 04:44 PM
Hi there. I'm boosting this thread to ask about ideas for mourning in a modern age. What are appropriate rituals to help move through grief? Reading poetry and prose, lighting candles, burning sage. Sharing anecdotes. What other rituals are there?

I ask because I will meet up with someone in July, whom I know only because of the death of someone we both knew and loved. We want to have some kind of a memorial send-off. We're not religious and neither was the deceased person between us. But we do want to have something appropriate that acknowledges our loved one who was here and who had a tremendous impact on our lives.

thoughts?

MTC
05-10-2011, 05:41 PM
Well, what I used to do when I visited my grandparent's graves was to crack open a beer, and light a cigarette for them. They were religious but I wasn't. Praying is not my thing. So while letting them enjoy their addictions (is what killed them both) I would mentally update them on what was going on. I didn't actually think they could hear me, but it was nice to have a chat nonetheless. Then I'd pour out the beer and carefully put out the cigarette. Later I found out it's very Day of the Dead what I did, but Michigan peeps didn't know what that was.

So why not have a picnic where this person is buried or her favorite place with her favorite foods? Cemeteries are basically parks with buried treasure. Maybe read a few things aloud from literature that she liked or play music from the artist she enjoyed.

secretsekertary
05-10-2011, 07:14 PM
thanks, MTC. that seems very appropriate to the loved one we've lost.