Native American Prayer

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 glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there. I did not die.

Joy Cowley

For most of us
death appears as a fixed horizon
and those who pass over it
leave an emptiness we must fill
with a season of grieving.
And yet, with our sorrow
there is also a knowledge of light,
a certainty that the sense of loss
belongs not to any ending
but to the limitation of our vision.
Death is an experience for those left behind
not for those who are moving
from one stage of living to another.

Adapted from Ecclesiastes 3

For everything there is a season
a time for every occupation under heaven
a time to be born, a time to die
a time for planting, a time for uprooting
a time for tears, a time for laughter
a time for mourning, a time for dancing
a time for searching, a time for losing
a time for conflict, and a time for peace


When I die and leave behind
This earth I love
These trees, this sky,
The pounding sea,
The yearly hope of spring,
Cry not for me,
My soul has wings
And in its freedom sings.

Canon Henry Scott Holland

Death is nothing at all;
I have just slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name;
Speak to me in the easy way you always used.
Put no difference into your tone;
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh, as we always laughed,
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me.
Let my name be ever the household word
it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort,
without the ghost of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant;
It is the same as it ever was;
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind,
because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
Somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well.

Rodney Murphy

In the presence of death we stand awkward and ill at ease
for death is a well-known stranger whom we recognise but do not want to know.
But death is not a thing in itself
it is but a stage in the journey of life
through which we must all pass.
It may come swiftly and catch us unawares, or slowly with leaden feet, but death comes to all who live
and in so doing heightens our understanding
of the one we know.


Joyce Grenfell

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.

Witi Ihimaera

With his death, the world has changed for you...
Look around you; you know this place well
You have happy memories of this place.
Now it seems different, as if happiness has fled
away from here with your loved one.
And left only this darkness...
All the world should end now that he is dead;
But it is only your world which ends.
Elsewhere people are laughing and enjoying life.
Why is this so?
There should be no happiness
now that he has gone.
Yet the stream still runs
And the sun rides over the sky
And the mountains are always there.
No the world does not end.
Night still comes and after night the day.
The procession of days,
seasons and years continues.
You still live, you still breathe.
He is gone, you are still here,
to remember him and sorrow for him.

Rod McLeod

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free
I'm following the path that was laid for me.
I took a hand when I heard the call
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
to laugh, to love, to work or play,
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found my peace at close of day.
If my parting has left a void
then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I've savoured much,
good friends, good times, a loved ones touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me
I was wanted, now, I've been set free!

Robyn Rancman

When I come to the end of the road,
And the sun has set for me.
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little, but not loo long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared.
Miss me, but let me go.
For this is a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Master's plan
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss me, but let me go.

Kahlil Gibran

Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of death.
And he said: You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring Trust the dreams for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Christina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away
gone far away into the silent land;
when you can no more hold me by the hand
nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
remember me when you no more day by day
tell me of our future that you planned:
only remember me; you understand
it will be too late then to counsel or to pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
and afterwards remember, do not grieve:
for if the darkness and corruption leave
a vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
better by far that you should forget and smile
than that you should remember and be sad.

Guardian Funeral Homes