NON-RELIGIOUS READINGS AND POETRY for A HUMANIST FUNERAL

An Unremarkable Man - GW Griffiths

 

I know that’s how you see yourself –
Ordinary, undistinguished, run-of the-mill,
But no man is ordinary – each one is unique,
With his own hopes, fears, desires and dreams;
And you – you with your quiet strength,
Your sensibility, your wonderful sense of humour,
The kindness, patience and generosity
You showed to all around you –
An unremarkable man? No, my friend,
Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Native American Poem - Author Unknown

 

I give you this one thought to keep

I am with you still, I do not sleep.

 

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on the snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

 

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,

I am the swift, uplifting rush

Of quite birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

 

Do not think of me as gone.

I am with you still in each new dawn.

 

Thank You (Lyrics) - adapted - Johnny Reid


If I only had two words left to say to you.
With my last breath I’d confess the truth to you.
You’ve never left my side.
Even when I fell behind.
Thank you.
Thank you. For sharing all your love and all your dreams.
Thank you for every tear of happiness I’ve cried.

 

Thank you. For laying down beside me.
When I close my eyes I wish for one more day with you.
And when I wake, I embrace, the one who pulls me through;
who pulls me through the storm when I can’t go on.
Thank you. Thank you for the life you’ve given me.
Thank you for sharing all your love and all your dreams.

 

Thank you for every tear of happiness I’ve cried.
Thank you for laying down beside me.
You’ve never let me down.
It’s like you don’t know how.
Thank you. Thank you for the life you’ve given me.
For sharing all the love and all your dreams.
Thank you.

 

 

When Great Trees Fall - Maya Angelou

 

When great trees fall,

Rocks on distant hills shudder,

Lions hunker down in tall grasses,

And even elephants lumber after safety.

 

When great trees fall in forests,

Small things recoil into silence,

Their senses eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,

The air around us becomes light, rare, sterile.

We breathe, briefly.Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity.

 

Our memory, suddenly sharpened,examines,

Gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken.

Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us.

Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened.

 

Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance,
 fall away.

We are not so much maddened

As reduced to the unutterable ignorance
 of dark, cold caves.

 

And when great souls die,

After a period peace blooms,

Slowly and always irregularly.

Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration.

Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us.

They existed. They existed.

We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.

Let Me Die A Young Man's Death - Roger McGough 

Let me die a young man's death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I'm 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I'm 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber's chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I'm 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman's death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
'what a nice way to go' death 

If I Should Go - 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.

A Mother’s Love – Susan Polis Schutz

 

A mother tries to provide her daughter with insight 

Into the important things in life

In order to make her life 

As happy and fulfilling as possible.

 

A mother tries to teach her daughter

To be good, always helpful to other people;

To be fair, always treating others equally,

To have a positive attitude at all times

To always make things right when they are wrong

To know herself very well

To know what her talents are

To set goals for herself

To not be afraid of working too hard to reach her goals.

 

A mother tries to teach her daughter 

To have many interests to pursue

To laugh and have fun every day

To appreciate the beauty of nature

To enter into friendships with good people

To honor their friendships and always be a true friend.

To appreciate the importance of the family

And to particularly respect and love our elder members.

To use her intelligence at all times.

To listen to her emotions.

To adhere to her values.

 

A mother tries to teach her daughter

To not be afraid to stick to her beliefs

To not follow the majority when the majority is wrong

To carefully plan a life for herself

To vigorously follow her chosen path

To enter into a relationship with someone worthy of herself

To love this person unconditionally with her body and mind

To share all that she has learned in life with this person

 

If I have provided you with an insight

Into most of these things

Then I have succeeded as a mother

In what I hoped to accomplish in raising you

If many of these things slipped by

While we were all so busy

I have a feeling that you know them anyway.

One thing I am sure of though

I have taught you to be proud of the fact

That you are a woman equal to all men and

I have loved you every second of your life.

 

I have supported you at all times

And As a mother, as a person, and as a friend

I will always continue to cherish and love 

Everything about you

My beautiful daughter.

 

 

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night - Dylan Thomas

 

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Extract from The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

“People have stars, but they aren’t the same. For travellers, the stars are guides. For other people, they’re nothing but tiny lights. And for still others, for scholars, they’re problems. For my business man, they were gold. But all those stars are silent stars. You, though, you’ll have stars like nobody else.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“When you look up at the sky at night, since I’ll be living on one of them, since I’ll be laughing on one of them, for you it’ll be as if all the stars are laughing. You’ll have stars that can laugh!”

 

And he laughed again.

 

“And when you’re consoled (everyone is eventually consoled), you’ll be glad you’ve known me. You’ll always be my friend. You’ll feel like laughing with me. And you’ll open your windows sometimes just for the fun of it … And your friends will be amazed to see you laughing while you’re looking up at the sky. Then you’ll tell them, ‘Yes, it’s the stars; they always make me laugh!’ And they’ll think you’re crazy. It’ll be a nasty trick I played on you …”

The Native American Prayer - Ishi People Of The Pacific Northwest

 

When I am dead
Cry for me a little
Think of me sometimes
But not too much.
Think of me now and again
As I was in life
At some moments it's pleasant to recall
But not for long.
Leave me in peace
And I shall leave you in peace
And while you live
Let your thoughts be with the living.

Still - Char March

 

Listen. There is this silence now. This stillness.
Gradually we will get used to it. But, for now,
it is strange. You have left such a gap.


Our world is in shock, holding its breath

But listen closer – all your laughter, all your love
is still ringing out. Still holding us.

All our memories of you are still with us.


All the love we shared is still in every one of us.
And although we ache from this loss of you,
you will always be here – as still and steady,
and fierce, as any star.

 

Look. You are shining
bright through all our skies.
Thank you
for being here with us.

An extract from Winnie The Pooh - AA Milne

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember.

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.

Quote from Aran Ralston - mountaineer

 

“To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of life,

that there is no remedy for basic mortality, that is a form of bravery.”

For Those Laid to Rest Here - Fran Hall 

 

Under a soft blanket of fallen leaves,

safe in the hush of the whispering trees

I have come home.

 

My time here on earth is now done,

all the noise and the clamour, the joy and the pain,

the powerful life force that drove me onwards

has slipped away into the quiet of eternity,

and I am at peace.

 

From now on, I will dance through your memories

threading thoughts of love through your heart.

The pain of loss will gradually ease, and the sadness will lift.

the days will be lighter, and the nights not so long,

for I am still here.

 

When you walk through this place, you will feel me

in the gentle touch of the breeze on your face,

in the sunlight dappling the forest floor,

in the murmur of the branches high above you,

I am all around.

 

I have returned to the place from whence I came,

to the elements that created me.

The earth that gave me the life I so loved

has now welcomed me back to her,

to be at one with all her beauty.

 

Here, under my blanket of fallen leaves

I have found my resting place.

I have come home.

On life - author unknown

 

You fall, you rise, you make mistakes, you live, you learn. You’re human, not perfect.

 

You’ve been hurt, but you’re alive. Think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—

to breathe, to think, to enjoy, and to chase the things you love.

 

Sometimes there is sadness and grief in our journey, but there is also lots of beauty.

 

We must keep putting one foot in front of the other even when we hurt,

for we will never know what is waiting for us just around the bend.

Remember Me - Margaret Mead. 

 

To the living I am gone,

To the sorrowful I will never return,

To the angry I was cheated,

But to the happy I am at peace,

And to the faithful I have never left.

 

I cannot be seen but I can be heard,

So as you stand upon the shore gazing at the beautiful sea, remember me.

As you look in awe at a mighty forest and its grand majesty, remember me.

As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity, remember me.

 

Remember me in your heart, your thoughts and your memories of the times we loved, 

the times we cried, the times we fought, the times we laughed.

For if you always think of me, I will never have gone.

She Is Gone (He Is Gone) - David Harkins

 

You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.


Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.


You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Your Mother Is Always With You - Sherry Martin

Your mother is always with you…
She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.

 

She’s the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered socks.

She’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not well.

 

Your mother lives inside your laughter.

She’s crystallized in every tear drop…

 

She’s the place you came from, your first home..

 

She’s the map you follow with every step that you take.

She’s your first love and your first heart break….and nothing on earth can separate you.

 

Not time, Not space…
Not even death….will ever separate you from your mother….

 

You carry her inside of you….

 
Thankful I am - Leslie Scrase

Thankful I am I that I have lived in this great world and known its many joys,

The thrill of mountains and the morning air, hills and the lonely covered moors, harvest and strong sweet scent of hay.

A rock strewn river overhung with trees, shafts of sunlight in the valley leading to the sea, the beat of waves on rough and rocky shores, and the wild white spray flung high in ecstasy.

 

The comfort of my home and treasured things, the love of kin and fellowship of friends, firelight and laughter and children at their play with hopes and dreams as their future beckons.

The faithful eyes of dogs, companionship of cats, my garden rich from toil and all things dear and beautiful.

 

The tapestry of life, joy and pain is ours to live but once, and not again.

When I look back upon my richly varied years, I crave no more, thankful that I have lived...... so shed no tears. 

 
What is Success? - Ralph Waldo Emerson


To laugh often and much; 

To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children; 

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends; 

To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived; 

This is to have succeeded.

With These Hands - Pam Ayres

 

With these hands so soft and clean,
On which I stroke the Vaseline,
I soothe the fever, cool the heat,
Lift verrucas out of feet,
Slap the plasters on the knees,
Dig the garden, prune the trees,
And if it doesn’t work at all,
I throw the mower at the wall.
With these hands I crack the eggs,
Floss my teeth, shave my legs,
Write the cheques, count the fivers,
Make rude signs at piggish drivers,
Clean the goldfish, light the fires,
Pump up half a dozen tyres,
Feed the hamster, worm the dog
And decorate the Yuletide log.
With these hands I block the lens
When taking photos of my friends,
This is Mary, this is Fred,
See their eyeballs all gone red.
With them I gesticulate,
I wag a finger, say, ‘You’re late!’
Throw them up, say, “Don’t ask me!”
And, ‘What’s that in your hand? Let’s see!’

 

With these hands, I fondly make,
A brontosaurus birthday cake,
I’m sorry for the shape it’s in,
But half of it stuck in the tin.
I pop the corn, I pick the mix,
I whack the cricket ball for six,
I organise the party game,
And clean up things too vile to name.
No pair of jeans do I refuse,
No Levis, Wranglers or FUs,
I wash them fast, I mend them quick,
I sew through denim hard and thick,
For no repair job makes me frown,
I take them up, I let them down,
I do the fly, I do the rip,
I do the knee, I do the zip.
And with these hands I dab the eyes,
Officiate at fond goodbyes,
As in the earth we gravely dig
The late lamented guinea pig.
I bow my head, cross my chest,
And lay his furry soul to rest,
Reflecting that, on many a day,
I could have helped him on his way.
I greet the folks who bang the door,
Fill the mouths that shout for more,
Scrape the trainers free of muck,
Gut the fish and stuff the duck,
I cart the shopping, heave the coal,
Stick the plunger down the bowl,
Take foreign bodies from the eye
And with these hands I wave
Goodbye.

The Grief of a Parent, by Nick Cave

It seems to me that, if we love, we grieve. That’s the deal. That’s the pact. Grief and love are forever intertwined.

 

Grief is the terrible reminder of the depths of our love and, like love, grief is non-negotiable. There is a vastness to grief that overwhelms our minuscule selves.

 

We are tiny, trembling clusters of atoms subsumed within grief’s awesome presence. It occupies the core of our being and extends through our fingers to the limits of the universe. Within that whirling gyre all manner of madnesses exist; ghosts and spirits and dream visitations, and everything else that we, in our anguish, will into existence. These are precious gifts that are as valid and as real as we need them to be. They are the spirit guides that lead us out of the darkness.

 

I feel the presence of my son all around. But he may not be there. I hear him talk to me, parent me, guide me, though he may not be there. He visits Susie in her sleep regularly, speaks to her, comforts her, but he may not be there. Dread grief trails bright phantoms in its wake. These spirits are ideas essentially. They are our stunned imaginations reawakening after the calamity. Like ideas, these spirits speak of possibility. 

 

Follow your ideas, because on the other side of the idea is change and growth and redemption. Create your spirits. Call to them. Will them alive. Speak to them. It is their impossible and ghostly hands that draw us back to the world from which we were jettisoned; better now and unimaginably changed.

Let Me Go - Christina Rosetti

 

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 for long

And not with your head bowed low

Remember the love that once we shared

Miss me, but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take

And each must go alone.

It’s all part of the master plan

A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick at heart

Go the friends we know.

Laugh at all the things we used to do

Miss me, but let me go.

When I am dead my dearest

Sing no sad songs for me

Plant thou no roses at my head

Nor shady cypress tree

Be the green grass above me

With showers and dewdrops wet

And if thou wilt remember

And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,

I shall not fear the rain;

I shall not hear the nightingale

Sing on as if in pain;

And dreaming through the twilight

That doth not rise nor set,

Haply I may remember,

And haply may forget.

Afterglow - Helen Lowrie Marshall

I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.

Death is nothing at all - by Henry Scott-Holland

 

Death is nothing at all

I have only slipped away into the next room.

I am I, and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name,

Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.

Put no difference in 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 and if you want to, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,

Let it be spoken without effect,

Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.

It is the same as it ever was;

There is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,

For an interval,

Somewhere very near,

Just around the corner.

All is well.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple - Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me,
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals,


and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired,
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells,
And run my stick along the public railings,
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens,
And learn to spit.


You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat,
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go,
Or only bread and pickle for a week,
And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats
and things in boxes.


But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
And pay our rent and not swear in the street,
And set a good example for the children.
We will have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practise a little now?


So people who know me
are not too shocked and surprised,
When suddenly I am old
and start to wear purple! 

Danny Boy (lyrics) - Frederick Weatherly

Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling.
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side.
The summer’s gone, and all the flowers are dying.
It’s you, it’s you must go and I must bide.

But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow.
Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow.
I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow.
Oh, Danny boy, oh, Danny boy, I love you so.

But if you come, when all the flowers are dying,
And I am dead, as dead I well may be,
You’ll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an “ave” there for me.

And I will know, though soft you tread above me,
And then my grave will richer, sweeter be.
And you’ll bend down and tell me that you love me,
And I will rest in peace until you come to me.

 
Funeral Blues - WH 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 airplanes 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 forever: 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.

The Dash - Linda Ellis

 

I read of a man who stood to speak

At the funeral of a friend

He referred to the dates on the tombstone

From the beginning…to the end

 

He noted that first came the date of birth

And spoke the following date with tears,

But he said what mattered most of all

Was the dash between those years

 

For that dash represents all the time

That they spent alive on earth.

And now only those who loved them

Know what that little line is worth

 

For it matters not, how much we own,

The cars…the house…the cash.

What matters is how we live and love

And how we spend our dash.

 

So, think about this long and hard.

Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left

That can still be rearranged.

 

If we could just slow down enough

To consider what’s true and real

And always try to understand

The way other people feel.

 

And be less quick to anger

And show appreciation more

And love the people in our lives

Like we’ve never loved before.

 

If we treat each other with respect

And more often wear a smile,

Remembering this special dash

Might only last a little while

 

So, when your eulogy is being read

With your life’s actions to rehash…

Would you be proud of the things they say

About how you spent YOUR dash?

 

Pardon Me for Not Getting Up - Anonymous

 

Oh dear, if you’re reading this right now,

I must have given up the ghost.

I hope you can forgive me for being

Such a stiff and unwelcoming host.

 

Just talk amongst yourself my friends,

And share a toast or two.

For I am sure you will remember well

How I loved to drink with you.

 

Don’t worry about mourning me,

I was never easy to offend.

Feel free to share a story at my expense

And we’ll have a good laugh at the end.

The Star - Author Unknown

 

A light went out on Earth for me

The day we said goodbye. 

And on that day a star was born,

the brightest in the sky.

 

Reaching through the darkness 

with its rays of purest white

lighting up the galaxy

as it once lit up my life

 

With beams of love to heal

the broken heart you've left behind

Where always in my memory

Your lovely star will shine.

 

A Quote from Stephen Hawking - Theoretical Physicist

 

One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.

Two, never give up work. 

Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.

Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, 

remember it is there and don’t throw it away.

Try to make sense of what you see 

and wonder about what makes the universe exist.

Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, 

there is always something you can do and succeed at. 

It matters that you don’t just give up.

Excerpt from 'How to Grow Old' - Bertrand Russell, Philosopher, Humanist

“An individual human existence should be like a river — small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being.

 

The man who, in old age, can see his life in this way, will not suffer from the fear of death, since the things he cares for will continue.” 

Play Jolly Music at My Funeral - Richard Greene (adapted)

 

I’ve taken in recent years to thinking about my funeral
and have decided to make one paramount request:
Play jolly music at that ritual.
What good does it do to heap on dirges or other mournful melodies?
I won’t be there to be gratified by the grieving and if I could tune in
I’d be happier to see those present have some relief.
Something by Barbara Dennerlein or Oscar Peterson would certainly do.
Those early jazzmen knew what they were up to 

when they set about making funeral marches swing.
So swing me away, please, with a rousing tune.

 

 

Excerpt from The Pale Blue Dot - Carl Sagan, Astronomer

 

“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.” 

Satisfied Mind (Lyrics) - Jeff Buckley

How many times have you heard someone say
If I had money, I’d do things my way,
But little they know that it’s so hard to find
One rich man with a satisfied mind.

Money can’t buy back your youth when you’re old
A friend, when you’re lonely, or peace to your soul.


The wealthiest person is a pauper at times
Compared to the man with a satisfied mind.

When my life is over and my time has run out.
My friends and my loved ones, I’ll leave them no doubt.


But, one thing’s gone for certain, when it comes my time
I’ll leave this old world with a satisfied mind.

 

 

Remember Me - Margaret Mead

 

To the living I am gone,

To the sorrowful I will never return,

To the angry I was cheated,

But to the happy I am at peace,

And to the faithful I have never left.

 

I cannot be seen but I can be heard,

So as you stand upon the shore gazing at the beautiful sea, remember me.

As you look in awe at a mighty forest and its grand majesty, remember me.

As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity, remember me.

 

Remember me in your heart, your thoughts and your memories of the times we loved, the times we cried, the times we fought, the times we laughed.

For if you always think of me, I will never have gone.

 

My Funeral - Wendy Cope

 

I hope I can trust you, friends, not to use our relationship

As an excuse for an unsolicited ego-trip.

I have seen enough of them at funerals and they make me cross.

At this one, though deceased, I aim to be the boss.

 

If you are asked to talk about me for five minutes, please do not go on for eight

There is a strict timetable at the crematorium, and nobody wants to be late.

 

If invited to read a poem, just read the bloody poem. If requested

To sing a song, just sing it, as suggested,

And don’t say anything. Though I will not be there,

Glancing pointedly at my watch and fixing the speaker with a malevolent stare.

 

Remember that this was how I always reacted

When I felt that anybody’s speech, sermon or poetry reading was becoming too protracted.

Yes, I was intolerant, and not always polite

And if there aren’t many people at my funeral, it will serve me right.

 

Remembered Joy - Amy Heys

 

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free!

I could not stay another day,

to love, to laugh, to work or play.

Tasks left undone must stay that way.

And 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 shall miss.

My life's been full, I've savoured much:

Good times, good friends, a loved one's touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief -

Don't shorten yours with undue grief.

Be not burdened with tears of sorrow,

Enjoy the sunshine of the morrow.

 

Lay me down upon the earth
Let the soil retake me
Set me floating on the waves
Let the sea absorb me
Put me back amongst the flames
Let the air release me
Carry me in your arms
Let your souls remember me

 

Traditional Chinese, often attributed to Lao Tzu 

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words.

Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.

Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.

Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.

Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

Finding You in Beauty - Walter Rinder

 

The rays of light filtered through
The sentinels of trees this morning.
I sat in the garden and contemplated.
The serenity and beauty
Of my feelings and surroundings
Completely captivated me.
I thought of you.
I discovered you tucked away
In the shadows of the trees.
Then, rediscovered you
In the smiles of the flowers
As the sun penetrated their petals
In the rhythm of the leaves
Falling in the garden
In the freedom of the birds
As they fly searching as you do.
I'm very happy to have found you,
Now you will never leave me
For I will always find you in the beauty of life.

Thoughts on an afterlife - Bertrand Russell, Philosopher, Humanist 

 

"The mind grows like the body; like the body, it inherits characteristics from both parents. It is affected by diseases of the body and by drugs.

It is intimately connected with the brain. 

There is no scientific reason to suppose that after death, the mind acquires an independence of the brain, which it never had in life."

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life (Lyrics) - Eric Idle/Monty Python

Cheer up, Brian. You know what they say.
Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle,
Don’t grumble, give a whistle!
And this’ll help things turn out for the best
And Always look on the bright side of life!

 

Always look on the bright side of life
If life seems jolly rotten,
There’s something you’ve forgotten!
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing,
When you’re feeling in the dumps,
Don’t be silly chumps,
Just purse your lips and whistle — that’s the thing!
And always look on the bright side of life

Always look on the bright side of life
For life is quite absurd,
And death’s the final word.
You must always face the curtain with a bow!
Forget about your sin — give the audience a grin,
Enjoy it, it’s the last chance anyhow!
So always look on the bright side of death!
Just before you draw your terminal breath.

 

Life’s a piece of shit,
When you look at it.
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true,
You’ll see it’s all a show,
Keep ’em laughing as you go.
Just remember that the last laugh is on you!
And always look on the bright side of life

 

Always look on the bright side of life
Come on guys, cheer up
Always look on the bright side of life

 

Always look on the bright side of life
Worse things happen at sea you know

 

What have you got to lose?
You know, you come from nothing
You’re going back to nothing
What have you lost? Nothing!
Always look on the bright side of life