Grieving family and friends want others to remember their loved one’s life and acknowledge them. Seeing a life celebrated and hearing words of sympathy and celebration from others often helps them move through their own grief journey. The right memorial service poetry can really set the mood for the whole ceremony. Written words can be much more effective than spoken condolences at reaching a grieving person’s heart. Simple and soothing words acknowledging a loss, accompanied by a meaningful sympathy or condolence poem can touch a heart like nothing else can.
Having a memorial poem or poetry to look back upon can really be an emotional strengthener. A poem can be about the life of the one who has passed or just kind words. The memorial poem could be about an event in the loved one’s life or just loving words of a close friend. Often these mementos are kept for many years, framed for the family or left at the gravesite as a reminder of the deceased.
There are numerous memorial service, condolence and sympathy poems written and easily available. Poems ranging from heartfelt and sad to lighthearted and even funny have been written by amateur and professional poetry writers to put words to the feelings that are expressed after someone has died. If you are asked to speak at a memorial or funeral service and are having a difficult time writing down how this loss has made you or the family feel, consider including a poem in your tribute.
To add a poem to your eulogy or condolence letter, first you must consider who the person was and what they would have appreciated or enjoyed read. If the person who passed enjoyed the outdoors, maybe a memorial poem with colorful forest or nature-like imagery would speak to the audience, and properly pay tribute to the lost loved one. If the deceased was a practical joker or light-hearted individual, maybe a poem that incorporates a bit of humor would remind their family of what a happy spirit that individual was.
Look at your local bookstore for poetry books that have memorial or condolence poems included or search online for posted poetry. Poems can range in topics and styles – flowery or overly-dramatic poetry is not the only option available. Many families and friends choose to write their own poems or essays about the deceased to have read at memorial services or posted on online memorial sites. This is a great way for those that are able to express their feelings on paper to do so and share those words to help heal the grief experienced by other family members as well.
Using poetry to help with grief, to express love or pain and to memorialize a friend or family member is very powerful and will be appreciated by others who have experienced a loss.
~ Ben Anton, 2008