Put great bows around the white necks of the public doves.
Let 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.
By W. H. Auden
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 behind when day is done.
Helen Lowrie Marshall
Birth is a beginning
and death a destination
And life is a journey:
From childhood to maturity
and youth to age;
From innocence to awareness
and ignorance to knowing;
From foolishness to desecration
and then perhaps to wisdom.
From weakness to strength or
from strength to weakness
and often back again;
From health to sickness
and we pray to health again.
From offense to forgiveness
from loneliness to love
from joy to gratitude
from pain to compassion
from grief to understanding
from fear to faith.
From defeat to defeat to defeat
until looking backwards or ahead
We see that victory lies not
at some high point along the way
but in having made the journey
step by step
a sacred pilgrimage.
Birth is a beginning
and death a destination
And life is a journey;
A sacred journey to life everlasting.
Rabbi Alvin I. Fine
He is Gone
You can shed tears that he is gone,
Or you can smile because he lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
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 him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on,
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on
Ah, see! She sleeps in perfect rest,
Still as the flowers above her breast;
A statue of repose she seems,
Unvexed by any earthly dreams;
Natures angel, men call Death, hath brought,
Thats peace, that passeth human thought.
Of care and weariness and pain
No haunting memories remain.
From night of earth her spirit wakes
While the eternal morning breaks.
Illness and age have passed away;
She finds her sweet,lost youth to-day.
She has gone out from the home so dear
Made by her presence bright with cheer.
Since, as a bride, she came to be
Homes angel of sweet ministry, -
To enter Homes eternal door
Whence none go out forevermore.
Above her rest we speak her praise-
Of the loving heart, the winning ways.
( followed by a moment of silent meditation)
In the quietness of this place and in the Spirit of this Community in which we share and find strength let us pray. Prayer cannot bring water to parched land, not stop a roaring flood, nor mend a broken bridge, nor rebuild a ruined city, but prayer can water an arid soul, change the tide toward righteousness, mend a broken heart and rebuild a weaken will. Let us pray.
It is not easy to plan a memorial service, interment, or gravside service for a loved one. Select a date, location, music,
flowers, a member of the clergy, readings and all at a time when none of this is really what you want to plan.
Start by looking for favorite poems, verses, passages or readings of your loved one. You might also use inspirational
letters or writings by your friend or relative to include in the service as a way of letting their own words speak for them.
It is especially difficult to plan for a young child's memorial service. The Love Between a Mother and her Child is Forever
and parents continue to have "what if" thoughts years later. Many spiritual communities now offer not only Pastoral Care
but Loss Support Groups that help through the bereavement process for people who have had a loss a or anticipate the
death of a companion.
In addition, there are book resources, this site and other Internet sites with collections of poems, prose, blessings and prayers appropriate for use in a memorial service.
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