Songs & Hymns
Always On My Mind – Elvis Presley
Amazing Grace – Various Artists
Amazing – Alex Lloyd
Angel – Aretha Franklin
Candle in the Wind – Elton John
Death is not the End – Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue
Fields of Gold – Eva Cassidy
Forever Young – Bob Dylan
Goodbye – Frank Sinatra
Goodbye my Lover – James Blunt
Imagine – John Lennon
I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
I Will Remember – Sarah McLachlan
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Guns N’Roses
Lean On Me – Bill Withers
Let It Be – The Beatles
My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
Memory – Barbra Streisand
Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven
Morning Has Broken – Cat Stevens
My Way – Frank Sinatra
Never Tear Us Apart – INXS
Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
Somewhere – Tom Waits
Songbird – Eva Cassidy
Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
The Rose – Bette Midler
The Prayer – Celine Dion
The Lord’s My Shepherd – Various Artists
Time to Say Goodbye – Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli
Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn
What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry and the Pacemakers
Abide With Me
Be Not Afraid
God Our Help In Ages Past
How Great Thou Art
How Sweet The Name Of Jesus
Just As I Am
Nearer My God
Now Thank We All
Rock Of Ages
The Old Rugged Cross
The Lord’s My Shepherd
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Poems & Prose
At That Hour
At that hour when all things have repose,
O lonely watcher of the skies,
Do you hear the night wind and the sighs
Of harps playing unto Love to unclose
The pale gates of sunrise?
When all things repose, do you alone
Awake to hear the sweet harps play
To Love before him on his way,
And the night wind answering in antiphon
Till night is overgone?
Play on, invisible harps, unto Love,
Whose way in heaven is aglow
At that hour when soft lights come and go,
Soft sweet music in the air above
And in the earth below.
James Joyce, Irish author and poet (1882 – 1941)
But Not Forgotten
I think, no matter where you stray,
That I shall go with you a way.
Though you may wander sweeter lands,
You will not soon forget my hands,
Nor yet the way I held my head,
Nor all the tremulous things I said.
You still will see me, small and white
And smiling, in the secret night,
And feel my arms about you when
The day comes fluttering back again.
I think, no matter where you be,
You’ll hold me in your memory
And keep my image, there without me,
By telling later loves about me.
Dorothy Parker, American writer and poet (1893 – 1967)
Crossing The Bar
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate (1809 – 1892)
Death Be Not Proud
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
John Donne (1572-1631)
She passed away like morning dew
Before the sun was high;
So brief her time, she scarcely knew
The meaning of a sigh.
As round the rose its soft perfume,
Sweet love around her floated;
Admired she grew-while mortal doom
Crept on, unfeared, unnoted.
Love was her guardian Angel here,
But Love to Death resigned her;
Though Love was kind, why should we fear
But holy Death is kinder?
Hartley Coleridge, writer and poet (1796 – 1849)
Epitaph on a child
Here, freed from pain, secure from misery, lies
A child, the darling of his parents’ eyes:
A gentler lamb n’er sported on the plain,
A fairer flower will never bloom again:
Few were the days allotted to his breath;
Now let him sleep in peace his night of death.
Thomas Gray, poet, classical scholar and Cambridge don (1716 – 1771)
Farewell My Friends
It was beautiful as long as it lasted
The journey of my life.
I have no regrets whatsoever
Save the pain I’ll leave behind.
Those dear hearts who love and care…
And the strings pulling at the heart and soul…
The strong arms that held me up
When my own strength let me down.
At every turning of my life I came across good friends,
Friends who stood by me,
Even when the time raced me by.
Farewell, farewell, my friends
I smile and bid you goodbye.
No, shed no tears for I need them not
All I need is your smile.
If you feel sad do think of me
For that’s what I’ll like when you live in the hearts
Of those you love, remember then
You never die.
Gitanjali Ghei (1961 – 1977)
I can’t talk so much now.
My voice seems weak.
Could be the medicine,
But I think it’s the end,
When the quiet comes.
I know you want to come home
before it’s over.
But don’t . . . .
I want you to remember me
Not like this,
but laughing and alive
and talking, talking my way
It’s how I faced it all --
having words, stories,
words with family and friends.
I love you.
Bye . . . for now
Oh, and bury me right --
the right funeral parlor,
the right minister
and the right casket.
And I wouldn’t mind
if you had a few words,
just a few,
at my service.
Bye . . .
by permission of the author, copyright 2012 Robert Heidbreder
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make your dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling, author and poet (1865 – 1936)
Miss Me, But Let Me Go
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 must all 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 to the friends we know,
Laugh at all the things we used to do.
Miss me, but let me go.
Our Revels Are Now Ended
Our revels are now ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded in a sleep.
William Shakespeare, poet and playwright (1564 – 1616)
Note: from The Tempest (III, iv)
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 no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or 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 you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
Christina Georgina Rossetti, poet (1830 – 1894)
Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he long’d to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
Robert Louis Stevenson, poet and writer (1850 – 1894)
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear times’ waste;
Then can I drown an eye, unus’d to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancell’d woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish’d sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor’d and sorrows end.
William Shakespeare, poet and playwright (1564 – 1616)
To laugh often and love much;
To win the respect of intelligent persons
And the affection of children;
To earn the approbation of honest critics
And to endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To give of one’s self;
To leave the world a little better,
Whether by a healthy child,
A garden patch
Or a redeemed social condition;
To have played and laughed with enthusiasm
And sung with exultation;
To know that even one life has breathed easier
Because you have lived –
This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, poet and leader of the
American transcendentalist movement (1803 – 1882)
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die … Life is no frail candle to me.
It’s a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for the moment and
I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the
George Bernard Shaw
We bereaved are not alone, we belong to the biggest company in all
the world, the company of those who have known suffering. When it
seems that our sorrows are too great to be borne let us think of the
great family of the heavy-hearted into which our grieving has given us
entrance and, inevitably, we feel about us their arms, their sympathy,
An individual human existence should be like a river – small at first,
narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past
boulders 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 or woman who, in old age, can see his or her
life in this way, will not suffer from the fear of death, since the things they
care for will continue.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the
less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends
or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am
involved in Mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell
tolls; it tolls for thee.
Life is the gathering of waves to a head; at death they break into a million
fragments. Each one of these fragments, however, is absorbed at once
into the sea of life and helps to form a later generation, which comes
rolling on, until it too breaks.
The death of each of us is in the order of things: it follows life as surely as
night follows day. We can take the Tree of Life as a symbol. The human
race is the trunk and the branches of the tree, and individual men and
women are the leaves, which appear one season, flourish for a summer,
and then die. One day we will all be torn off by a storm or simply decay
and fall and become part of the earth about its roots. While we live we
are conscious of the tree’s flowing sap and steadfast strength. Deep
down in our consciousness is the consciousness of a collective life, a
life of which we are all part and to which we all make minute but unique
contributions. When we die and fall the tree remains, nourished to some
degree by our manifestation of life. Millions of leaves have preceded us
and millions will follow us, but the tree itself grows and endures.
Those who live nobly, even if in their day they live obscurely, need not
fear that they have lived in vain. Something radiates from their lives,
some light that shows the way to their family, friends and neighbours,
perhaps to long future ages.
In the presence of death, we must continue to sing the song of life. We
must be able to accept death and go from its presence better able to bear
our burdens and to lighten the load of others. Out of our sorrows should
come understanding. Through our sorrows, we join with all those before
us who have had to suffer and all of those who will yet have to do so.
Let us not be gripped by the fear of death. If another day be added to
our lives, let us joyfully receive it, but let us not anxiously depend on our
tomorrows. Though we grieve the deaths of our loved ones, we accept
them and hold on to our memories as precious gifts. Let us make the
best of our loved ones while they are with us, and let us not bury our love
Roman philosopher Seneca
Let us be contented with what has happened to us and thankful for all
we have been spared. Let us accept the natural order in which we move.
Let us reconcile ourselves to the mysterious rhythm of our destinies such
as they must be in this world of space and time. Let us treasure our joys
but not bewail our sorrows. The glory of light cannot exist without its
shadows. Life is a whole and good and ill must be accepted together.
The journey has been enjoyable and well worth making – once.
Sir Winston Churchill (from ‘Thoughts and Adventures’)
Wheresoever your life shall end, it is then complete. The value of life is
not in its duration, but rather in its use. Some have lived long, even if it
were only for a short while. So make the most of your life while you still
have it. Whether you have lived enough depends on yourself, not on the
number of your years. Leave this world as you entered here. The same
passage which you first made from death to life, without fuss and without
fear, take it again from life to death. Your death is in the order of things: it
belongs to the life of the world.
I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should
burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would
rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a
sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to
exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my
One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching. ~unknown
A person starts dying when they stop dreaming. ~ Brian Williams
Death ends a life, not a relationship. ~ Mitch Albom
While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die. ~Leonardo Da Vinc
The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live. ~ Joan Borysenko
It’s not length of life, but depth of life ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, life is a crazy ride and nothing is guaranteed. ~ Eminem
Never put off tomorrow what you can do today. ~ Thomas Jefferson
How terrible it is to love something that death can touch ~ Albus Dumbledore
Life asked death “why do people love me but hate you?”. Death
responded, “because you are a beautiful lie and I am a painful truth.” ~ unknown
Nothing in life is promised except death. ~ Kanye West
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~ from a headstone in Ireland
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. ~ Thomas Campbell, “Hallowed Ground”
The funny thing about facing imminent death is that it really snaps everything else into perspective. ~ James Patterson
Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it. ~ Haruki Murakami
While we try not to think about it, nearly the only thing we can be certain of in this life is that we will one day die and leave everything behind; and yet, paradoxically, it seems almost impossible to believe that this is so. ~ Sam Harris
It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see. ~ Sir Winston Churchill
I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best. ~ Benjamin Disraeli
Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t. ~ Richard Bach
Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. ~ Arthur Miller
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~ Maria Robinson
If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything. ~ Win Borden
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. ~ Flora Whittemore
Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~ Kevin Arnold
The most important things in life aren’t things. ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
How lucky I am to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to. ~ Unknown
You are master of your own fate, the captain of your own soul.” ~ William Ernest Henley
Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me. ~ Steve Jobs
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. ~ Wayne Gretzy
The best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. ~ Michael Jordan
I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter. ~ Winston Churchill
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. ~ Mark Twain
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. ~ George Bernard Shaw
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. ~ George Bernard
Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives. ~ Sachs
Life levels all men. Death reveals the eminent. ~ George Bernard Shaw
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster. ~ Isaac Asimov
I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without
knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity. ~ Gilda Radner
I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens. ~ Woody Allen
We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started… and know the place for the first time. ~ T. S. Eliot
People living deeply have no fear of death. ~ Anaïs Nin
I’ve told my children that when I die, to release balloons in the sky to celebrate that I graduated. For me, death is a graduation. ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow. ~ Euripides
Healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough not to fear death. ~ Erik H. Erikson
Life is a great sunrise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one. ~ Vladimir Nobokov
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in a manner so that when you die the world cries and you rejoice. ~ Native American Proverb
I’m the one that’s got to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to. ~ Jimi Hendrix
When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time. ~ Laurie Halse Anderson
Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn. ~ Mahatma Gandhi