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Funny funeral poems and uplifting verses for a celebration of life

An open book with flowers on top and a pair of spectacles beside them

Laughter, as well as tears, can be a meaningful part of a celebration of life ceremony and a funny funeral poem could be the perfect way to express how much someone meant to you.

If you are hoping to include upbeat notes to a celebration of life funeral reading or speech, then you may find a warm and humorous verse to be fitting– and reassuring.

There are many ‘in loving memory’ poems which describe someone’s legacy or personality from the point of view of those remembering them, but these celebration of life funeral poems and verses are mostly written from the perspective of the person who has died.

This selection of 10 celebration of life poems includes verses with an upbeat and positive outlook, express a few down-to-earth viewpoints and include some funny funeral poems, too.

A celebration of life funeral is about remembering someone with love, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also reflect on the sadness.

A touch of humour can make a celebration of life speech seem all the more poignant, especially when it’s just the sort of thing that the person who died might have said.

A long cup of tea

“Death is too negative for me

So I'll be popping off for a long cup of tea

Do splash out on two bags in the pot

And for my God's sake keep the water hot”

Funeral poet Michael Ashby writes verses for celebrations of life and other significant life occasions. In this cheerful poem with a typically British outlook, he is very matter of fact about death, just so long as the kettle’s on where he is heading.

This funny funeral poem could inspire you to write a celebration of life speech for a mum or a nan’s eulogy.

Last Will and Testament

“And as I sit upon my cloud and look down at the earth,

I'll watch you use my worldly goods for festival and mirth,

And that will make me smile a smile, and have a laugh quite hearty.”

Max Scratchman’s funny funeral poem is written from the point of view of someone with a twinkle in their eye who knew what they wanted in life – and just how they wanted their celebration of life to be.

If you are planning elements if your own funeral, it’s a heartwarming and slightly curmudgeonly celebration of life reading for saying goodbye to the people you loved.

If I Should Go

“Weep if you must,

Parting is Hell,

But life goes on

So sing as well”

Actress and comedian Joyce Grenfell was famous for her sparkling comic monologues. Some had a touch of pathos, made all the more profound for the laughter they provoked.

Joyce also wrote several famous poems including this one, If I Should Go, which is an enduringly popular poem for a celebration of life or funeral.

Short and sweet, it acknowledges the sadness of death, whilst bestowing the wish for loved ones to live happy lives – striking the perfect note for a celebration of life reading.

Death

“Death has a very black reputation but, actually, to die is a perfectly normal thing to do.”

Joe Brainard’s [poem about deathpoem about death takes a no-nonsense look at something that no-one looks forward to.

When you think about it though, he considers, who’d want to live until they’re 500? This death positive poem could be a good choice for the life celebration of someone who had a pragmatic outlook and wry sense of humour.

“Another comforting thought about death,” this celebration of life verse concludes, “is that 80 years or so after you die, nobody who knew you will still be alive to miss you.”

Farewell My Friends

“It was beautiful as long as it lasted, the journey of my life…

…I smile and bid you goodbye.

No, shed no tears for I need them not.

All I need is your smile.”

Poet Rabindranath Tagore’s uplifting funeral verse reflects on death as a time to celebrate a life that has been lived.

Although there’s a sadness about the pain that will be felt by those left behind, he takes comfort that he will live on in their hearts and hopes that they will take comfort from that, too.

It’s a way of saying goodbye that could be perfect if you are thinking about your own funeral eulogy, or are looking for a celebration of life poem about someone that always put their family first.

Remembered in Thy Full Bloom

“And now doth come my end, I see death's light,

death doth touch my heart, now eternal love.

My beloved, I see thee shining bright,

I now praise death as I ascend above.”

A celebration of life might not be religious, but may have a spiritual element. Poet Vladislav Raven collaborated with Robert Linley and Teppo Gren on this poem about a man yearning to be with his beloved again.

This is a poem about grief, but as a funeral poem conveys how death is not the end, but the beginning of a loving reunion in paradise.

Death, by Sean Hughes

“I want to be cremated

I know how boring funerals can be

I want people to gather

meet new people

have a laugh, a dance, meet a loved one.”

Comedian Sean Hughes wrote this poem more than 24 years ago. Since it was read at his funeral in October 2017, it’s been widely shared on social media.

It’s a wry look at the way that life goes on and a fitting reading for a celebration of life.

A reassuring celebration of life poem

“Do not feel guilty for living,

When I have passed away,

Keep smiling, laughing, playing,

And do this every day.”

You can find celebration of life poems in all sorts of unexpected places. This poem was penned and shared by a mum and forum member on a Money Saving Expert thread.

She had been searching for a light-hearted poem for her father in law’s celebration of life, that would express love and reassurance for those he left behind, and decided to write her own.

Darling

“The dead don’t go till you do, loved ones.

The dead are still here holding our hands.” Jackie Kay’s beautiful poem is about letting go and holding on, as it marks the death of someone who slips away in peace.

It’s bittersweet but fitting for a celebration of life, as death has come gently for this person and freed their youthful spirit.

To Those Whom I Love & Those Who Love Me

“When I am gone, release me, let me go.

I have so many things to see and do,

You mustn't tie yourself to me with too many tears,

But be thankful we had so many good years.”

This uplifting poem for a celebration of life. Written from the point of view of the person who has died, it accepts how loved ones will grieve, but comforts them with the promise they will be near in heart and memory. It’s a warm and reassuring celebration of life poem that acknowledges how much they loved – and were loved.

Saying goodbye: Your own celebration of life speech

If you’d like to leave the people you love with some reassuring words when you die, a legacy letter could be a wonderful memorial eulogy or funeral speech.

Also known as a spiritual will, your legacy letter may include the thanks, love and widsom you want to pass on to friends, family and future generations.

  • Find out more about planning a funeral, from a celebration of life, to a traditional ceremony.