Photo by Aliis Sinisalu on Unsplash
There are many beautiful songs, hymns and quotes, but it can be extra meaningful to read a funeral poem for Nan that expresses just how special she was.
This selection of beautiful funeral poems reflect on the precious legacy of grandmothers, from the life experiences that shaped them, to the love and joy they brought us.
Some funeral poems for grandmother are bittersweet and poignant, while others may bring to mind happy memories of a woman who was fearless or funny and certainly unique.
1. Memories in The Heart (author unknown)
This moving verse has a comforting message and is a good funeral poem for Nan. The words reminds us how talking and remembering can keep someone alive in our hearts, long after they are gone.
Feel no guilt in laughter, she knows how much you care
Feel no sorrow in a smile that she’s not here to share.
You cannot grieve forever, she would not want you to.
She’d hoped you can carry on, the way you always do.
So talk about the good times and the way you showed you cared
The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared.
Let memories surround you,
A word someone may say
Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day
That brings her back as clearly as though she was here
And fills you with the feelings that she is always near
For if you keep these moments, you will never be apart
And she will live forever, locked safe within your heart.
2. Remember Me, by Christina Rossetti
This poem was written by Christina Rossetti in 1849, when she was still a teenager.
A classic poem of remembrance and mourning.
The words remind us that love is eternal – a fitting funeral poem for a grandma who meant so very much.
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 the future that you planned;
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 I once had,
Better by far that you should forget
And smile than that you should
Remember and be sad.
3. Warning by Jenny Joseph
This delightful poem is a perfect funeral poem for a grandma who was a lot of fun. It is written from the point of view of a woman who wants to make up for the "sobriety" of her youth in mischievous older age.
The words describe growing old in a wonderfully outrageous style.
Here’s how it begins.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which 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.
Watch Jenny read her poem in full.
4. When I Must Leave You, by Helen Steiner Rice
This funwral verse is the work of Helen Steiner Rice, a well-known writer of religious and inspirational poems. With its comforting words that tell us to dry our tears and live a good life, it’s sends a heartwarming message of hope for a grandmother’s funeral.
When I must leave you
For a little while
Please do not grieve
And shed wild tears
With a grandma’s good sense, it reminds us to fill our waking hours in useful ways, and brings comfort with final words of faith and wisdom. The final lines are reassuring...
Be afraid to die
For I am waiting for you in the sky!
5. A Wonderful Grandmother (Author unknown)
This is a lovely funeral poem for grandma as it describes how lucky each of us is to have had the best grandmother in the world.
This poem also reminds us that our grandma may be watching us from above – so we should keep on our best behaviour!
We had a wonderful grandmother
One who never really grew old
Her smile was made of sunshine
And her heart was solid gold
Her eyes were bright as shining stars
And in her cheeks fair roses you see.
We had a wonderful grandmother,
And that’s the way it will always be.
But take heed, because
She’s still keeping an eye on all of us,
So let’s make sure
She will like what she sees.
6. The Watcher by Anne Widdemer
With words that remind us of the care she took of her family, this is a wonderful funeral poem for a nana.
As these lines how, while we may be sad that she has died, we can take comfort from the idea that she may still be watching out for us from Heaven.
Her thoughts were all so full of us,
She could never forget!
And so I think that where she is
She must be watching yet.
7. Legacy of Love (author unknown)
This is an uplifting poem for a celebration of a remarkable woman’s life. The words remind us that nans can be strong, as well as kind and loving.
This funeral poem for a grandmother also comforts us with the thought that our love for our her will always live in our hearts.
A wife, a mother, a grandma too,
This is the legacy we have from you
You taught us love and how to fight
You gave us strength, you gave us might.
A stronger person would be hard to find,
And in your heart you were always kind.
You fought for us all in one way or another
Not just as a wife not just as a mother.
For all of us you gave your best
And now the time has come for you to rest.
So go in peace, you’ve earned your sleep,
Your love in our hearts we’ll eternally keep.
8. God Looked Around His Garden
Often attributed as “author unknown,” poet Melissa Shreve said she actually wrote this poem for her grandma’s funeral. It comforts the grieving with beautiful thoughts of a new life in Paradise, free from earthly pain.
God looked around his garden
And found an empty place
He then looked down upon the earth
And saw your tired face
He put his arms around you
And lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful,
He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering
He knew you were in pain
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids
And said, “Peace be thine”.
It broke our hearts to lose you
But you didn’t go alone.
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.
9. You’ve Just Walked On Ahead of Me by Joyce Grenfell
This well-known funeral poem was written by the comedian and entertainer Joyce Grenfell.
With its warm and sympathetic message about finding ways to cope, it’s a lovely choice of poem for a nan’s funeral, especially if she’d want you to feel reassured.
You’ve Just Walked On Ahead of Me
And I’ve got to understand
You must release the ones you love
And let go of their hand.
I try and cope the best I can
But I’m missing you so much
If I could only see you
And once more feel your touch.
Yes, you’ve just walked on ahead of me
Don’t worry I’ll be fine
But now and then I swear I feel
Your hand slip into mine.
10. She Is Gone, by David Harkins
This poem was originally thought to be “author unknown”, but David Harkins claimed his authorship after it was chosen by the Queen for the Queen Mother’s Royal funeral in April 2002.
It’s since become a funeral favourite, because its uplifting words remind us how important it is to celebrate a life instead of focusing on the death. Often chosen for funerals, “he” or “they” are often said in place of “she.”
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’ll 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 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’s 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’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.