As you fulfill your loved one’s wishes to be cremated and scattered, you have to prepare yourself to speak during the ashes scattering ceremony. As a time to say your final goodbyes, this event will be an extremely emotional one, which can make it difficult to find the right words to say.
There are so many ideas for what to say when scattering a loved one’s ashes, but below we have listed some of the most popular and beautiful scattering ashes poems.
Poetry can help you express the big emotions of grief and love when you can’t seem to form the words yourself. Certain poems are even recognised for their extraordinary healing power.
They remind us why the person was loved, help us search for meaning in the loss, and breed empathy in the people who hear it. They help us acknowledge the truth of our pain and allow us to feel. And when we feel, we can heal!
There are so many beautiful pieces of poetry that can be used for an ashes scattering ceremony. Some are uplifting and comforting while others may be emotional or funny. Some are philosophical, some are comforting, and others are painfully personal.
Life-Affirming Poems for Scattering Ashes
The ashes scattering ceremony is, of course, a sad occasion and it’s in that time that many people wonder about the purpose of life. Even though your loved one is gone forever, you can give a life-affirming message to encourage yourself and other mourners. Life-affirming funeral poems can be uplifting during such a difficult time, bringing comfort and a measure of peace. Many are written from the deceased’s perspective, leaving a message to those left behind. The message is usually positive, urging mourners not to grieve for too long, but rather to remember the good times and to make sure they live their own lives to the fullest. Examples of life-affirming poems you can read when scattering the ashes of a loved one include:
Alone I Will Not Be
My comfort will come from the sea.
The stillness of calm waves will gently drift by
I will be as one with the sea.
When the sun sets on the ocean blue, remember me as I will always remember you.
As the sun rises…go live life as full as can be
Apart…you and me…but be at peace for I am free.
If I Should Go Tomorrow
If I should go tomorrow
It would never be goodbye,
For I have left my heart with you,
So don’t you ever cry.
The love that’s deep within me,
Shall reach you from the stars,
You’ll feel it from the heavens,
And it will heal the scars.
Life Well Lived
A life well-lived is a precious gift,
of hope and strength and grace,
from someone who has made our world
a brighter, better place.
It’s filled with moments sweet and sad,
with smiles and sometimes tears,
with friendships formed and good times shared,
and laughter through the years.
A life well-lived is a legacy,
of joy and pride and pleasure,
a living, lasting memory
our grateful hearts will treasure.
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Funny Poems for Scattering Ashes
Humour isn’t completely out of place at a farewell because when you celebrate a loved one’s life, you celebrate all of it –the good and the bad times. That being said, you have to keep it dignified and ensure whatever you say honours your loved one’s memory. We’ve gathered some light-hearted poems to inspire you and hopefully, you’ll find something your loved one would have giggled at.
Pardon Me for Not Getting Up By Kelly Roper
Oh dear, if you’re reading this right now,
I must have given up the ghost.
I hope you can forgive me for being
Such a stiff and unwelcoming host.
Just talk amongst yourself my friends,
And share a toast or two.
For I am sure you will remember well
How I loved to drink with you.
Don’t worry about mourning me,
I was never easy to offend.
Feel free to share a story at my expense
And we’ll have a good laugh at the end.
I Didn’t Go To Church Today by Ogden Nash
I didn’t go to church today,
I trust the Lord to understand.
The surf was swirling blue and white,
The children swirling on the sand.
He knows, He knows how brief my stay,
How brief this spell of summer weather,
He knows when I am said and done
We’ll have plenty of time together
I Must Go Down To The Sea Again By Spike Milligan
I must go down to the sea again,
to the lonely sea and the sky;
I left my shoes and socks there –
I wonder if they’re dry?
Popular Poems for Scattering Ashes
There are a number of poems that are frequently chosen for funeral services and you can’t go wrong with them at the ashes scattering ceremony. This includes:
Leave Me in Peace
When I’m dead, cry for me a little,
think of me sometimes – but not too much.
Think of me now and again – as I was in life,
at some moments it is pleasant to recall, but not for too long.
Leave me in peace, and I will leave you in peace,
and while you live let your thoughts be for the living.
If I Should Go
If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone
Nor when I’m gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known
Weep if you must
Parting is Hell
But life goes on
So sing as well.
Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
A light went out on Earth for me
The day we said goodbye
And on that day a star was born,
The brightest in the sky
Reaching through the darkness
With its rays of purest white
Lighting up the Heavens
As it once lit up my life
With beams of love to heal
The broken heart you left behind
Where always in my memory
Your lovely star will shine
Christian/Religious Poems for Scattering Ashes
If your loved one had any religious beliefs, including a religious funeral poem may be a good way to honour them. Consider one of the following poems and verses:
May the roads rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Another Leaf Has Fallen
Another leaf has fallen, another soul has gone.
But still we have God’s promises,
in every robin’s song.
For he is in His heaven,
and though He takes away,
He always leaves to mortals,
the bright sun’s kindly ray.
He leaves the fragrant blossoms,
and lovely forest, green.
And gives us new found comfort,
When we on Him will lean.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Tips for Finding the Right Poem for the Scattering Ashes Ceremony
A lot of people plan their funeral nowadays down to the last detail. Your loved one may have asked for a specific poem to be read at their funeral. If not, where do you begin when, in fact, you’re not usually a poetry fan?
A good place to start is the personality of the deceased and what type of poem they would have liked. Go through a collection of remembrance poems and find one that feels right. It could be something they might have liked to be read at their funeral or how you remember them.
Poems can be incredibly moving. As difficult as it may be, they can cause us to confront our emotions, create a wave of positivity, cause deep reflection on the life of the deceased; basically, inspire a range of responses. In that case, you also need to consider other mourners and the way you would like them to feel while you are reading the poem.
When choosing a scattering ashes poem, you don’t have to stick to poems explicitly written about death or for funerals. As long as a poem speaks to you and feels appropriate for the occasion, it’s fine.
Last, but not least, some poems use Old English and contain phrases that may be tricky to pronounce. In that case, choose a poem that’s easy to read and that you will feel confident reading. Consider a short funeral poem or a few verses from a long poem so you can hold the attention of the audience for the whole time you’ll be reading the poem.
Writing Your Own Funeral Poem
Some people have a way with words and, therefore, choose to write their own poems. Or perhaps, you just can’t find the right poem to honour your loved one. You take inspiration from existing poems to create a unique poem for your loved one. Speak to friends and family for ideas, stories, and memories to include. Once you start writing, the words will automatically start to flow. Let the poem take shape without worrying about structure and rhyme. Once you’re done, you can go over it and edit however you wish.
A personal poem about a loved one can bring comfort both in creating and reading/listening to it. It’s likely to make friends and family, cry, laugh, and most importantly, remember the deceased.
There’s no such thing as the best scattering ashes poem or even the right way to do a reading. Ultimately, the ashes scattering ceremony is about saying goodbye in whatever way you see fit. If you find something that expresses how you feel, that’s the perfect poem to read when scattering your loved one’s ashes.
To help prepare for the occasion, it’s important to practice the poem beforehand. You don’t have to memorise it, but get used to the sound and shape of the words. Also, try to sound as natural as possible.