The Best Funeral Poem in my Library

This is the best funeral poem that I have ever read. I have used it in most of my funerals and it always lands with those present. I think it captures both the sadness and the joy that can be swirling around during that time of loss. I actually make a habit of taking copies of this poem with me so that I can hand them out after the service. I hope it can be helpful to those who have suffered a loss but also helpful to my fellow pastors.

casketWhen Tomorrow Starts Without Me   attributed to  David M. Roman

When tomorrow starts without me And I’m not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes All filled with tears for me.
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry The way you did today;
While thinking of the many things We didn’t get to say.

I know how much you love me As much as I love you;
And each time that you think of me, I know you’ll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name And took me by the hand.

She said my place was ready In heaven far above;
And that I’d have to leave behind, All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away, A tear fell from my eye;
For all my life, I’d always thought I didn’t want to die.

I had so much to live for, So much yet to do;
It seemed almost impossible, That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays, The good ones and the bad;
I thought of all the love we shared, And all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday Just even for awhile,
I’d say goodbye and kiss you And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized That this could never be;
For emptiness and memories Would take the place of me.

And when I thought of worldly things I might miss come tomorrow;
I thought of you, and when I did, My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven’s gates I felt so much at home;
When God looked down and smiled at me From His great golden throne.

He said, “This is eternity And all I’ve promised you;
Today your life on earth is past, But here it all starts anew.”
“I promise no tomorrow, But today will always last;
And since each day’s the same day, There’s no longing for the past.”

“But you have been so faithful, So trusting and so true;
Though at times you did do things, You knew you shouldn’t do.”
“But you have been forgiven And now at last you’re free;
So won’t you take my hand And share my life with me?”

So when tomorrow starts without me, Don’t think we’re far apart
For every time you think of me, I’m right here in your heart

 

Twas the Nightmare before New Years

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Twas the Nightmare Before New Years by Jordan Rimmer

 

Twas the Nightmare before New Years, and all through the land
Everyone was stirring, as fast as they can.
The decorations were hung, but were they enough?
Paying off all this credit card debt will be tuff.

The children were tucked in and dreaming upstairs
Of expensive toys that they’ll break and they’ll lose and won’t share.
Mom and I were exhausted, and fell fast asleep
For this was a pace that we just could not keep.

It was snowing outside and starting to pile
In the morning I would have to shovel a while.
Man, was the winter always rough on my back.
And we are travelling this week and didn’t yet pack.

The kids would wake up before the crack of dawn
To open their toys, and all day they will yawn.
Then we’d dash to see family throughout the day
And we’ll eat and we’ll talk while all the kids play.

As the day moves along a smile turns to a frown.
Somebody’s bound to have a melt-down.
It might be a kid who didn’t get enough sleep
Or an adult with too many secrets to keep.

Is this really what Christmas is all about?
That we run and we spend and we stress and we shout?
We hustle and bustle and wear ourselves thin.
Is there something more happening that we just won’t let in?

Then we realize with a great amount of fear:
We are going to have do this all again next year?
But bigger, and better, and nicer, and more
More shopping, more cookies, of everything—more.

Or we could choose differently here, you and I.
We could hold on to love and give up the lie
That Christmas is all about presents and stuff
We could look at it differently, but it will be tuff.

Maybe it’s not about presents at all
Or decorations or cookies or sales at the mall.
Maybe the holiday is all about love.
That started with Christ who came from above.

The love that was laid in the manger of hay
Changes the way we love others today.
Maybe this Christmas we can more than get through.
Merry Christmas, I say, and God’s blessings to you.