Hail the Traveler! We commit you back from where you came — to the arms of your ancestors. May there be peace where there was anger. May there be healing where there was hurt. Go quickly to the place that your old ones called home. For those who grieve for your passing, let there be healing. For those who grieve for who you were, let there be healing. For those who grieve for what you could have been, let there be healing. Hail the Traveler. We celebrate your journey.Read More
Blessed are those who give meaning to our lives;
holy and precious is the example they leave behind.
We pray: May our sorrows diminish as we recall their strength.
May their wisdom protect us and help us to live.
Let our grief be transformed into tenderness for those who are still with us.
-- Jewish prayerRead More
Look around us, search above us, below, behind.
We stand in a great web of being joined together.
Let us praise, let us love the life we are lent
passing through us in the body of Israel
and our own bodies, let’s say amein.
Time flows through us like water.
The past and the dead speak through us.
We breathe our children’s children, blessing.
Blessed is the earth from which we grow,
blessed the life we are lent,
blessed the ones who teach us,
blessed the ones we teach,
blessed is the word that cannot say the glory
that shines through us and remains to shine
flowing past distant suns on the way to forever.
Let’s say amein.
Blessed is the light, blessed is the darkness
but blessed above all else is peace
which bears the fruits of knowledge
on strong branches, let’s say amen.
Peace that bears joy into the world,
peace that enables love, peace over Israel
everywhere, blessed and holy is peace, let’s say amein.
-- Marge Piercy
Death is not the end
But the beginning
Of a metamorphosis.
For matter is never destroyed
And rearranged –
Often more perfectly.
Witness how in the moment of a caterpillar’s death
The beauty of the butterfly is born
And released from the prison of the cocoon
It flies free.
-- Peter TatchellRead More
Birth is a beginning
And death a destination
And life is a journey:
From childhood to maturity
And youth to age;
From innocence to awareness
And ignorance to knowing;
From foolishness to discretion
And then perhaps to wisdom.
From weakness to strength or
From strength to weakness
And often back again;
From health to sickness,
And we pray to health again.
From offence to forgiveness,
From loneliness to love,
From joy to gratitude,
From pain to compassion,
From grief to understanding,
From fear to faith.
From defeat to defeat to defeat
Until, not looking backwards or ahead,
We see that victory lies not
At some high point along the way
But in having made the journey
Step by step,
A sacred pilgrimage.
Birth is a beginning
And death a destination
And life is a journey.
--Rabbi Alvin Fine from Jewish Reform high holiday prayer book, Gates of RepentanceRead More
The first candle represents our grief.
The pain of losing you is intense.
It reminds us of the depth of our love for you.
This second candle represents our courage.
To confront our sorrow,
To comfort each other,
To change our lives.
This third candle we light in your memory.
For the times we laughed,
The times we cried,
The times we were angry with each other,
The silly things you did,
The caring and joy you gave us.
This fourth candle we light for our love.
We light this candle that your light will always shine.
As we enter this holiday season and share this night of remembrance
with our family and friends.
We cherish the special place in our hearts
that will always be reserved for you.
We thank you for the gift
your living brought to each of us.
We love you.
We remember you.
-- UnknownRead More
His laughter was better than the birds in the morning,
His smile turned the edge of the wind,
His memory disarms death and charms the surly grave.
We cannot grieve for more than a little while
For he lives in the earth around us,
And laughs from the sky.
-- C. Day LewisRead More
In a circle of friends, the one who dies first
Is the friend you will never forget:
This is the death that unhinges you
From the trappings of everyday life
And makes you – suddenly – absurdly grateful
For each new breath – beginning with this one.
This is the death that could break you apart
In every way possible; that persuades you –
In memory of that friend – to turn away
From whatever refuses to speak to your heart
From whatever threatens to numb your soul
From whatever it is that revels in death.
Yet this, too, is the friend you need by your side.
Listen. Together they urge you: Live your life.
-- Alice KavounasRead More
To the living, I am gone.
To the sorrowful, I will never return.
To the angry, I was cheated,
But to the happy, I am at peace,
And to the faithful, I have never left.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore, gazing at a beautiful sea - remember me.
As you look in awe at a mighty forest and its grand majesty - remember me.
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity - remember me.
Remember me in your heart, your thoughts, and your memories of the times we
loved, the times we cried, the times we fought, the times we laughed.
For if you always think of me, I will have never gone.
This body that has borne her all her life from birth to death, that gave her breath to live and sight to see, that has served her every need, that has shown you the beauty of her unique person in its eyes and made you aware of her presence in your heart, and without which she would be a mystery to you; we now return to its source with the grace it deserves from us, without our attachment to it but with our lasting love for her.Read More
This body that has borne her all her life from birth to death,
that gave her breath to live and sight to see,
that has served her every need, that has shown you the beauty of her unique person
in its eyes and made you aware of her presence in your heart,
and without which she would be a mystery to you;
we now return to its source with the grace it deserves from us,
without our attachment to it but with our lasting love for her.
Death has nothing to do with going away.
The sun sets
The moon sets
But they are not gone.
We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.
-- William Shakespeare‘The Tempest’ Act IV, Scene IRead More
We trust that beyond absence there is a presence.
That beyond the pain there can be healing.
That beyond the brokenness there can be wholeness.
That beyond the anger there may be peace.
That beyond the hurting there may be forgiveness.
That beyond the silence there may be the word.
That beyond the word there may be understanding.
That through understanding there is love.
-- UnknownRead More
The rays of light filtered through
The sentinels of trees this morning.
I sat in the garden and contemplated.
The serenity and beauty
Of my feelings and surroundings
Completely captivated me.
I thought of you.
I discovered you tucked away
In the shadows of the trees.
Then, rediscovered you
In the smiles of the flowers
As the sun penetrated their petals
In the rhythm of the leaves
Falling in the garden
In the freedom of the birds
As they fly searching as you do.
I’m very happy to have found you,
Now you will never leave me
For I will always find you in the beauty of life.
-- Walter RinderRead More
I shall live beyond death, and I shall sing in your ears
Even after the vast sea-wave carries me back
To the vast sea-depth.
I shall sit at your board though without a body,
And I shall go with you to your fields, a spirit invisible.
I shall come to you at your fireside, a guest unseen.
Death changes nothing but the masks that cover our faces.
The woodsman shall be still a woodsman,
The ploughman, a ploughman,
And he who sang his song to the wind shall sing it also to
the moving spheres.
-- Kahlil Gibran, from The Garden of The ProphetRead More
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
I carry your heart with me (I carry it in
My heart) I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
By only me is your doing, my darling) [or Dear Grandpa?]
I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) I want
No world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
And it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
And whatever a sun will always sing is you
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
And the sky of a tree called life; which grows
Higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
And this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)
-- ee cummingsRead More
May perpetual light shine upon
The face of he who rests here.
May the remembering earth
Mind every memory he brought.
May the rains from the heavens
Fall gently upon him.
May the wildflowers and grasses
Whisper their wishes into the light.
May we reverence the village of presence
In the stillness of this silent field.
-- Adapted from a poem by John Donohue
Her early leaf’s a flower
But only so an hour
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.
-- Robert FrostRead More