I know your Facebook page is for poems, but I'd like you to see a video I produced for my book, "Shake Hands with Yourself: A Peacemaker's Guide to Happiness & Inner Peace" (aka "SHWY"). The book is about getting over the deaths of five family members in the same number of years; beginning with the sudden deaths of my son and mother within the same hour, even though they were over 1000 miles apart. The book is inspirational and very uplifting, with many "Charmainisms" throughout... little sayings that caught on through the years that I would say to help someone make sense of that which we sometimes see in this world as only nonsense! The book is available at Amazon, in Ebook and lovely paperback, and will be in The Library of Congress when it comes out in hardback at the end of this month (Sept.2014). I think anyone who would put a website out such as this is in their heart a true "peacemaker." Thank you for helping others, which is what I believe I was born to do. Sincerely, Charmaine Smith Ladd
(Thank you Charmaine. Please visit SHAKEHANDSWITHYOURSELF.COM and then watch this beautiful, comforting video, and I hope you will be rewarded like I was. Michael Ashby).
Charmaine Smith Ladd (via Facebook)
My mother had a poem inscribed on my father's headstone...Wondering if you could tell me who it's by and how it goes from what I can remember. "Warm summer sun sun shine brightly here, cool summer breeze blow softly here, green sod above lie light, lie light..." That's all I can remember. Thank you.
(Warm summer sun
shine kindly here
Warm southern wind
blow softly here
Green sod above
lie light, lie light
Good night, dear heart
good night, good night
Mark Twain's eulogy to his daughter Olivia, adapted from the poem "Annette" by Robert Richardson. http://www.design.caltech.edu/erik/Misc/Twain_eulogy.html )
Thank you! Thank you so much for the link. I have wondered about the history for a long time.
I just wrote a book titled "JOURNEY TO THE RAINBOW" which will be published in August. The journey entails the grief I had from losing my 12 year old daughter, but the amazing part is from all the visions, dreams, communication and signs we have had from her. Our soul lives on and our loved ones are with us always. I have four BEAUTIFUL poems in the book. Could I share one of them on your site?
(We have shared your uplifting poem "A MOTHER'S LOSS" by Amanda Jane Penny through our Blog on this site. Please just click the poem title above.)
Thank you. I was looking at your beautiful website last night with tears in my eyes. Yes, I did notice the beautiful rainbows. They make me smile. Funny, but after a tragedy you begin to notice the smaller things in life which then have meaning.
I have been trying to find a writing I have lost. It wasn't a poem, it was a letter from a deceased child to his parents. One line was about how sometimes inertia is the only movement we can make. CAN you help me find it?
("FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH"
Dear Mom and Dad,
I know this is a rough time for you. Therefore, I will be as gentle as I can be. First, I thank you for your many tears, particularly those shared with another that you love. They are a gift to me, a precious tribute to your investment in me. As you do your mourning, do it at your pace only. Do not let anybody suggest that you do your grief work on their timetable. Do whatever it takes to face directly the reality of what has happened - even though you may sometimes find that inertia is the only movement possible.
Give your best to keeping a balance between remembering me and renewing your commitments to your life. It is okay with me if you go through minutes hours and even days not thinking about me. I know that you will never forget losing me and grabbing hold of a new meaning is a delicate art. I am not sure if one comes before the other or not - maybe it is a combination. Be with people who accept you as you are. Mention my name aloud, and if they do not beat a hasty retreat, they are probably excellent candidates for friendship. If, by a remote possibility , you think there is anything you could have done for me and did not... I forgive you as my Lord does. Resentment does not abide here, only love. You know how sometimes people ask you how many children you have? Well, I am still yours and you are still my parents. Always acknowledge that with tenderness - unless to do so would fall on insensitive ears or would be painful to you. I know how you feel inside. To be included as your child honors me. If you can view my brothers and sisters as ever so gentle reminders - inviting you to continue on, when sadness is so pervasive - you will see them as a gift. Sometimes they hold onto their grief, keep it inside, out of respect for the burden they see you already carrying. Hug them and help them feel secure and valued.
Read... even though your tears annoint the pages. There is an immense library here and I have a card. In Henri Nouwens "Out Of Solitude", he writes: "The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of dispair or confusion... who can stay with us in the hour of grief and bereavement... who can tolerate not curing, not healing, and face with us the reality of our powerlessness... that is a friend who cares". Mom and Dad, I do not know where you are spiritually now, but rest assured that our God is not gone. "The still small voice you hear in your heart is His voice. The warmth that sometimes enfolds you is Him. The tears that tremble just below your heartbeat are Him. He is in you, as I am." And to Dad particularly, I know you grieve differently than Mom does. It is okay - you grew up differently. If you run into any man who has seen the last ten minutes of Kevin Costner in the movie "Field Of Dreams", share your reactions. You will touch your feelings and probably loose your aloneness. Crying is not weak.
I also want you to both know that I am okay. I have sent messengers to ease your pain. They come in the form of flowers blooming out of season, birds singing, voices and visions, and sometimes through your friends - and even strangers - who volunteer as angels. Stay open but do not expect the overly dramatic. You will get what you need and it may be simply an internal sense of peace. You are not crazy. You are being comforted. Please seek out people bereaved longer than you. They are tellers of truth, and if they have done their work, they are a an inspiration and beacon of hope whose pain has lessened dramatically. In addition, one more bit of wisdom before I close. There are still funny happenings in the world. It delights me no end when I hear your spontaneous, uncontrolled laughter. That too, will come in due time.
Today, I also light a candle for you. Joined with your candle, let their light shine above the darkness.
Affectionately Your child P.S. I will see you later!)
Hi, my cousin was killed in a car crash 30 years ago in june. He was only 18, I am trying to organise the mass for this years anniversary. As you can imagine we were all so upset at the time that none of us did any readings on the day. Now 30 years later we would like this mass to be a tribute to his life and want to try to get the younger kids at the mass to see that even though we still hurt we live on. Could you please maybe help me with some poems and a suitable reading.
( We suggest you might consider the following:
RAINBOWS ON THE MOON poem, because the last line of the first three verses is "Since I passed away too soon". Four people reading alternate lines of this poem is very powerful... especially with the fourth person standing next to the memorial photograph. This poem combines beautifully with the Eskimo Proverb...
"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy"
For the younger kids... THE SHIP "She is gone." Gone!, Where, Gone from my sight that is all... and
I AM NOT GONE poem... "I am not gone, While you remember with me" )
Michael, thank you so much for the fabulous poems.
Do you have any suitable poems / prayers / short comments for the funeral of a keen racegoer who has just died aged 85? His regular courses were Wincanton and Cheltenham and TV. Many thanks.
( "OFF TO THE RACES"
I'm off to the races in heaven
In fact, I'm champing at the bit
At the prospect of wagering that Arkle
Will give Desert Orchid the slip
Satellite TV's a safe bet to view
The next Cheltenham Gold Cup
From my new, free 'Hi-Lux Chalet'
I'll be wishing you the best of luck
I've given life a good run for its money
But it's time to say 'Cheerio' for now... old sports
I'm looking forward to catching up with you all again... one day
Over a glass of your favourite champagne or port
My personal letter to Mum
When you are in Heaven please stay in the light, promise me you will never venture into the dark, keep an eye on me, I will know you are there, talk to me I will hear you, leave messages for me, I will find them, on windy days shelter me from the wind and on rainy days help me to stay dry, when I am happy promise me you will join in with my laughter, and on sad days please put your arms around me, Your funeral will be one of the saddest days of my life, but somewhere in that day I will find happy moments which will make me laugh. Bathe in that laughter with me, join me on your special day. I promise you faithfully with all my heart that your day will go well; nothing will be out of place, you will be on that Pedestal.
We stayed together through thick and thin, joy and pain, anger and laughter. You gave birth to me and I sadly watched you take your final breath. That will be etched on my mind forever and a day ... I love you and will miss you forever. God bless, sleep tight.
XXX SUE XXX
Thank you for allowing us to share your poem (I Am Not Gone) on our complementary website. This and the mention we made of your web address may be of benefit and bring comfort to other followers of AU. Your poem was brought to us by a member who found some solace in your verse... and is posted " in remembrance of his dearly loved wife...".
Alan Carter at astralunity.com
My mother died recently. She was ALWAYS making cups of tea, M&S Gold Blend English Breakfast, which she never finished. At her funeral, your lovely, very apt poem was read out by our son. It brought much comfort to those of us listening who knew her. Thank you.( “A LONG CUP OF TEA” poem)
Do you have any Rod McKuen suggestions? He was my Dad's favourite poet. Thanks.
(We suggest Rod McKuen's moving poem "AGE IS BETTER" which resonates with us and possibly may resonate with you too. It is on his official website at: http://www.rodmckuen.com/poetry/age.htm )
Thanks again for your suggestion. After a few more hours digging through old rod McKuen books we've settled on poem '35' from Rod's "listen to the warm". It's a short one but my sister thought it was perfect.
Many years ago I read a poem at my mother's funeral about a ship leaving the shoreline heading out to sea. The gist of the poem was that other people awaited to receive her on the other shore. I cannot locate it and need it for an upcoming memorial. Can you help me? Thank you so much.
( We believe the poem you're looking for is "The Ship" and this is the link:
Thank you for responding. You clearly live a purposeful life and your website reflects that. The Ship will be used to honor someone who also lived a purposeful life. I thought you might like to see who it will be used to honor…… ‘Jenny Pomeroy’.
What am amazing site! All the poems I have heard at various funerals and memorials over the years - except the one I am searching for - Remembrance by Agatha Christie. Any chance of helping? Thank you.
(Thank you so much for your comment and challenge. We have now added the poetry book “REMEMBRANCE” by Agatha Christie – illustrated by Richard Allen – to our poetry library. It contains just the one poem, hopefully what you are looking for. Since she was fourteen years senior to her husband (Sir Max Mallowan, the renowned archaeologist) and concerned she might predecease him, she wrote this poignant poem “REMEMBRANCE” to help both of them. Dame Agatha Christie (15 September 1890 - 12 January 1976) died two years before her husband, who passed away on the 19th August 1978. We are unable to include it on this website at the moment since it is copyrighted.)
Thank you, thank you!! Yes this is exactly what I have been looking for. I am very grateful for your help. Best wishes.
NAN AND GRANDAD
I do hope grandad has tidied the place
And got it ready for you
Not forgetting to make it all cosy
And to have a welcoming brew
I can imagine the smile on your faces
At meeting again at last
Those long days and nights of separation
Are now truly in the past
This poem is from me, to share my love for you both
With all our family and friends
But what gladdens me most, travelling down memory lane
Is that you'll both never, walk alone, again
(This funeral poem for Nan and Grandad was written in response to a private message received through this website. This poem is dedicated to "NIN AND GRANDAD".)
Hi - I recently lost my mother and my son would like to read a poem at her funeral. We want it to be fairly light-hearted and ideally reflect what she enjoyed a great deal - which was BINGO! Do you have any poems that would fit this?
(We are very saddened to hear of your loss. Michael has composed this poem -very quickly- for your son.)
My grandma's playing Bingo in heaven
With a happy smile on her face
If she'd known there was a Bingo hall in heaven
She'd have looked more forward to the place
Past 78 and heaven's gate
It's 83 and time for tea
With 61 and a baker's bun
And no queue for the lavatory
After 41 and time for fun
She's won with 54 and wiped the floor
I really do thank my lucky stars
My grandma landed in heaven instead of on mars
Hi MichaelI have just picked up your emails and wanted to thank you very much for doing this. However, I also asked my wife to write a poem, which is what we used at my mum's funeral yesterday. I have attached the poem for you to post on your website if you wish to use it.Once again, many thanks.regardsDave
by Rebecca Spilsbury
I loved going to bingo
And seeing all my chums
I’d listen out for numbers
Hoping they would be the ones
A line, a house would pass me by
The frustration could make a grown man cry!
But I was patient and not het up
Eyes looking down, ears pricked like a pup
I’d calmly wait to hear the call
The call that says this is the ball
BINGO, I shout, it’s my time
I finally got to complete that line!
I’ve been a daughter, mum, nan and wife
I had a ball and enjoyed my life
It’s just that when I heard the call
The call had my number on the ball.
I found your poem 'A long cup of Tea' on your website and thought it might do rather well as part of my eulogy for my best Friend who passed away at the end of November 2012.
As it was to be read out in church, I changed a few words and amended the last half to make it personal to him. I know I should have asked you first, but I'm sorry I've been in a bit of a mess whilst organising the funeral.
That has now past and the the poem went down rather well. I would really like to have your blessing, even if retrospectively.
My friend would go around to his mothers’ flat every week day, when he wasn’t working and sit with her watching afternoon quiz shows on TV with a nice cup of tea. I especially wanted to explain this as some of his friends thought he was a bit of a drinker, actually he liked his tea.
A Long Cup Of Tea
Death is too negative for me
I’d rather say I'll be popping off
For a long cup of tea
Do splash out
On two bags in the pot
And for goodness sake
Keep the water hot
Please pick the biggest mug
You can find
Because size really does matter
At this time
I'll pass on the Lapsang
With that Souchong
And stick with my favourite friend
You know the English breakfast blend
Milk and two sugars if you please
Of course you know that, I only tease
Give me the paper, I’ll leave you the crossword
Just make sure my cuppa’s properly stirred
I’ll put on countdown and we’ll play along
And don’t forget I like it strong
It’s not the same without Richard Whitley
But I’ll tell you what, I like Rachel Riley
Oh well, I suppose now it’s time
So, mother, put the kettle on
I’m coming for mine
Michael Ashby & Richard Peabody
(We are very moved that you were able to personalise our poem for the remembrance of your best Friend.)
I have read through a couple of poems the cup of tea and the mobile phone and found them uplifting... i only started trying to write 2 years ago after a loss which affected me greatly and this is a breath of fresh air...tyvm
Hello, can I use your poem "A Long Cup of Tea" for my Death Cafe on 2nd November...not sure how I'll use it, may even put it on my flyer.
(You are very welcome to use our poem "A Long Cup Of Tea" at Bristol’s First Death Café on 2nd November 2012 at 40 Alfred Place, Kingsdown, BS2 8DH 2.00 – 4.30pm. Paula & Simon of Heaven on Earth Green Bespoke Funerals are holding a Death Café to coincide with the Mexican Day of the Dead.)
Paula Rainey Crofts
We’ve written a play about two sisters: one has just died though appears as one of the two characters in the play. She has left a letter of instructions for her sister about funeral arrangements, including asking her to read a poem. The sister considers various options then chooses your ‘A long cup of tea’. We’re members of a small amateur theatre group (see www.theatresomeone.com) and will only perform the play in amateur settings, but we’d like to be sure you wouldn’t mind us using the poem. We’d acknowledge it as your work and put your website address in the programme. Is this OK?
(This is definitely OK, and we wish you success with your work.)
Dear Mr Ashby,
You were kind enough to give us permission last year to use your poem 'A long cup of tea' in our play.
It occurred to us that you might like to see the script (attached).
Susan and Lesley
PS We're taking the play to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August
August 15th & 16th 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
A Poem for My Sister at 4:00pm and
The Devil and Billy Markham at 8:00pm
Robert-Louis Stevenson Room, OverSeas House, 100 Princes St, Edinburgh
Tickets £10 (£8) are on sale at the Fringe Box Office or pay at the door on the evening.
(Congratulations on your sensitive, poignant, authentic, moving, humorous
and uplifting play and it's recent performances in Ferney-Voltaire and Geneva.)
Susan Leather and Lesley Sherwood
"Rainbows On The Moon"
I loved the poem Rainbows on the Moon and would love to know where to buy your ebook of poems Keep up the great writing.
Julie Budge - Australia
"I Am Not Gone"
I hope I've done justice to the powerful simplicty and tender love of your words.
Tony Osborne - Composer
I like this poem. I was on line searching for an American Indian poem regarding death for my friend Bob to read at his mom’s funeral who loved the American Indians. As I write this she’s still alive, but will be gone in a few days.
You are truly gifted in what you do god bless you for allowing your self to be used as an instrument to minister to the broken hearted.