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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 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.

(Author unknown).

My father read this poem at my mother’s funeral and it makes sense to me. Not much else does at this point. Although I’ll mention one thing that made me smile…

My mother wanted “All along the watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix played as her coffin was carried out of the church (her sense of humour was better than mine). I went along to the church on the morning of the funeral to set up the sound system and checked the volume was all right (it was). One of my mother’s friends was there arranging the flowers and I was chatting to her. After a few minutes I decided, for no apparent reason, to see what was on the radio. As I flicked the button, the following line from the Monkeys song “Homecoming Queen” rang out – “Cheer up sleepy Jean, oh what can it mean. To be a daydream believer…”. My mother Jean would have laughed at that one.

Thanks for all the kinds words of support I’ve received. It’s much appreciated. I’ll reply to you all in time.

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

6 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. My mother, Aladene, died unexpectedly on June 12, 2002. For years she had kept this poem in a special place and would bring it out on occasion to remind us that she wanted it read at her funeral. This poem gives me great comfort and exemplifies my mom’s spirit and beliefs like no other. My ‘smile’ came after the funeral, at my parent’s home my entire family (including her sisters Darlene, Jean and Emme) all had a huge water fight. No one was safe, as waterguns, buckets and hoses were brought out. My mom would have loved that. I miss my mom.


  2. I do not know you, but my heart goes out to you and your family. I have relatives who have struggled with cancer and the process is very painful. My mother is 92 years old and she is close to leaving us and I do not know how to be strong, except knowing that she is going to heaven. I found your poem because I am looking for a poem to read when she does. So I thought I would write and say God Bless You and your mother and family

    Della Estrada


  3. John

    I have included your tribute to your mother with the poem Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep on the webpage (lens) that I created for it.

    I love the ‘message’ from your mom, Sleepy Jean advising you to cheer up.


  4. My oldest daughter at age 31 died along with her two beautiful little ones in a tragic fire. They were cremated together and members of the family were each given some of the ashes to scatter as they saw fit. We have lived in this area since she was thirteen and often said she never wanted to leave so I scattered their ashes in the sound and in my backyard. They have no grave and this poem seems so fitting. I am now in my seventies and I am still able to do counted cross-stitch. I want to do this poem in their memory and mine when I am scattered on top of their ashes. It has been 22 years and I visit her in my mind,almost every day. God gave me a beautiful grand daughter that was born one year and one day after their death. I don’t know if I could have made it with out her. Thank you for the poem. I had the first part but didn’t know where to look for the last. God bless you and your family. Nancy Benton


  5. If you would like a small card with this poem wrote on it. ( a small profecinal card ) they sell them in the catholic church shops for a few pence. ) they look very nice. the first time i seen this poem, i thought it was beautiful. if anyone i know dies i always write this on the card. if i havnt got a card to give them. well not them there relitives. best to keep a few cards in as you never know when you might kneed one . what i do is at the end of the poem i put. ( i’m with your mam now. ) or dad who ever died first ,


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