Inspirational Poems About Death and Dying

Published May 18, 2020
Woman reading a poem at a funeral

Funerals and memorial services are typically sombre occasions, but inspirational poems about death and dying can provide comfort and hope to the loved ones left behind. Take a few moments to read some original poetry about death, as well as some famous poems, and decide if you like the tone they set.

Inspirational Poetry About Death

These original poems are secular in nature. However, they're suitable for nearly anyone and could still be included in a religious ceremony if they make a fitting tribute to the deceased.

Sweet Freedom

By Kelly Roper

No longer shackled by
Earthly cares and woes,
My spirit follows the sun
Wherever it goes.

I'm lighter than air
Unburdened by flesh,
I'm at one with the universe,
And it all looks so fresh.

I know that you miss me,
But try not to cry.
It's wonderful here
High up in the sky.

And I'll be waiting for you
When your time comes around.
Sweet freedom will be yours too,
When you're no longer earthbound.

Just a Temporary Separation Poem

The Next Adventure Begins

By Kelly Roper

Do not feel sad for me.
I do not feel sad for myself.
I lived the life I wanted to,
Had the best of friends,
Loved the people I wanted to,
And I still do.
Now the next adventure awaits
In uncharted territory,
And I'm excited for it to begin.

Suffering Defeated

By Kelly Roper

Suffering may hold the earthbound in thrall,
But there's a sweet relief that saves us all.

Think not of Death as a villain who robs us of life,
But as a friend who severs the silver cord with a knife.

He leads us to another realm, one not nearly so small,
Where suffering is defeated and exists not at all.

We will spend a beautiful eternity living there,
To be joined, one-by-one, by all those we hold dear.

Religious Poems About Death and Dying

These original poems are religious in nature, so they're best suited for a person of faith but could be used for people who had a general spirituality even if they weren't affiliated with a particular religion. One could be included as a funeral reading or part of a church service for the deceased.

May the Angels Take You

By Kelly Roper

May the angels take you in their charge
And gently lift you from this earth.
May they fly you swiftly to Heaven,
And place you in the loving arms of our Lord.

Slipping Past the Veil Poem

A Postcard From Heaven

By Kelly Roper

I haven't been gone very long,
But I wanted to let you know I arrived.
Heaven is oh so wonderful,
And my soul feels completely revived.

The colors here are brighter,
More intense than any I've known.
The scent of the air is indescribable,
More fragrant than any earthly cologne.

There's a feeling of love that emanates,
From the most beautiful light you can imagine.
This love and light permeates everything here
Leaving a sense of peace that's hard to fathom.

I've never felt such contentment,
Even though I loved my life with you all.
Happiness seems to flow from on high
As if dropped from a pristine waterfall.

My postcard is just about full,
So for now, I'll bid you adieu,
But every now and then, you can be sure,
I'll send another little postcard to you.

Trust in Him

By Kelly Roper

If you believe in God,
There's no oblivion.
Trust in Him,
Let go of this world,
And see the wonders He has prepared for you.

Famous Poems About Death

The great poets have also written some very inspiring poems about death and dying. The following excerpts are from several of the best.

Joy in Death

Written by Emily Dickinson, Joy in Death takes the stance that going to Heaven is good news. "... Is heaven then so sad? That bells should joyful ring to tell, A soul had gone to heaven..."

The Sleep

Written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, The Sleep offers the idea that death is a gift of grace given by God. "... Say, Not a tear must o'er her fall! He giveth His beloved, sleep."

Even Such Is Time

A poem by Sir Walter Raleigh Even Such Is Time speaks of trusting in God. "... And from which earth, and grave, and dust, The Lord will raise me up, I trust."

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

Written by Mary Elizabeth Frye, Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep is an incredibly inspirational poem about death with a message that a loved one never truly dies. "... I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow..."

Death, Be Not Proud

Written by John Donne, Death Be Not Proud admonishes Death that its victory is only temporary and it will also die. "... One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And Death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die."

When Great Trees Fall

In When a Great Tree Falls, renowned poet Maya Angelou touches on the feelings involved when loved ones pass away, but then in the final stanza, she delivers an uplifting message about recovering from the loss. "... Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed."


Christina Rossetti's poem Remember is a tender piece of advice from one lover to another. "... Yet if you should forget me for a while, And afterwards remember, do not grieve... Better by far you should forget and smile, Than that you should remember and be sad."

Uplifting Poetry in Times of Loss

Dealing with the death of someone you're close too is never easy, but putting together a tribute for that person is part of the healing process. Sadness is unavoidable at a time like this, but including some inspirational poetry can provide a little light in the darkness.

Inspirational Poems About Death and Dying