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Types & Examples of Poems for Ash Scatterings

Losing a loved one can be an extremely challenging and emotional experience. Whether the death resulted from a prolonged illness or a sudden and unexpected event, knowing how to face it head-on is an unfortunate burden we all must bear. How we choose to say goodbye is as rich, diverse, and unique as our departed loved one was in life. Finding the right words for the occasion can be disarmingly overwhelming as you plan your final goodbye and scatter their ashes. As you look to rise to the occasion, poems are an excellent way to scaffold you at this moment. 

ash scattering

What Types of Poems Can You Say During an Ash Scattering?

When choosing poems to say when scattering ashes, there is no wrong way to do it. The important thing to consider is what feels most suitable to you since you will be the one speaking. Is it a life-affirming poem that brings you comfort and solace? Is it a humorous, yet dignified, poem that would have given your departed loved one a smile? Or perhaps, it's a philosophical poem that encompasses the spirit of your departed loved one. With so many poems for ash scattering to choose from, finding the right poem to represent your emotions and sentiment can be overwhelming and exhausting. To simplify your initial search, here is a list of five types of poems to consider: 

  • Celebration of Life
  • Life-Affirming
  • Humorous
  • Philosophical
  • Famous

Examples of Poems for Ash Scattering

Some truly beautiful and poignant poems can complement your ash scattering ceremony. Yet, sifting through endless choices of poems should not be an extra burden for you to carry as you plan and cultivate your memorial service. Now that we’ve identified five types of poems, let’s look at an inspiring example of each:

Celebration of Life Poem:

“Sanctum” By Beulah B. Malkin:

I built a tiny garden

In a corner of my heart

I kept it just for lovely things

And bade all else depart

And ever was there music

And flowers blossomed fair;

And never was it perfect

Until you entered there


Life-Affirming Poem:

“Life Well Lived” (author unknown):

A life well-lived is a precious gift,

of hope and strength and grace,

from someone who has made our world

a brighter, better place.

It’s filled with moments sweet and sad,

with smiles and sometimes tears,

with friendships formed and good times shared,

and laughter through the years.

A life well-lived is a legacy,

of joy and pride and pleasure,

a living, lasting memory

our grateful hearts will treasure.


Humorous Poem:

“Last Will and Testament”  By Will Scratchmann:

I suppose, one day, I will be dead and go to meet my maker,

So have this note set in my hand, there for the undertaker,

Don’t dress me in a shroud of white or rouge my cheeks all red,

It is not right, to look a fright, e’en though you’re stone cold dead.

Give me a brand new five pound note and a Visa credit card,

I want to buy a proper plot in old St Peter’s yard,

And as I sit upon my cloud and look down at the earth,

I’ll watch you use my worldly goods for festival and mirth,

And that will make me smile a smile, and have a laugh quite hearty,

To hear you say, the bugger’s dead, let’s have ourselves a party.


Philosophical Poem:

“Leave Me in Peace” (author unknown):

When I’m dead, cry for me a little,

think of me sometimes – but not too much.

Think of me now and again – as I was in life,

at some moments it is pleasant to recall, but not for too long.

Leave me in peace, and I will leave you in peace,

and while you live let your thoughts be for the living.


Famous Poem: 

“Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” By Dylan Thomas:

Do not go gentle into that good night, 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Why Say Poems When Scattering Ashes

The reason we have different forms of artistic expression, such as song, dance, or poem, is that sometimes a simple speech just isn’t enough to do a moment justice. There is, simply put, too much emotion; it begs to be released in a higher form. Poetry can do that. Evocative in nature, poetry has the ability to offer powerful, emotional healing. Poems for ash scattering can be the bedrock that collectively bonds you to your departed loved one as well as those mourning beside you.

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