Friday, 14 April 2023

Celebrating Life Through Hobbies: Funeral Poetry for Gardeners and More

When someone you love dies, it can be difficult to find the right words to honour their memory. 

Funeral poetry can offer a way to celebrate their life and the things that brought them joy. One way to do this is by incorporating their hobbies into the poetry. Here are some examples of funeral poems that pay tribute to people's hobbies:


If the person you are saying goodbye to was a skydiver, consider including a poem that talks about just that. We met a beautiful man some years ago John, who held a number of world records for his sky diving and when he died we wrote a poem for him called Flying High.


For the Sky Diver


One example is “Flying High” by Kate Armon & Craig Smith (excerpt) Poetry For Funerals


“Flying high above the clouds,

My adrenaline starts to flow,

The plane doors open, I feel the wind,

It’s time for me to go.

For the Music Lover


If the person you are honouring was a music lover, consider including a poem that speaks to the power of music to heal and inspire. 


One example is "Music, When Soft Voices Die" (excerpt) by Percy Bysshe Shelley:

"Music, when soft voices die,

Vibrates in the memory—

Odours, when sweet violets sicken,

Live within the sense they quicken."


This poem speaks to the way that music can live on in our memories long after the sound has faded.


For the Actor


If the person you are honouring was an actor, consider incorporating a poem that speaks about the stage, the smell of the greasepaint, the thrill of the show. 


One example is “Her Encore” by Kate Armon & Craig Smith (excerpt) Poetry For Funerals

“As the curtains fall,

And the lights start to fade,

An actress stands silently

Upon her last stage.”


This poem speaks to the way that the stage made her feel, and the memories that will live on forever.



For the Bookworm


If the person you are honouring was an avid reader, consider including a poem that speaks to the power of literature to transport and inspire us. 


One example is "A Book" (excerpt)  by Emily Dickinson:

"There is no frigate like a book

To take us lands away,

Nor any coursers like a page

Of prancing poetry."

This poem speaks to the way that books can open up new worlds to us and carry us away from our everyday lives.


And of course, you can't go past reading Shakespeare, although I know for some it can be a bit daunting.  I really enjoyed reading ' Fear no more the heat o' the Sun' it's a beautiful and passionate piece by Shakespeare, perfect for someone who loves literature.

"Fear no more the heat o’ the sun, 

Nor the furious winter’s rages; 

Thou thy worldly task hast done, 

Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages: 

Golden lads and girls all must, 

As chimney-sweepers, come to dust."


For the Gardener


If the person you are honouring was an avid gardener, consider incorporating a poem that talks about vegetables and flowers and the love of being outside.


Two examples which are from the same book by Kate Armon & Craig Smith (excerpts) Poetry for Funerals are basically the same poem but altered depending on whether the person loved veges or flowers.


“Trowel in hand he stood there proud,

Of Tomatoes that he’d sown.

Of Courgettes, Carrots, Beans and Herbs,

All of which he’d grown.”




“Trowel in hand she stood there proud,

Of flowers that she’d grown,

Of Bromeliads and Cordylines,

All of which she’d sown.”


These two poems allow you to customise the names of the people and the types of flowers or vegetables you include, making them really unique to the person you read them for.


For the Artist


If the person you are honouring was an artist, consider incorporating a poem that speaks to the power of creativity and the way that art can help us to find meaning and purpose in our lives. 


One example is "The Creation" (excerpt)  by James Weldon Johnson:

"And God stepped out on space,

And he looked around and said:

I'm lonely—

I'll make me a world."


This poem speaks to the power of creation and the way that artists can bring new worlds into being through their work.



"We Are All Painters" (Excerpt) by Ola Radka

"We mix the colours of sorrow and laughter

And add the colours of experience and the years that passed.

The souls we will always remember

And the moments we will never forget."

For the Mechanic


If the person you are honouring was a mechanic or loved to tinker in the garage, consider a poem about time spent in the shed with tools.


One example is "The Mechanic" by Kate Armon & Craig Smith (excerpt) Poetry for Funerals


" ‘Twas in the shed I heard the sounds

Of engines fast and loud.

The spark of fuel, the smell of oil,

And a man who stood so proud."


This poem is not only about the joys of being a mechanic but about family.


Unique funeral poetry can be a powerful way to honour the memory of someone who has died. By incorporating their hobbies and passions into the poetry, you can celebrate the things that brought them joy and helped to make them who they were. Whether they were a music lover, a bookworm, a sports fan, an artist, or a mechanic there is a poem out there that can speak to their unique spirit and legacy.


For more funeral poetry that encompasses hobbies and interests, check out our book ‘Poetry For Funerals’.



Thursday, 6 April 2023

Laughing Through Tears: The Art of Humour in Funeral Poetry

Funerals are so often solemn and sad occasions, where grief becomes all consuming.

Is there also a place for humour and light-heartedness? 

It is such a personal thing but we believe that including poetry that is humorous or whimsical can bring some much needed levity to a difficult situation. Obviously, there are situations where humour is not appropriate, where the pain of loss is simply too great, and the circumstances so tragic that humour is the last thing that is required. But in general, I do think there is room for humour at funerals.  I know that however, I die, I want humour at my funeral.  I want people to remember why they liked me (hopefully!) what made them laugh about me and for my funeral to be light and happy, a remembrance rather than a solemn affair because I didn’t live my life like that and I want to die the same way as I lived.

So, why is humour important when we are grieving?

Humour can help to relieve tension and stress. Funerals can be a stressful and emotional time for everyone involved, and laughter can help ease some of the tension. By including a funny or lighthearted poem in the funeral service, mourners can take a break from the sadness and find a moment to smile or even laugh. It can help to create a sense of togetherness and camaraderie among the mourners.

Another reason why light-hearted poetry is important at funerals is that it can celebrate the life of the person who has passed away in a joyful way. While it is important to acknowledge the sadness and loss, it is also important to remember the good times and the happy memories. A humorous poem can help to capture the personality and spirit of the person who has died, reminding everyone of the joy they brought into the world. It can be a way to celebrate their life and the love that they shared with others. When we write a poem specifically for someone, it is a way of celebrating what made them unique. 

We were asked to write a poem for this gentleman’s family to ‘give him something funny to send him on his way.’ He had an extremely dry and wicked sense of humour in life, and would often joke with his children that they were only hanging around to get his money! 



It is a poem that can certainly only be used for someone who had a real dry sense of humour; someone who wanted to go out with a bang and give everyone a good laugh. The poem was called ‘Keep the Tinnies Cold’. You can find this poem in our new book 'Poetry for Funerals'

There is lots of funeral poetry out there, but there is nothing like a piece that is written especially for your loved one, be it humorous or more serious. I talk to my parents a lot about funerals, it goes with my job I suppose, and maybe we talk about it more than most.  But what I have noticed over the years is how what they want changes from year to year. I remember my Dad used to tell me “I just want to be put in a black bin liner out with the rubbish! No fuss” That’s what he said, “I don’t need anything”. 

Over the years he has changed his mind countless times. At the moment it’s a carriage with horses, black feather plumes and a jazz band playing - What a friend we have in Jesus. The other week after another one of these conversations I wrote him a poem called ‘Did I tell you I don’t want a Funeral?’.  I read it to my Mum and Dad and he laughed before saying “I want that read at my funeral, it’s perfect!”.

Knowing what your loved ones want at their funeral is important for so many reasons, but that’s a blog for another day!

Often people worry that humour will be seen as disrespectful at a funeral but I truly believe there is nothing disrespectful about remembering why someone made you laugh, why they made you smile and sharing it. I know that when I leave this beautiful world, I want people to remember me with smiles and laughter, not with tears.

Humorous poetry can help to create a more relaxed atmosphere at the funeral. While it is important to show respect and dignity during a funeral service, there is also a place for laughter and joy. No two people are the same, and everyone has their own unique sense of humour and personality, my dad definitely does! 

By including a humorous poem in the funeral service, family and friends can pay tribute to the person who has passed away in a way that is authentic and true to who they were. It can be a way to remember their individuality and celebrate the joy they brought into the world.

If you like our poetry you can find 'Keep the Tinnies Cold' in our new book Poetry for Funerals available now at  'Did I tell you I don't want a Funeral' will be available in 'Poetry For Funerals - Families' release date as yet unknown, so watch this space!

Kate x


Sunday, 19 March 2023

Our New Book is here!

After two years of hard work, we are thrilled to announce the publication of our book, 

'Poetry for Funerals'

My journey as a celebrant started in 2008 in New Zealand.  Initially, I was a marriage celebrant, and although I loved it, it didn’t feel like my calling.  Funeral services were not something I thought I would be able to do. It was my lovely Mum, who persuaded me that my talents would lie in helping families with funerals.  Rather reluctantly, thinking I would be entirely too emotional and cry at every service I took, I found a funeral director who trusted me with my first service.

I can remember stepping up to the lectern, a lump in the back of my throat, thinking I am never going to get through this.  I had become way too attached to the family I was helping, their loss felt like my loss.
But I got through it and at the end of the service the family thanked me for the service and how personal it felt.

And at that moment I realised my calling, was to be a funeral celebrant.

Over the years I have got a little better at keeping my emotions in check.  But I believe it’s my empathy that makes me a good funeral celebrant.

Then I met my husband Craig Smith and my celebrant journey changed again. I met my soul mate and he brought a new depth to being a funeral celebrant.

He was an actor, writer, videographer, and an all-around lovely man!  He was fascinated by my work and started coming along to the funerals to help with sound.  After a little while, I suggested to him that he read a poem for me at a memorial service I was taking in the park.  No one else was speaking and I felt like an hour of just me was too much.  After a lot of persuasion, he agreed to do it.  After that day he needed no more persuasion and started working towards becoming a funeral celebrant himself.  

I may be a little biased, although I don’t think so, when I say, he is truly the best celebrant I know.  He is amazing with families, has empathy in abundance, and is a wonderful listener.  He also a talented writer and we started writing and performing services together, as one funeral director put it ‘as a tag team’. We felt that as two celebrants we could offer something truly unique.  Our motto became ‘Two hearts are better than one’.  Our poetry was a natural progression of our work.

We started writing the poetry for our book some years ago when we met a beautiful family in a farming
community in Beaudesert. Andrew’s wife Gayle had died, she was a relatively young woman, with so many things left to do and so much still left to give. His grief was so hard to watch.  The love this family shared was something truly special and it was hard for us as husband and wife to not put ourselves in their position, the loss of my beautiful husband is something I cannot begin to even contemplate.  Our empathy for Andrew was overwhelming in every way possible. 

As we sat and listened to his beautiful stories and started to plan Gayle’s service, we knew that nothing we had in the way of poems or prose would fit this funeral.  We showed him various poems but nothing was right.
We found ourselves caught up in his emotion and before we realised what we were doing, we had offered to write something unique for her.

We both felt a little sick coming home in the car and spent much of the journey in silence. What possessed us to think we could write a poem for someone? 

We felt like we wrote good services for families, but poetry is something different completely. What if we couldn’t do it?

But as we poured over our notes from the meeting, we could hear Andrew’s voice in our heads, and the poem as simple as it was, wrote itself.  And it was simple, it certainly wasn’t Keats or Tennyson.  But it was about her, and to our relief Andrew loved it. After the funeral, we gave Andrew and his family a framed copy of the poem and I know it meant a great deal to him.

We are proud of that first poem in all its’ simplicity ‘The Sun is Up’ represented something new, a new way to help the families in our care.  From that moment on we started writing poetry for some of the families we were helping.  

There are some incredible poems for funerals, ‘Look for me in Rainbows’ will always remain one of mine, or ‘Do not stand at my grave and weep’ which still brings me to tears when I have to read it for someone. I have read both of these beautiful poems so many times at memorials and funerals and will continue to do so. But we wanted to offer some new poetry, poetry that could be customised to the family’s individual needs. Plus we wanted to give other celebrants and families more choices.

All of the poems in our collection, as much as possible are customisable. Next to each poem are tips to customise the poem for a person.  Whether that’s as simple as replacing a name in our poem ‘The Jigsaw’ or the types of flowers they liked to grow in our poem ‘The Gardener’. We wanted to give other celebrants, officiants, and families poems that could be bespoke for their loved ones. 

Craig and I are incredibly proud of our book.  The last two years have had their challenges and there were times when we thought we would never get it finished. To have a copy in our hands is so exciting.  I feel like we have achieved something really special.  

We are incredibly proud of this book and the effort that went into it. As I said before it’s not about being the next Keats or Tennyson; it's about capturing the essence of each person and creating something special for their loved ones. Each poem in the collection is dedicated to someone special, and we've included a brief snippet of their story to honour them.


We are incredibly grateful to all those people who encouraged us to write this book. Who believed in us as celebrants and writers. As we look to the future, we hope to continue adding to our collection and creating more meaningful tributes for those in need.

Our book "Poetry for Funerals" offers a collection of customisable poems to provide a personalized touch to any funeral or memorial service. Let our words help you express the love and memories you hold dear. Order your copy today.