In the summer of 1999, I was sitting in my backyard after completing work on my garden. The shape of the garden bed was rectangular and reminded me of a grave. A maple tree in the corner of my yard provided shade and the breeze was making the leaves rustle. I had sudden inspiration and wrote down a poem that was completed in a few minutes. At the time, the temporary name of the poem was ‘Summer’ until something better came along.
In September 1999 my cousin Larry died, and I read the poem at his funeral. A month later, a close family friend died, and I also read the poem at his funeral. At that point, I knew the poem had a name. Since then, The Funeral Poem has been seen by thousands of people and read at hundreds of funerals. I am honored that this poem was channeled through me. Please feel free to use this poem when appropriate.
The Funeral Poem
If I should die in summer, the gardens will be sown.
My hyacinths and daffodils will grow up on their own.
If I should die in autumn, the leaves will cover me.
I lie in restful peacefulness beneath the maple tree.
If I should die in winter, the frost will keep me fresh;
For winter is renewal, and we are more than flesh.
If I should die in springtime, the earth shall bury me;
And fertilize the flowers beneath the maple tree.
Copyright 1999, 2020 Glenn Stewart Coles.