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Words can’t fully convey the grief that’s endured when a child dies. If you’re looking for a child’s funeral poem for someone you love, we’re so very sorry for your loss.
A sanskrit word, vilomah has been adopted to define a bereaved parents’ identity after the death of a child. It means “against the natural order of things.”
Some of these poems about the loss of a child express feelings of sadness, emptiness, disbelief and despair.
Other children’s funeral poems reflect on the sheer joy of them and the unconditional love you felt, from the very first – and forever.
Other poems in this selection express hope or faith after the loss of a child, with spiritual sentiments that may be a comfort.
You may be looking for poems suitable for reading to your child at their funeral, or as a way of including siblings or other children in remembering them.
If you are grieving the death of an unborn baby, child, teenager, or adult child and are struggling cope with your feelings, our bereavement support pages tell you more about the organisations helping parents, siblings and families through grief after child loss.
Poems for the loss of a child
This funeral poem for a child was written by Edgar Albert Guest. Dubbed the People’s Poet, his poems were first published in the American popular press in the early 1900s.
A Child of Mine is a meaningful memorial poem for a child, whether read aloud at the funeral, or quietly shared with a friend who is grieving.
I‘ll lend you for a little time a child of nine, He said,
For you to love while he lives and mourn for when he’s dead.
It may be six or seven years or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?
― He’ll bring his charms to gladden you, and shall his stay be brief,
You’ll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.
― I cannot promise he will stay, since all from Earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
― I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes, I have selected you.
― Now will you give him all your love, not think the labour vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call to take him back again?
I fancied that I heard them say ― Dear Lord, Thy will be done!
For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter him with tenderness, we‘ll love him while we may.
And for the happiness we’ve known, forever grateful stay.
But shall the angels call for him much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.
This is a poem about someone finding peace in Heaven. It may offer reassuring words of comfort for parents and families who are grieving the loss of a child to an illness.
God saw you getting tired,
When a cure was not to be.
So He wrapped his arms around you,
and whispered, "Come to me".
You didn't deserve what you went through,
So He gave you rest.
God's garden must be beautiful,
He only takes the best
And when I saw you sleeping,
So peaceful and free from pain
I could not wish you back
To suffer that again.
This poem by Christina Rossetti is a much-loved verse for remembering someone you loved, no matter how old they were when they died.
It’s written from the perspective of the person who has died and acknowledges how the bereaved grieve for a future that cannot be shared together.
It asks them that when their future includes happy moments, loved ones should not feel guilty for those feelings – because the person they are mourning knew they would always be loved.
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
What children’s poems could I read at the funeral?
From Wonder World
This lovely children’s poem by Kate Greenaway could be a touching way of remembering a younger child at their funeral – you could say their name, instead of “little girl.”
Out of Wonder World I think you come;
For in your eyes the wonder comes with you.
The stars are the windows of Heaven,
And sometimes I think you peep through.
Oh, little girl, tell us do the Flowers
Tell you secrets when they find you all alone?
Or the Birds and Butterflies whisper
Of things to us unknown?
Or do angel voices speak to you so softly,
When we only hear a little wind sigh;
And the peaceful dew of Heaven fall upon you,
When we only see a white cloud passing by?
The Sugar Plum Tree
It may be comforting to choose a children’s poem to read aloud to the child who has died, at their funeral.
This bedtime nursery rhyme by Eugene Field, paints a picture of adventuring in a magical dreamscape that’s full of treats.
Have you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
‘Tis a marvel of great renown!
It blooms on the shore of the Lollypop sea
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
(As those who have tasted it say)
That good little children have only to eat
Of that fruit to be happy next day.
When you’ve got to the tree, you would have a hard time
To capture the fruit which I sing;
The tree is so tall that no person could climb
To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing!
But up in that tree sits a chocolate cat,
And a gingerbread dog prowls below –
And this is the way you contrive to get at
Those sugar-plums tempting you so:
You say but the word to that gingerbread dog
And he barks with such terrible zest
That the chocolate cat is at once all agog,
As her swelling proportions attest.
And the chocolate cat goes cavorting around
From this leafy limb unto that,
And the sugar-plums tumble, of course, to the ground –
Hurrah for that chocolate cat!
There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes,
With stripings of scarlet or gold,
And you carry away of the treasure that rains,
As much as your apron can hold!
So come, little child, cuddle closer to me
In your dainty white nightcap and gown,
And I’ll rock you away to that Sugar-Plum Tree
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town.
This is another poem written for children. Friends, by Abbie Farwell Brown, could be lovely to read aloud at the funeral, or include in the printed order of service at a child’s memorial.
How good to lie a little while
And look up through the tree!
The Sky is like a kind big smile
Bent sweetly over me.
The Sunshine flickers through the lace
Of leaves above my head,
And kisses me upon the face
Like Mother, before bed.
The Wind comes stealing o'er the grass
To whisper pretty things;
And though I cannot see him pass,
I feel his careful wings.
So many gentle Friends are near
Whom one can scarcely see,
A child should never feel a fear,
Wherever he may be.
– Discover more beautiful poems for funerals, memorials and celebrations of life, in our Help & Resources section.