June 22, 2013 in Features

Well-versed

When asked to compose original text for memorial programs, S-R readers prove to be
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Winning submissions

“Hope”

Love is the legacy I leave behind.

I hope you remember to be kind,

Gentle with others, yourself as well.

Love be the story our lives shall tell.

–Connie McGreevy Emry

“I Have Entered

His Rest”

To my family and friends whom I left behind.

I know you will grieve, but now I am fine.

So, rejoice and celebrate for the new life I’ve found.

With the sorrows of life, I’m no longer bound.

Thanks for your kindness, the love you have shown.

There were no better friends that I could have known.

But it was God’s time, and He took my hand.

With the heavenly host, He’s called me to stand.

I am free from all pain, no more shortness of breath.

And now for all time, I’ve entered His rest.

–Jerry Ham

“To My Family

and Friends”

If I live or if I die

I don’t want anyone to cry.

I’ve lived, I’ve loved,

I’ve had my day.

Now it’s God’s turn to have His say.

Just go on and sing your song,

And remember, I am glad to have lived so long.

–Winniford Thomson

“Remembrance”

Love is sweet and worth the giving,

Life is brief but worth the living. 

Remember this at the end,

Until my love, we meet again.

–Judith M. Jones

“Daily Grace”

We loved you for who you were,

Not who you wanted to be.

We loved you for what you did,

Not what you wished you had done.

It was enough that when we called,

You answered.

When we asked,

You came.

When we spoke,

You listened.

When you heard,

You understood.

Rest in peace.

–Lesley Tate

Web extra: To read the rest of the memorial verse submissions, go to spokesman.com/ tags/memorial-verses

On May 26, in The Spokesman-Review, we asked readers to submit original verses that anyone can use on memorial service programs handed out at funerals.

You wouldn’t expect a memorial verse writing “contest” to elicit funny prose and poems, but it did. A few anyway.

For instance, Gerry Krueger, 75, isn’t planning to die soon, nor is her husband, Ron Krueger, 79. But Gerry Krueger is planning ahead.

If she dies before her husband, she has written a memorial verse to be printed on her funeral program. It expresses her hope that their widow friends will cook dinners for her husband. It’s pretty darn funny.

The rest were profound, thoughtful, long and short, and one of the “winners” was Winniford Thomson, who was 92 when she died in 2005. Her family members sent in three poems, penned by Thomson, printed on her own funeral program.

In all, we received nearly 50 submissions. We asked the people quoted in the original article – funeral directors Dennis Murphy, Paula Davis, Andrew Adams and poet Mark Mangiaracina – to pick their favorites.

We’re printing those that got the most votes by our judges, but all the verses can be found on The Spokesman-Review’s website.

All can be used on memorial service programs (with proper author attribution) by funeral homes, family members and anyone else looking for sentiments to express a deceased person’s outlook on life.

As Krueger’s memorial verse illustrates, sometimes there can be a little “fun” in funerals. Here are the words she’ll leave behind:

Remember my forest, 

remember my dolls,

but remember to feed my husband 

when I’m gone.

Remember my needlework, 

remember my buttons,

but remember to bake sour cream rolls 

for my husband when I’m gone.

Remember my corgis,

remember my sheep,  

but remember home-cooked food for 

my husband when I’m gone.

Remember my smile,

remember my friends,

but remember to leave your phone number 

with hot dishes when I’m gone.

He’s a great guy, give him a hug.

He has a warm heart, make him smile.

But most of all remember to feed my husband

now that I’m gone.

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