Poetry Sunday: Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye

This poem speaks to anyone who has ever lost someone they love to death, which, I guess, is all of us. The physical body dies but the spirit lives on for the people who loved them. And as long as we remember them, they are never truly gone.

Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep

by Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.


  1. As I approach ever closer to the end of my time here, I have thought a few times how I might like to be remembered, especially after going to a funeral. I have come to the conclusion that if people will honestly say, "He was a good guy" that would be all that I could ever wish for. My wife and I are both going to have a green burial with no service and no grave markers. We certainly don't feel any more important than the grass and the wildflowers that will grow above us.

    1. I salute you and your wife for that decision. It is an option that seems to be gaining in popularity and that is a good thing, I think.

  2. I've seen this poem a number of times over the years. Sometimes in obituaries, sometimes on the funeral prayer cards that are available for the taking at funeral homes. It's beautiful.

    1. I'd be hard pressed to name another poem by this writer but she came up with a winner in this one. The sentiments expressed are universal and timeless.

  3. I was extremely blessed and had never lost a single loved one until 2020 and then I lost my father and grandfather quickly together to Covid. It's a terrible thing that I will never get over. This poem does have a sweet message to it though.

    1. No, you never truly "get over" the death of someone you love, but with time, the pain becomes duller and, if you are lucky, you are able to focus on your good memories of the person. They continue to live through you and they never really leave you.

  4. I love this poem! It always makes me tear up just a little.

  5. This is beautiful. It would be an ideal poem to post in connection with the death of a person we love.

    1. No doubt it has been used in that way many times. I've always loved it for the sentiment it expresses that, in fact, we are one with the universe. It is a part of us and we are part of it. And that continues even in death.


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