A survey by Co-op Funeralcare has revealed the UK’s favourite choice of poetry for funerals.
Conducting consumer research into the use of eulogies, the survey also found that 81% of us have never told their loved ones what eulogy they would like at their own funeral, and that over half of us (52%) have never even thought about it.
The survey uncovered the significance of poetry as part of a eulogy, with over a third (35%) of UK adults claiming they last encountered a poem when saying goodbye to a loved one. Out of the 21% of UK adults who’ve had to deliver a eulogy, almost two thirds found it particularly hard due to it being such an emotional time or because they couldn’t find the right words, which is perhaps why turning to literature and poetry is such a popular choice.
Three quarters of Co-op’s own Funeral Directors agreed that poems are the most common choice as part of a eulogy. The ten most popular choices are:
- Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep – Mary Elizabeth Frye
- The Parting Glass – Irish Traditional
- Funeral Blues / Stop All the Clocks – W.H. Auden (pictured)
- If I should go – Joyce Grenfell
- To Sleep – John Keats
- When I am dead, my dearest – Christina Rossetti
- Remember – Christina Rossetti
- If I Should Go Tomorrow – Author Unknown
- Remember Me – David Harkins (otherwise known as ‘She Is Gone’)
- Death is Nothing At All – Canon Henry Scott-Holland
David Collingwood, Head of Operations for Co-op Funeralcare commented: “Funerals are very much about personal choice and reflecting the personality and interests of an individual. Eulogies play a huge role in making a ceremony personal, whether it’s a poem, a religious reading or memory of a life well lived. With over two fifths of people unable to define the term eulogy, it highlights how we struggle to talk about death with our loved ones but doing so makes it much easier for friends and family at what can be an incredibly difficult time.”