A poem is the top pick for people putting together a eulogy (a written or spoken tribute at a funeral), according to our funeral directors.

We asked 60 Funeralcare homes across the country their experiences of eulogies from the 100,000 funerals they arrange each year.

Three quarters of our funeral directors agreed that poems are the most common choice as part of a eulogy. When delving into the UK’s top funeral poetry choices, we found the 10 most popular are:

  1. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep – Mary Elizabeth Frye
  2. The Parting Glass – Irish Traditional
  3. Funeral Blues/Stop All the Clocks – W.H. Auden
  4. Life Goes On – Joyce Grenfell
  5. To Sleep – John Keats
  6. Song – Christina Rossetti
  7. Remember – Christina Rossetti
  8. If I Should Go Tomorrow – Author Unknown
  9. Remember me – David Harkins
  10. Death is Nothing At All – Canon Henry Scott-Holland

Almost half (43%) said that they’ve seen a rise in people leaving behind personal eulogies, allowing loved ones to deliver pre-written tributes and making it much easier for those bereaved to find the right words.

Our colleagues’ opinions reflect the wider research which revealed that over a third (35%) of UK adults used a poem when saying goodbye to their loved one.

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David Collingwood with our spokesperson Debbie McGee (wife of the late Paul Daniels) talking on radio about eulogies

David Collingwood, Head of Operations for Co-op Funeralcare said: “Funerals are very much about personal choice and reflecting the personality and interests of an individual. This is becoming increasingly evident through the growth we’ve seen in people choosing to pre-plan their own ceremonies using a funeral plan.

‘’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.’’

Find out more about the research in the full press release.