20 Short Funeral Poems About Alzheimer’s or Dementia

Updated

When you’ve lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s or Dementia, you sometimes need assistance finding your words again. Take a look at the poems below for help summing up everything you’re feeling but can’t seem to express just yet.

Jump ahead to these sections:

In each poem, you’ll discover different experiences from victims, children, and other caretakers, to those that make a plea for better care and understanding. Through each perspective, you’ll also sense an overwhelming amount of compassion and love.

Funeral Poems About Alzheimer’s 

Below are Alzheimer’s poems with beautiful imagery from the perspectives of children and caregivers alike. 

1. “I’m Still a Person” by Judy Lauer

Judy Lauer's father has advanced Alzheimer's, which leaves him mostly silent and with physical restrictions from the disease. 

She loves him because she names him in the poem to give him one last moment of respect, given that he can no longer recall his name himself.

2. “His Funeral” by Jeff Worley

"His Funeral" is a reminder of how people who witness the long struggles of another (as opposed to one that is sudden) can seemingly accept death a little easier, as though death is a relief. 

The victim was a veteran held in a WW2 German POW camp, only later to be imprisoned by the disease. Upon his death, the poet writes, 

My father was finally unconfused,
the noose of Alzheimer's snapped.
Around him the malodorous roses
and long shafts of lilies.

3. “Alzheimer Patient’s Prayer” by Carolyn Haynali

One of the themes in Carolyn Haynali's poem is to treat Alzheimer's patients with respect. She asks the reader to separate the disease from the patient. After all, that patient used to be compassionate, kind, and have control of their capacities. That, she writes, is what needs to be remembered.  

4. “Lived a Life” by Susanna Howard

Howard's poem exposes how Alzheimer's Disease becomes so pervasive that it takes over everything a person was, did, or thought before it became so encompassing. 

People often treat the victim as if they are the disease—not as if they have the disease.

Nobody here asks what you did
In your life
It seems they seem to think
We were put on earth with broken legs
And have come here for sympathy

5. “Losing Solomon” by Sean Nevin

"Losing Solomon" reflects on one small snippet out of a person's day, one little change in someone's memory. When a toaster becomes a Philco radio to Solomon, a significant, full memory of a ballgame takes over from many years ago. 

For a moment, Solomon is transported back. 

6. “At the Easel with Alzheimer’s” by Rachel Dacus

Rachel Dacus succeeds at the effortless literary weaving of the science, imagery, and the coping responses of a father whose memory is fading. Take a peek.

I skip over laughable
lapses, as when he asks me where I live
and then pretends he was kidding. Name-
dropping, his mind grows patches, nicks
and spores like the salt on his aluminum
windows that will eventually make them stick.

7. “Those hands that once held mine” by Dean Harrison

Harrison's poem is fascinating because while it's usually feet that take a person on a journey, here we follow a son's journey with his mother through her hands' support.

He turns from being cared for to eventually being the caregiver. Who knew that holding someone's hands could be such a declaration of love?

8. “The Long Goodbye” by Ellen Miller

"The Long Goodbye" works as an appropriate funeral poem for a father or a grandfather who died of Alzheimer's Disease. It reflects on the sadness of the disease and offers hope for finally being released from the disease’s clutches with a full memory returned.

And every night when we look up and see a certain star...
We will know within our hearts exactly where you are.
So on this day we say good-bye as you now depart.
Although far from our touch, never far from our hearts.

9. “Alzheimer’s Journey” by Ruth Murphy

Loneliness is part of the "Alzheimer's Journey" as people stop visiting and memories keep fading. And while it's a sad poem, Ruth Murphy's message is also one that reminds people to treat the patient with respect and dignity. 

Lack of memory doesn’t make them any less human or deserving of joy.   

10. Untitled by Amsterdamtulip

Here is an example of a poem about death that has helped others find peace through a shared experience. In an online conversation thread, the author relayed that it was written in hopes of one day being comforted as the disease released its grips.

But now the mist has lifted and in front of me I see,
A path that is clear that will lead me back to me,
A light that is shining to guide me on my way,
And a lifetime of memories as down to rest I lay

ยป MORE: Don't skip these commonly forgotten post loss tasks. View our guide.

 

Funeral Poems About Dementia

The poems below are filled with little lessons about respect, support, love, and compassion.

11. “An Angel Flew to Heaven Today- For Marie” by DME

This special little poem for Marie works as a short eulogy example for any friend or loved one who had Dementia. 

The troubles and anxieties of life without memory are not a distant past as she walks clear-headed with Angels in Heaven.

12. “Dementia” by Jane Hewitt

The last few lines of Jane Hewitt’s poem are its saddest. She writes, “You are alive/But you aren’t living.” 

Most people who care for a loved one who has Dementia understand this sentiment all too well.

13. “A Dementia Friend” by Sarah Merriman

Sarah Merriman’s poem is filled with heartfelt lessons about what it’s like to live with early Dementia. 

Please just stop and chat a while.
You’ll cheer me up and make my day,
Maybe, we’ll laugh at things I say.
For there’s still humour to be found,
It is not doom and gloom, all round.

Although your loved one or friend may be forgetful, they can still enjoy life and still love to have visitors, yet they need patience, and most of all—they need friends to be supportive.

14. “On My Father’s Dementia” by Daniel Marcou

Marcou’s poem exposes pain from two perspectives. As a son, he wants to grasp something, anything that’ll bring his dad back. And as a victim of Dementia, his dad endlessly encircles obsession and paranoia, creating nothing but confusion.

15. “Do Not Ask Me to Remember” by Owen Darnell

Darnell’s poem evokes the tragedy that often happens to patients with memory loss. Unfortunately, because they can’t remember most things, this alters their personality. And, sometimes, people aren’t so kind.

Do not lose your patience with me,
Do not scold or curse or cry.
I can’t help the way I’m acting,
Can’t be different though I try.

16. “It’s a Long Goodbye” by Unknown Author

There is lamentation following the passage of time with the failure of one’s memory. And while it’s unclear whether the author is a partner or child, what is clear is that their relationship had been long.

Even more so, no matter the length of the past relationship—it’s the goodbye that occurs over such a long space of time that is heartbreaking.

17. “Waiting to see who I am” by Maureen Pearce

In “Waiting to see who I am,” the poet can’t hide the love she feels for her mother. She describes a face that once held so much expression to one where memories have vanished. She invites you to sit silently with them so that you can see the comfort in their shared space. 

Life presents things that bring us to our knees
It so seems so unfair to deal with such disease

But mostly, you read how much it pains the poet to watch her mother suffer without a cure. 

18. “When I Wander” by Norman McNamara

“When I Wander” is a peek into the struggles that people with Dementia go through daily. They forget how to ask for things and scream instead. Or they’ll wander around trying to figure out what they’ve misplaced or what they were trying to do. 

Everything is a struggle, but receiving understanding doesn’t have to be.

19. “Forgetful Flower” by Jim Hansen

Poet Jim Hansen wrote “Forgetful Flower” for his mother, Marjorie Hansen. In it, he describes her as once being the most beautiful, fragrant flower. Now, she needs to rest on an oak tree—the symbol of their family. 

It’ll work in a memorial or funeral reading for that family that rallied behind their mother as a team.

20. “Dementia is My Name” by Josey Henjes

In this final poem, poet Josey Henjes is very frank about the brutality and pain of Dementia on both the victim and their family. Heartbreakingly, she writes, 

I will leave them with a blank canvas where pictures were once stored. 
I will rot their conscious mind of all the things they once adored.

I am on a feeding frenzy and they are my perfect host. 
No amount of medicine can stop me, I just love to boast.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Poems for a Eulogy

For more information on how to plan a memorial service or help on how to write a eulogy for specific members of your family, Join Cake today. Our experienced team is here to help you with all of your end-of-life planning needs.


Sources:
  1. Amsterdamntulip. “Mum’s Poem.” Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimers.org, 5 January 2013, www.forum.alzheimers.org.uk/threads/mums-poem.52550/ 
  2. “Best Poems About Dementia and Alzheimers.” Best Poems Encyclopedia, 100 Best-Poems, www.100.best-poems.net/best-poems-about-dementia-and-alzheimer.html 
  3. “Dementia Poems for Funeral.” 17qq, 17q, n.d., https://line.17qq.com/articles/qruwthhx.html

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