17 Funeral Poems About Stars, Space & the Universe

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Some families choose to honor their loved ones by focusing on an interest, vocation, or attribute while planning the funeral. For example, if your loved one was an avid golfer, you might bury them with their favorite driver and pass out personalized golf balls at the funeral. If the deceased was a teacher, you might ask former students to participate in the funeral and collect school supplies to donate. 

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And if your loved one was interested in planets, stars, and heavens, you might want to send a portion of their cremation ash into space. You may also hire a company to put a tiny bit of cremains in a firework to be displayed at a celebration of life event.

Here are some funeral poems that refer to stars or space. Even though we have segmented this article under different themes, most can be used for any circumstance.

Poems About Stars or Space for a Parent or Grandparent

You and your siblings may be searching for a funeral poem for mom or a funeral poem for dad. That is difficult enough – especially when working under the fog of grief. That’s one reason we create these lists. We know that you want your loved one’s service to be special and unique, just as they were.

1. “Chasing the Supernova” by Michael Ashby

This poem begins:

“The sailor cast off the mortal coil
As the voyage of a lifetime was hatched.”

Perhaps it gives you peace to think that your adventure-seeking loved one has just embarked on a “voyage of a lifetime.”

2. “Rain Light” by W.S. Merwin

W.S. Merwin is a Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet who penned “Rain Light.” The poem reads (in its entirety):

“All day the stars watch from long ago
my mother said I am going now
when you are alone you will be all right
whether or not you know you will know
look at the old house in the dawn rain
all the flowers are forms of water
the sun reminds them through a white cloud
touches the patchwork spread on the hill
the washed colors of the afterlife
that lived there long before you were born
see how they wake without a question
even though the whole world is burning”

3. “Kinship” by Mamie Roehrig

The speaker in this poem claims kinship with the stars.

The middle stanza is as follows:

“Then I look up, and silently,
The stars of heaven comfort me.
In all their awesome majesty
These symbols of eternity
Speak words of courage to my soul,
And suddenly, I am made whole.”

Poems About Stars or Space for a Sibling’s Funeral

Whether your sibling was a dreamer or scientist, here are some space-related poems for their funeral.

4. “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” by Walt Whitman

Perhaps your sibling had very little formal education regarding space and the stars but still looked up in wonder each night. If so, this poem by Whitman was probably a favorite. 

“When I heard the learn’d astronomer, 
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me, 
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them, 
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room, 

“How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick, 
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself, 
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, 
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.”

5. “Requiem” by Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson is the author of Treasure Island. In addition, he wrote “Requiem,” which gives a non-romantic view of death. Here is the first stanza:

“Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie;
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.”

6. “Immortality” by Gail Elder James

This poem may speak to you if you feel closest to your loved one while communing with nature. The speaker in this poem sees their loved one in a flower, bird, and stars.

“I looked and saw in the evening,
Earth and sky joined by a silvery stair;
And in the star’s clear majesty
Once again my heart found you there.”

7. “After the Rain” by Mabel Reed Wilson

This poem is about life after hardship. We are reminded that after the sunset, the stars appear. 

“Look up to God for the rainbow,
Look for the gleam in the sky.
Sunshine and starshine about you... 
Blessings are ever nigh.”

Poems About Stars or Space for a Partner or Spouse’s Funeral

We begin this section of our list with several romantic poetry pieces that compare your partner’s beauty with that of a star. The final selections are about grief and could be classified as “goodbye poems.” 

8. “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron

This romantic, often-quoted poem celebrates the beauty of a woman. She is compared to a night of “cloudless climes and starry skies.”

9. “Bright Star” by John Keats

If you are a lover of romantic poetry, you might consider using John Keats’ “Bright Star” at your loved one’s funeral. Love is compared to a star because it is steadfast and unchangeable. 

10. “To Jane: The Keen Stars Were Twinkling” by Percy Bysshe Shelley

A woman with a beautiful voice is among the stars in this poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley. 

The last two stanzas state:

“The stars will awaken,
Though the moon sleep a full hour later,
Tonight;
No leaf will be shaken
Whilst the dews of your melody scatter
Delight.
Though the sound overpowers,
Sing again, with your dear voice revealing
A tone
Of some world far from ours,
Where music and moonlight and feeling 
Are one.”

11. “Funeral Blues” by W. H. Auden

This often-used funeral poem about the need to escape from the world following a death mentions a star in the last stanza.

“The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.”

12. “Husband” by Mary C. McCarthy

The speaker in this poem describes her loneliness as “the man in a spacesuit.” McCarthy’s poem, “Husband,” takes a full-faced look at grief. The ending sentence states:

“I will stand here 
And howl my loss
Beneath the stony moon
Until even you 
Will hear me.”

Poems About Stars or Space for a Child’s Funeral

The following two selections are about being comforted during a time of loss. However, you might not be ready to embrace this idea if you recently lost a child. Instead, consider looking at poetry websites that feature the work of amateur poets who have also suffered this specific type of loss. 

13. “Let Evening Come” by Jane Kenyon

While this poem doesn’t explicitly mention stars, it does speak of the comfort a believer can find in God when “evening comes.”

The last stanza reads:

“Let it come, as it will, and don’t
Be afraid. God does not leave us
Comfortless, so let evening come.”

14. “To Lift Your Eyes” by Betty W. Stoffel

If your faith is important to you, you might appreciate this poem by Betty Stoffel.

The speaker encourages us to “lift your eyes from your grieving” by looking at the stars.

“Look to them deeply, reach to them far,
And your hand will touch God
Who created the star.
So wide is His power, so great his domain,
He can hold in His hand
The full width of your pain.”

Poems About Stars or Space for a Friend’s Funeral

Were you asked to share a poem at a friend’s funeral? Here are a couple of poems that mention stars. 

15. “Nashville on God’s Radio” by Michael Ashby

You’ll have to wait until the last stanza for the reference to stars when reading this poem. We included it on our list because it might appeal to country-music-loving people who enjoy the cowboy lifestyle.

The last stanza reads,

“Then I’m off to ride God’s rodeo
Where I’ll tame my new bronc-eo
With Nashville on God’s radio
I’ll be riding shooting stars.”

16. “I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud” by William Wordsworth

While this poem is famous, it isn’t typically used as a funeral poem. However, if the deceased was a nature lover and felt most at peace in the natural world, this might be a good poem to use.

In the poem, the speaker imagines floating high over a field to see a “crowd” or “host” of golden daffodils. The flowers were described as follows:

“Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in a sprightly dance.”

17. From “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” by Walt Whitman

This length poem was written as a tribute to the fallen President Lincoln. It begins:

“When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-
Returning spring.”

Let’s “Look Up in Perfect Silence at the Stars”

We’ve given you a wide range of poems that make some reference to stars. Whether you prefer the works of the romantics or the pieces about the stark realities of grief is up to you.

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