Edward Searl, a minister of twenty-seven years, has put together this fine collection of poems, quotations, and readings that can be "woven into a funeral or memorial service, added to a letter of condolence, printed in an order of service, or simply read in privacy." The sections of the book are Every Living Hour, Teach Us to Number Our Days, We Are Those Who Mourn, The End Will be Peace, and They Are Not Gone. Here is a sampler of material from the paperback:
"In a cemetery once, an old one in New England, I found a strangely soothing epitaph. The name of the deceased and her dates had been scoured away by wind and rain, but there was a carving of a tree with roots and branches (a classic nineteenth century motif) and among them the words, 'She attended well and faithfully to a few worthy tasks.' At first, this seemed to me a little meager, a little stingy on the part of the her survivors, but I wrote it down and have thought about it since and now I can't imagine a more proud or satisfying legacy."
Victoria Safford in Walking Toward Morning
"Death is a mirror in which the entire meaning of life is reflected."
Sogyal Rinpoche in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
"Like dew drops
"on a lotus lead