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Non-religious Quotes and Poems to Say when Scattering Ashes | Eirene Urn Store

When speaking at an ash-scattering ceremony, reciting quotes and poems are an excellent way to honour your loved one.

So to help, we have gathered some non-religious quotes and poems you can use as part of the words you choose to say.

Quotes for an ash scattering

Did you know Eirene provides cremation services to families?

Here are a few quotes you might want to consider.

"Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely." — Buddha

This quote reminds us that if we have lived our lives in the best way possible, then death is just the next part of the journey. It is not something that we need to fear. It also reminds people to live their lives to the fullest.  

Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another." — Ernest Hemingway

This reminds us of the inevitability of death and why it is not something that we should let control our lives. Instead, we should focus on making the best of the time we have.

"Lives are like rivers: Eventually, they go where they must. Not where we want them to."- Richard Russo 

This also reminds us of the inevitability of death. Although we may want our loved ones to stay with us forever, that is impossible. Death may seem unfair to some, but it is an integral part of life.

"Death is not extinguishing the light. It is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come." - Rabindranath Tagore

This quote reminds us that death is the end of happiness. There may be sadness, but there is still light at the end of the tunnel. 

"The journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take."- The Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien

This also reminds us that death is not the end. It is simply one part of our life's journey. 

"How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?"
- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers

This quote reminds us that our loved ones are never truly gone. Instead, they live on through us and our memories with them.  

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."
- Irish proverb

This quote reminds us that death may be difficult, but our sadness means that we have experienced love that will stay with us forever. 

"How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
- Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne

This quote reminds us to find love in a loss. The loss is difficult because the deceased was an essential part of our lives, and the significance will not be forgotten.

"Only a moment you stayed, but what an imprint your footprints have left on our hearts."
- Little Footprints, Dorothy Ferguson

This quote reminds us of the impact our loved ones have in our lives and how this is reinforced in death. 

"The best portion of a good man's life is his little nameless unrememberd acts of kindness and of love."
Tintern Abbey, William Wordsworth

This, too, reminds us to appreciate our relationship with the deceased. And to also cherish the love and kindness they brought into the lives of those closest to them. 

Poems to recite at an ash scattering: 

Poems are also a lovely element to add to an ash scattering ceremony. They can be spoken as part of your own words or assigned to other participants to recite. 

Breathe - Dane C. Sorensen

We breathe and smile at one another,

Glad for the company of family and lovers

To share the joy life brings to all hearts

While working and playing our short part

Sharing until breath leaves the quiet heart.

It is not our way for flesh to stay and stay,

Our wills do not control our bodies' fate,

Our genes dance and twist our youth away

And the dangers of life must have their say

Of death's end we can but hope to delay.

Once still they share not our mortal pain

No word or smile can we witness again.

From cremation's mill comes ash and haze

Now joining the wind's orbiting flight

To soar and float amongst cloud and light.

I breathe and they are breathless

I breathe and my lungs hold and gives

Much more than air within my ribs

I breathe and they are next to my heart

With every breath I take, we meet and part.

This poem is tailored to ash scattering. It mentions having family and friends together to watch the ashes of their loved ones flow through the wind. It also reminds us that our loved ones will remain in our hearts and memories. 

Christmas From the Heart - Judy Burnette

I heard your voice in the wind today

and I turned to see your face;

the warmth of the wind caressed me

as I stood silently in place.

I felt your touch in the sun today

as its warmth filled the sky;

I closed my eyes for your embrace

and my spirit soared high.

I saw your eyes in the window pane

as I watched the falling rain;

it seemed as each raindrop fell

it quietly said your name.

I held you close in my heart today

it made me feel complete;

you may have died... but you are not gone

you will always be a part of me.


As long as the sun shines...

the wind blows...

the rain falls...

You will live on inside of me forever,

for that is all my heart knows.

The poem Christmas From the Heart reminds us that our loved ones will remain with us even in death. It talks about how you can symbolically hear them in the rain, see them in the sky, and listen to them calling in the wind. Their impact will live on within our hearts and in the world's beauty around us.  

Life Well Lived - Unknown

A life well lived is a precious gift,

of hope and strength and grace,

from someone who has made our world

a brighter, better place.


It's filled with moments sweet and sad,

with smiles and sometimes tears,

with friendships formed and good times shared,

and laughter through the years.


A life well lived is a legacy,

of joy and pride and pleasure,

a living, lasting memory

our grateful heart's will treasure.

The poem Life Well Lived reminds us to cherish the times we had with the deceased and how they enriched our lives. Their legacy will live on in our hearts and through our memories. 

Something Beautiful Remains - Unknown

The tide recedes but leaves behind

bright seashells on the sand.

The sun goes down, but gentle

warmth still lingers on the land.

The music stops, and yet it echoes

on in sweet refrains...

For every joy that passes,

something beautiful remains.

The poem Something Beautiful Remains reminds us to see the beauty in death. Your loved one may have left, but their significance and beauty live on. 

Those we love - Unknown

Those we love don't go away;

they walk beside us every day,

unseen, unheard, but always near;

still loved, still missed, still very dear.

The poem Those We Love also reminds us that our loved ones stay with us in death. We may not be able to see or hear them, and we will continue to miss them, but they continue to follow us through life. 

Adding your own words

Besides the quotes and poems included here, you may want to add a more personal touch and add a few words of your own, so here are some prompts to help you with this:

  • Discuss their impact on your life and others
  • Summarize their life and achievements
  • Reminisce and share personal memories
  • Listen to or quote some of their favourite songs
  • Discuss the significance of the scattering area
  • If appropriate, tell jokes or discussing funny stories that help characterized your loved one.

There are many things you can say, and the choice is up to you. However, it is important to remember that whatever you say will be appreciated if your intentions are good.

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