Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905 – 2004) was an American poet who is recognized for her first and perhaps only poem “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep.” Frye wrote the poem to help soothe the grief of her friend whose mother died in the early 1930s. The poem began to circulate, becoming well-known globally, and has since served as comfort for countless people. Not until 1998, however, was Frye acknowledged as the original author.
Her words carry a message of hope with a purpose towards healing, but nevertheless convey a heavy tone of sorrow.
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there.
I did not die.
Feature: Martin Strattner on flickr