Grit Blogs > Close the Gate

For the Farmers

When my father-in-law, Ed, passed on to heaven in September of 2007 I woke up in the wee hours of the day of the funeral and sat down and wrote a poem for him. It was read by the pastor at his funeral and printed in our local paper.

Recently I was privileged to receive a phone call asking for permission to use it on an obituary for a local farmer. I was honored and touched by them wanting to use it and thought the readers of GRIT might like to see it. Let it remind you of the farmer in your life who has passed on to glory. 

Close the Gate (For Dad)

For this one farmer the worries are over, lie down and rest your head,
Your time has been and struggles enough, put the tractor in the shed.

Years were not easy, many downright hard, but your faith in God transcended,
Put away your tools and sleep in peace. The fences have all been mended.

You raised a fine family, worked the land well and always followed the Son,
Hang up your shovel inside of the barn; your work here on earth is done.

A faith few possess led your journey through life, often a jagged and stony way,
The sun is setting, the cattle are all bedded, and here now is the end of your day.

Your love of God’s soil has passed on to your kin; the stories flow like fine wine,
Wash off your work boots in the puddle left by blessed rain one final time.

You always believed that the good Lord would provide and He always had somehow,
Take off your gloves and put them down, no more sweat and worry for you now.

Your labor is done, your home now is heaven; no more must you wait,
Your legacy lives on, your love of the land, and we will close the gate.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, I’m Nancy Kraayenhof. Share your comments, questions or ideas with me at 

rodney hill
6/10/2013 8:33:52 PM

Thank you Nancy your Poem moved me and expressed the words that I could not form,you see my bosses grandfather passed today A man who Farmed His whole life as does his son and his son to follow they do what they do because they love the life there's no words I can say to express my gratitude to you other than Thank you ....

anne krampe
1/6/2013 3:00:23 PM

I would very much like to have the pastor read this poem at my father's funeral tomorrow. It is beautiful, moving and so true.

cindy murphy
3/30/2010 6:35:03 AM

Nancy, what a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law, and all those who worked the land during their lives as a labour of love. Thanks for sharing.

nebraska dave
3/29/2010 2:29:09 PM

Nancy, that was powerful poem. My condolences to you for your Dad’s passing. The passing of parents are such an emotional time in our lives. Your Dad must have truly been a fine example of how a Dad should live life through the good times and the bad. It is nice to think that we are here on earth such a short time compared to eternity. I have an idea that your Dad touched many lives along his journey through life. I have discovered that those that live a steadfast life in faith do indeed leave behind a wonderful legacy. I can tell just from the poem you wrote that you are indeed a part of the legacy left behind by your Dad. Thank you so much for sharing that part of your life.