"I drink to my kinsmen, who fought bravely at sea,
I drink to my kin, who will be missed not just by me."
— Einherjer, 'Odin owns ye all'
"Oh, protect our secret handshake
once more with feeling.
Let the toast to absent members
push through the ceiling.
Before we say goodnight.
— The Weakerthans 'Psalm For The Elks Lodge Last Call'
And I'm up while the dawn is breaking
Even though my heart is aching
I should be drinking a toast to absent friends
Instead of these comedians
— Elvis Costello, "The Comedians"
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Now my friends are dead and gone.
— Marius, Les Misérables
"I don`t want to sound gloomy, but, at some point of your lives, every one of you will notice that you have in your life one person, one friend whom you love and care for very much. That person is so close to you that you are able to share some things only with him. For example, you can call that friend, and from the very first maniacal laugh or some other joke you will know who is at the other end of that line. We used to do that with him so often. And then when that person is gone, there will be nothing like that in your life ever again".
We meet ’neath the sounding rafter,
And the walls around are bare;
As they shout back our peals of laughter
It seems that the dead are there.
Then stand to your glasses, steady!
We drink in our comrades’ eyes:
One cup to the dead already—
Hurrah for the next that dies!
— Bartholomew Dowling, The Revel
He puts on a gray suit over his Airborne tattoo
And he ties it on one time a year
And remembers the fallen as he orders a tall one
And swallows it down with his tears
—Big and Rich, 8th of November