Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Death Is Nothing At All

I read this poem on a friend's social media page recently. I was tearing up by the second line. I liked it so much, I thought it deserved a whole blog post of it's own. I changed it a small bit & added a short line to have it fit more with my beliefs.  Here it is:

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name you always have.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. 

I too will be smiling, thinking & praying for you as well.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near, just round the corner.

All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

The original version was written by a Catholic priest named: Henry Scott-Holland, who died in 1918. 
Although this poem is new to me, it's been around for a long time & is often used at funerals. As I was reading it for the first time, I thought about all the new people in my family line whom I've never met, or even knew existed before my genealogical search. The poem reminded me of just how real they are, & how important it is to have what little I know about them preserved & passed on. I think about them often. I look forward to the day that I can meet them, hug them & express my love to them.

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