Thursday, April 5, 2012

In Loving Memory Of...

Today's prompt for NaBloPoMo on Blogher is "What poem brings comfort at a funeral?"

I have been fortunate in that I have only attended a small handful, maybe 5, funerals in my lifetime. In 2010 I had the honor of creating the memorial handout for the service of a close friend's wife. I wanted to choose a poem that was meaningful for her and her family, something that wasn't just filler in the handout. After reading through a dozen or so poems I came across "To Those I Love" by Isla Paschal Richardson. Sure, there may be better funeral poems out there, but I could almost hear my friend saying this to her family if only she had had the chance. In fact, if I wasn't worried about being morbid I would tell everyone I wanted this to be read at my own funeral-but I need to wait a few years at least before making funeral arrangements. (The fact that it was possibly read at Sinatra's funeral was an added bonus as my friend and his wife is/was a fan of Old Blue Eyes and love random trivia facts).

To Those I Love

If I should ever leave you,
Whom I love
To go along the silent way
Grieve not.
Nor speak of me with tears.
But laugh and talk of me
As if I were beside you there.

(I'd come. . .I'd come,
Could I but find a way!
But would not tears and
And grief be barriers?)

And when you hear a song
Or see a bird I loved,
Please do not let the thought of me be sad
for I am loving you
Just as I always have.

You were so good to me!
There are so many things
I wanted still to do
So many things I wanted to say to you
Remember that
I did not fear
It was just leaving you
That was so hard to face.

We cannot see beyond
But this I know:
I loved you so
'twas heaven here with you

by Isla Paschal Richardson.

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