….but we are all fabulous.
Two close friends have recently lost their fathers. I was at the funeral of one of them yesterday and this poem by David Harkins was read out:
He is gone
You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
I rather liked the message – that we all leave a legacy, a world that is different even in small ways for our having been in it (it’s up to us whether that difference is a positive or negative one) and that we all have a choice as to whether we focus on the past or live in the present.
Paul Klee, Trauerblumen (funeral flowers), 1917
Funerals not only enable you to mourn and celebrate the person who is gone, they also remind you of loved ones you have lost and of our own inescapable fate. They are challenging events on many levels but they provide a valuable opportunity to reflect on death and the life that precedes that death.