Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Dash

Yesterday, sadly, I went to my cousin's funeral. As part of the service, the chaplain read "The Dash" by Linda Ellis. I have heard this before, but yesterday I listened to the words, and they are very thought-provoking.

I have copied it here for you, and included a link to the author's webpage, where she explains what inspired her to write this beautiful poem.

I hope you have a wonderful dash.

The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

©1996 Linda Ellis


Sharon-NZ said...

Thats a beautiful poem and very thought provoking Kate, thanks for sharing the full version with us, hope your days are getting a bit brighter

hugs sharon - nz

Chookyblue said...

beautiful......... will print so I can read to hear about your friend.......

Khris said...

Kate that is really lovely and yes, makes us comtemplate our days and what we do with them. Thank you for the reminder. Hugs, Khris

p.s. I have been thinking of you a lot and hope you are okay!!!

Karen Mallory said...

Kate, I hope you are thru most of the family problems. I am sorry that your cousin died but at least it was not a suicide as though because that type of death takes foever to come to terms with. The poem was very moving and I do hope that I will have had some effect on this world after I am gone. Many dear thoughts and prayers for you Kate,
hugs Karen

Tommelot said...

That poem certainly left an impression on me. Thank you for putting it on your blog. Kate, I'll hope you'll have happier time ahead very soon.

Jodie said...

I am very sorry for your loss. This poem was read at my grandfathers funeral back in 2001. I created a scrapbooking page in his honour and included this poem. I was preganant with DD1 at the time. I am having a little weep now thinking of it.