Friday, 18 April 2008

Funeral Reading

Clearing out rubbish from my Wordpro files yesterday I came across a funeral address I wrote a few years ago. Can't imagine what I was thinking of. It's a bit trite and Desiderata-ish, but hey, if you can't do schmaltz when you're gone, when can you? (I shall almost be sorry to miss it.)

"This is not farewell. I am with you still. I am with you in the memories that you hold. I endure in the small things that I have made or which bear my mark; in words on a page, a dovetail joint, a drystone wall. For as long as they shall last I am with you, as long as you shall last.

I am here today, glimpsed through a glass, in the natures of my children. I will be there tomorrow, like an echo, in the strengths and weaknesses of their children, and of their children's children. In their skills and frailties, in the turn of a head, the flash of a smile, the scatter of a freckle.

I will be there, as you will be there, for eternity, for by our presences we change the future. We are raindrops which start currents; butterflies that stir storms. Each of us are colours on a palette which paint the picture of what is yet to be, and so the future is ours too.

For you, my passing is not an ending, but a continuing. For better or for worse, I have seeded my words and my waves in our todays and tomorrows. The game is done, and it is time to rest. Rejoice in my resting and, if you are able, in my presence. It is not you that have lost me, but I that has lost you, and there is no pain in my loss, for I am not aware."

1 comment:

  1. Was going to comment at the time but didn't get round to it - this is lovely. Funeral readings are far nicer when they're soothing and dignified than when they're flowery and overwrought. one of my favourites is the one they found in an Egyptian tomb, so maybe 3000 years old?

    Death is before me today
    Like the recovery of a sick man,
    Like the going forth into a garden after sickness

    Death is before me today
    Like the odor of myrrh,
    Like sitting under a sail on a windy day.

    Death is before me today
    Like the course of the brook,
    Like the return of a man from the war-galley to his house.

    Death is before me today
    As a man longs to see his house
    When he has spent years in captivity.