When I was thirteen I learned a poem in school by Sir Walter Raleigh that became one of my favourites and back then I didn’t really know why. Today, as I sat down to think about what to share here, this poem into my mind. A lover of books I still have the original copy of that book of prose here on a shelf. Good grief, it’s almost sixty years old!
Even such is Time, that takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with earth and dust;
Who in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wander’d all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days;
But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
My God shall raise me up, I trust.
This is a sombre poem you would think for a young teenager, especially as the author had penned it on the eve of his execution! Perhaps it came to mind today as another soul friend left the planet suddenly last week and he’s been on my mind, in my thoughts and ever present in my heart. I have already had a couple of messages from him – real to me and perhaps imagined according to sceptics. I have received many messages from the departed that have been validated by others when the messages didn’t even make sense to me and talking to the departed comes naturally to me. I think I now know why I resonated with this poem, and it’s not because of the last line. I have come to understand that death is taking off one’s physical clothes. Life goes on in another room, another dimension. If only it were so easy, that knowing this alone would remove all grieving, remove all sorrow we feel when a person is no longer here.
On my own bereavement journey many years ago, the greatest healing occurred when I allowed love back into my heart. I had not allowed it initially as I thought it would be too painful, too overwhelming. Now I understand that love never dies. People may leave and if we allow it, we can always tune into the love and heart-prints the person has left in our hearts. These days I have another author, John O’Donahue whose words I often find reading again and again. They bring me great comfort and understanding. One of his poems I love is called On The Death Of the Beloved and I would like to share two verses here with you.
Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us where beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones…
May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.
My soul friend who left last week is one of the most generous souls I have encountered. Till we meet again, dear friend and I am grateful to have discovered you are still in my heart.
I look forward to hearing about your ongoing adventures if you care to share!