I had lunch with a dear friend today. She recently lost her brother, at the age of 29. In sharing her journey - her very sacred, tender journey with me - she mentioned a poem which she shared with me later.
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.
Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
This "poem" wasn't really a poem at all, but rather it was originally part of a sermon delivered in 1910 by Henry Scott-Holland (1847 - 1918), a priest at St. Paul's Cathedral of London. The excerpt has long outlasted it's original message ("Death the King of Terrors"). I found it comforting.
Thank you, my friend. All is well.