Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mr. Dash

I thought accepting his decision was hard? That was nothing compared to accepting his departure. My father passed away late last week after a long battle with a disease that he had once beaten. If cancer had a will, a brain, I'd say fucking cancer sucks, it strikes with no regard to who you are, what you do, and gives not a single shit what kind of pain it causes or the aftermath it leaves.
The only way I can console myself is knowing that he is no longer in pain; he actually wanted to die, he was tired, finished, ready. I loved him, still do, we all do and always will but he won't be around anymore and it hurts bad. I guess some people might think that because I see this every day that it has to be easy for me, or easier; I'm not sure if that's true, I don't think it is.
One of my colleagues assisted in directing his funeral and spoke to the crowd in the cemetery after the committal service and recited a poem by Linda Ellis. I had heard it before but to hear it at that moment helped us all so much. I want to thank the poet, Linda Ellis and I want to thank Doris for these words. Please read this:
The Dash, A poem by Linda Ellis
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 her 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?
My fathers dash was wonderful and will always be remembered as such. These simple words are not only conforting but are very true indeed. Once again, I want to thank both of you ladies for sharing this with me and the rest of the world. Thank You so much for the solace you gave us.


paisley said...

one of my ex'es once sent me a lovely video of that poem.... it is beautiful.. i am glad it gave you some comfort.....

MedStudentWife said...

I'm so sorry to hear the news DS.
At least he isn't totally gone - you'll always have him in your heart.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss, DS. As MSW said, you will always have him in your heart.

Matty said...

He will always be with your mind and heart. There is no loss like that of a parent or child.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Rob.

I'm so sorry for the loss of your father.

If you ever have any questions for him, e-me and we'll *talk*.

Sending blessings and warmth,

The Tin Woman said...

Thanks for posting the poem. I had wanted a copy of it myself. Wanted to pass it on to a friend who lost her father early. I will be in touch with you guys when I am more settled in.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my father at the end of last year so I believe I understand to some degree what you are going through. It sounds like your father lived his life well and I hope that will help bring comfort to you. May you experience God's love and peace at this time.

Catherine said...

I am praying for you and your family during this very difficult time.

Even though I didn't personally know your father, I do know that he did one very important and noble deed during his "dash"...raising a wonderful and awesome son like you.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with you also DS.
How lovely for you to have had such a wonderful relationship. Catherine sums it up for me also.
He certainly did raise a very special son.

Agnes Mildew said...

My thoughts are with you and your family, DS. You have been lucky to have enjoyed a fantastic relationship with a man you love, respect and will always remember. That counts in bucketloads. And what a wonderful poem with which to celebrate his life.

bloggersmosaic said...

i just can't tell how much i loved this post