Thursday, 17 January 2013

Death is nothing at all.

   Not long after coming back from the states I went into the small Christian bookshop we have in Peterborough and saw a poem on a wallet-sized card. It has been in my purse ever since and reading it on Monday it gave me the same hope it did months ago, only this time for someone else.

   In 2010 before I moved up to Dundee for University a woman at the church in Corby made me some pretty bunting to decorate the room in which a dinner was held for me, a 'last supper' as it were. Upon exclaiming how CUTE it was, she let me keep it and it decorated the foyer of my flat in Dundee for a year. She's the type of lady who loves a cuddle and joke, on numerous occasions I recall her coming up to me from behind and pinching my bottom before asking me to spill all the updates of my life, love and otherwise. In my mind she always wears fashionable leather boots (in a UK size 3 or so because she's tiny), a 3/4 length skirt which flares at the end and a cosy coat (because it's always cold when I'm in Corby!). Our conversations are about fabrics as she had a fabric shop in the marketplace for a while. We speak about Mum and how we miss her; the pair of them were the dependable food-makers for events at Corby and when Mum died she took the load herself, even organising the food for Mum's funeral at our request, and she always did a wonderful job.
 I remember her Mother and her Mother's Mother. As I grew up in the church they 'slipped away to the next room' and a few days before Christmas last year she went to join them. On Monday we said goodbye to her earthly body, knowing she is already at peace with her maker. Her three children, husband, Father, sisters and friends are in the same room as you and I, waiting, hoping and praying to see her again soon.

Death is Nothing at All
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to 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 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 effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
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 around the corner.

All is well.