Friday, 30 November 2012

The power of the written word

My uncle passed away this week.

He is actually my dad's cousin, but their relationship was that of brothers, so the loss was significant for my dad.

For me, not only was it difficult to witness my dad's pain, but I found it extraordinarily hard to reconcile in my mind, that a man who has been a part of our family since before I was born, was no longer with us.

It was the second loss my family has endured this year, after the passing of my beautiful sister-in-law in April.

Cancer took them both.

But where did it take them? Perhaps the most difficult question of all.

I'm not one to contemplate my own grief publicly.

I know it helps many, but for me, it's simply too intense a feeling, too complex and too personal for me to put into words that could possibly do it justice - or do justice to the grief felt by those closest to the ones who have passed.

But I did want to share this.  A piece of writing that touched my heart, giving me a sense of comfort - or something similar.

It's amazing how words can do that.  They have the power to heal, the power to inspire, the power to explain, to give comfort, to express love and confusion and desire and fear.

They have the power to impact lives.

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way 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 always 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 effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; 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

 By Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847 – 1918 Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral

Has a piece of writing had an impact on your life? If so, and you'd like to share it, please do. 


1 comment:

  1. Amazingly, it was that same poem that gave me comfort when I lost my father 11 years ago. I know it word for word and think of it often xx