Remembrance Poem to Bring Comfort of Grief at Funeral
When searching for suitable grief words for a funeral or memorial service, many turn to a reading entitled ‘The Dash’. It’s a poem about the little dash symbol, often seen on funeral order of service pamphlets or on gravestones, between the date of the person’s date of birth and date of their death. It resonates when reflecting on life as that dash looks quite small doesn’t it, but when reflecting on that person’s life, that dash can represent so much. For those still living, it’s a reminder how we wish to spend our life.
Change of Ownership of the Poem : The Dash
The poem was originally written by Linda Ellis and now the ownership of its rights is with Inspire Kindness I understand. For those who wish to use the poem, its suggested to acknowledge as shown below:-
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
From the beginning…to the end
He noted that first came the date of 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 they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
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 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?
By Linda Ellis, Copyright@2020 Inspire Kindness, thedashpoem.com
As a Funeral Celebrant, whilst I have access to many heartfelt readings or poems, I have on occasions, rather than read the poem, Ive talked about that dash during my service I conduct, so that the family can remember the whole life and all that it meant. After all, memories are now treasures to cherish when trying to come to terms with someone who has died.