Sunday, February 17, 2013

Three weeks on.

Three weeks on.

Today the sun shines, the birds are singing their little heads off and the first camellias are out - as are my camera batteries.  Drat!
 The two poems below I find of immense comfort and could you have two more disparate people:  a Baltimore housewife and a famous British Canon?

My thanks to Wikipedia for research details

Do not stand at my grave and weep, 
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow. 
I am the diamond glint on snow. 
I am the sunlight on ripened grain. 
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush, 
I am the swift, uplifting rush 
Of quiet birds in circling flight. 
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep. 
I am not there, I do not sleep. 
Do not stand at my grave and cry. 
I am not there, I did not die!

 Mary Elizabeth Frye

Mary Elizabeth Frye (November 13, 1905 - September 15, 2004) was a Baltimore housewife and florist, best known as the author of the poem Do not stand at my grave and weep, written in 1932.[1]

She was orphaned at the age of three and moved to Baltimore when she was twelve. She was an avid reader with a remarkable memory. In 1927 she married Claud Frye, who ran a clothing business, while she grew and sold flowers. The poem for which she became famous was originally composed on a brown paper shopping bag. Because people liked her twelve-line, untitled verse, she made many copies and circulated them privately. She never published or copyrighted the poem.[1]
The identity of the author of the poem was unknown until the late 1990s, when Frye revealed that she had written it. Her claim was confirmed in 1998 after research by Abigail Van Buren.[1]

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 still are.

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 enjoyed together.  Play,

smile, think of me, pray for me.  Let my name be forever the same as it always was.  Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.

It is the same as it always was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity.

I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.

All is well.

Canon Scott Holland

He was born at Ledbury, Herefordshire, the son of George Henry Holland (1818–1891) of Dumbleton Hall, Evesham, and of the Hon. Charlotte Dorothy Gifford, the daughter of Lord Gifford. He was educated at Eton where he was a pupil of the influential Master William Johnson Cory, and at the Balliol College of the University of Oxford where he took a first class degree in Greats. During his Oxford time he was greatly influenced by T.H. Green. He had the Oxford degrees of DD, MA, and Honorary DLitt.

After graduation, he was elected as a Student (fellow) of Christ Church, Oxford. In 1884, he left Oxford for St Paul's Cathedral where he was appointed canon.

In 1910, he was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University, a post he held until his death in 1918. He is buried in the churchyard of All Saints church, Cuddesdon near Oxford. Because of his surname, Mary Gladstone referred to him affectionately as "Flying Dutchman" and "Fliegende Hollander"[citation needed].
While at St Paul’s Cathedral Holland delivered a sermon in May 1910 following the death of King Edward VII, titled Death the King of Terrors, in which he explores the natural but seemingly contradictory responses to death: the fear of the unexplained and the belief in continuity. It is from his discussion of the latter that perhaps his best-known writing, Death is nothing at all, is drawn:

Wikisource has original text related to this article:










The Cloudcutter said...


The second one (Death is nothing at all) seems like it was written just for you and MTL!


kenju said...

I can imagine that poems like these are a great comfort to you - they would be to me. I once attended a funeral where the pastor told of a good simile for death. Imagine that the person is going away on a ship. You are waving good bye to them as they sail away - and eventually that ship will land somewhere else and that person will be welcomed by other people. I found that to be a great comfort.

Kim Ayres said...


OldLady Of The Hills said...

Pat, my dear, these are both such very beautiful and perfect poems. if one could only hold on to these, every minute of every day---Such a comfort! Thinking of you, and Sending Hugs, my dear.....

I hope you get some batteries so we can see all the beauty surrounding you these days.

Chef Files said...

Och hen, I'm truly saddened by the news that greets me on my return. Both Siobhan and myself extend our deepest condolences to you and the family.

Although I am no a believer in any religion, I shall stand this evening at a very peaceful place on the loch by the name of Firkin Point and cast a few flowers and say a few words of my own for a fellow Scot.

After tracking back to the original post by you, I find that your dignity speaks volumes about just what a very special lady you are. May your God bless you Pat.

John Greenwood said...

I've never been a reader of poetry, but they were lovely.
Camelias out already?

Pat said...

CC: I felt that too.

Judy: it's too soon for me to find comfort from that. He's still close and I want to keep him near me as long as possible.

Kim: I've got the 'out of focus' problem just now.

Naomi: I can hear you telling me to always have batteries available:)
I do hang on to all the uplifting thoughts and there is no harm in the odd tear or three. The tears are preferable to the bleakness and panic. All gettng better each day.

Chef: so glad that you are back dear friend and MTL and I thank you and Siobhan for your thoughtfulness. I hope the weather is kind.
MTL really enjoyed his last meal - courtesy of you. I made two pies and our French son also found it delicious.

Macy said...

My cousin read the Elizabeth Fry poem at my mother's funeral six months ago Pat. Poetry helps, crying helps, being angry helps. Hang on in there

Vagabonde said...

These are beautiful poems – so meaningful. Having nature starting to wake up will help I would think. I find that nature is a great comfort with sadness and problems. I am sending warm thoughts of support to you.

Pat said...

John: yes - this is the SW you know:)

Macy: that's true - as I am finding out.
Yopu have to be really strong to read a ta funeral. I was very proud of three of our boys.

Vagabonde : all beauty helps - that is when he feels nearest - especially in the sun in the garden.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Very nice, I particularly like the first one, and the story that goes with it - I wish I had known it when my mother was looking for poems for my step-father's memorial service.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Really nice stuff. Thanks, Pat. Will tuck these away for use later. Nice to see you up and about.

Mage said...

Yes, you can keep talking to him and writing to him. After my friend Jo died, I used the excuse that I was talking to my cat. Yup, I agree that he's still there.

Hugs and I care.

Marjolein said...

Those poems are beautiful!

lom said...

Do not stand at my grave is my favorite and it's the one I want read when I am gone.

Hand in there.

Chef Files said...

Dear lady, we made good on the promise to visit Firkin Point the day. A mixed bouquet, mainly yellow in colour were cast upon the loch, words were spoken. The sun shone and the trees creaked their approval. Keep the faith hen.

Nea said...

A wise one has told me to rest, but just before I do here's another big hug for you. And tomorrow I'll check out some more of those links.


Pat said...

G adjo: we didn't use them in the service - I didn't think but the tributes from two sons and one step- son said it all.

UB: half of me wants to get back to normal and half of me wants to stop the world for a moment.

Mage: you know what I'm talking about.xox

Marjolein: that they are.

Lom:hang around a bit longer honey:)

Chef: thank you from both of us. BTW he wasn't a saint. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt that it was from a long time ago but in an old tin file we found 6 and a half bottles of whiskey wrapped in plastic so they wouldn't clink.
The last few years he has been pretty saint-like.

Nea: hugs back - yes rest cures many things and quietens the mind.

Chef Files said...

Ahh hen, no man fae Scotland is a saint, of that you can be sure. It's no in our nature to be angels, but he loved you, of that there is no doubt, you can see it in his eyes, the glow. Only a good strong woman can put that glow into a mans eyes.

True Scots, we never mourn or greet fae long, we adjust and celebrate the wans who go on before us. It takes the sting and fear out of the passing by knowing that when it is our turn we all meet up again. Keep that in mind dear lady.

About Last Weekend said...

"I have only slipped away into the next room" so simple and yet so beautiful. Both are wonderful poems.Take care of yourself.

Pat said...

Chef: it is knowing that that keeps me going.

ALW: thank you. I am doing - for everybody's sake.

Mary Witzl said...

I love both of those poems, Pat. It seems like we do people a disservice by talking about them in hushed tones after they're dead -- forgetting their humanity and imperfections. We should celebrate the people we love and keep them alive in our hearts forever.

Wishing you warmth and happiness, and the joy of good memories.

Pat said...

Mary: thank you for your wishes and your wise words:)

Guyana-Gyal said...

How are you, Pat? Every day you pass through my mind and I wonder how you're doing.

Pat said...

GG: it's hour to hour - I don't like to think too far ahead and I have so many chores at the moment which I quite enjoy.
I'm looking forward to Friday when our French son arrives for the week-en and we're going to Taunton on Saturday. Yippee!

LL Cool Joe said...

I've been away on holiday but you have been on my mind. You seem to be coping. Sending hugs your way. ((((((((hugs))))))))

Pat said...

Joey: thank you. Bedtime for me.