To a friend

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, that we are still.

Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak it to me in the same way you always used.
Put no difference into your tone,
Wear no false 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 ghost of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident.

I am but waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner.
All is well.

~Henry Scott Holland 1847 – 1918
Canon of St Paul’s, London

For B.L. … Sometimes we just don’t realize, I think, how many people we touch. ~m.

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