My old friend and editor, Valerie Simmons, sent me this poem, which was read at the funeral of her cousin's wife.
Death is Nothing at All
by Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918
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.