The Dash

Sorting out papers in the Study this evening, Lou was going through material from her first degree which was in Death, Loss & Palliative Care (for which she received a First, she delights in reminding me). In a pile of notes was this poem, which when we re-read it, we thought quite touching:

The Dash by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak, at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on his tombstone from beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came his date of birth and spoke the following with tears. But he said what mattered most of all, was the dash in between those years.

For the dash represents, all the time he spent alive on earth. And how only those who loved him know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own: the cars, the house, the cash, what matters most 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 is 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’ver never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile…Remembering that 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 and how you spent your dash?