Death is nothing at all



What is dying?

I am standing on the seashore.
A ship sails and spreads her white sails to the
morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her
'til at last, she fades on the horizon.
And someone at my side says, "She is gone."
Gone where?

Gone from my sight, that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars
as she was when I saw her
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to
its destination.

The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me,
not her;
and just at the moment when someone at my side says,
"She is gone,"
There are others who are watching her coming
and other voices take up a glad shout
"There she comes!"

and that is DYING.

DEATH is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am me and you are you, whatever we were to each
other we are that still.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way, which 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, and pray for me.
Let my name be ever a household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow in it.
Life means more than it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity...

Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval somewhere,
very near, just around the corner.

All is well.

Henry Scott Holland 1847-1918




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