Some years ago, a lovely friend gave me a poem called The Dash, by Linda Ellis. Its message really resonated with me, as it reminded me that every day of our lives counts. We all have the opportunity to take a chance, work towards going on that trip or even just tell our loved ones how much they mean to us. None of us is immortal, and sadly, our time here is limited.
Last weekend, I heard about the passing of an acquaintance. She was a beautiful soul, so caring and genuine – and she loved her kids. She was about my age and her children are similar ages to mine. The news of her death has shaken me to the core, especially as I was unaware of the demons she was fighting. I won’t go into any further details here, other than to say that, whether she believed it or not, the world was definitely a better place with her in it. I certainly hope she can now finally rest in peace xox.
When reflecting on her passing, I went back to re-read The Dash. It’s a poem about that big gap between the time when we are born and they date we die. I’m posting it here for you to read. I hope you enjoy The Dash, and encourage you to think about its message…
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 her tombstone
From the beginning … to the end
He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth
For it matters not, how much we own
The cars… the house … the cash
What matter 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’s true and real
And always try to understand
They way other people feel
And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve 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 life’s actions to rehash
Will you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
Even reading it again today makes me think about what I’ve achieved so far in life, what’s really made me happy – and the things I still want to do. What will I be remembered for? How DID I spend my dash? What things have I missed out on and may wish to pursue? Maybe it’s time to try more new things?
So … Is there something in your life you’d like to change or improve? Could you be doing more for others – or finally doing something for yourself? Please leave your comments below.
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