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The Dash

Someone read this poem at a funeral yesterday. I seem to recall hearing it once before, but I thought it was worth sharing. You can read more about the author as well as her poems here.



The Dash

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 her date of birth
and spoke 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 matters 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
the 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's being read
with your life's actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent your “dash”?

Copyright by Linda Ellis

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