I attended the funeral recently of someone I knew for a brief time; for others, so much more. She was referred to as BB, a larger than life redhead with piercing blue eyes and a spirit to match. She embraced her path and the community to which she would belong with a fierce passion. She lived well and set an example that no life should go without good work. She grew up Catholic, converted to Judaism and lived a whole life along the way. She loved her family, her friends and embraced many others, like me, along the way.
In one of the eulogies, the poem “The Dash” by Linda Ellis was read and it struck me strongly. I am sharing that poem with you as a reminder that how we live our life in the between is so much more important than the year we enter that life and the year we leave it.
I looked at my posts for the past several months and see a recurring theme regarding life, mortality, the quickness of time, the realization that we cannot take anything for granted. The remembrances of BB brought certain truths to light – to live full-out, love your family, be amazing, and never lose sight that each moment well lived is the best gift we can give to others. Live well, my friends, that is the message we all should heed.
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 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 now 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 is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?