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Death is nothing at all

I read a poem by Henry Scott Holland at my friend’s memorial service this morning and many were asking for a copy, so I thought I’d post it here. In the interest of full disclosure I confess I altered the ordering of the stanzas near the end, but none of the wording was touched. You can find the original version online. What follows is how I read it in church.

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

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. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before
only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together with Christ.

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

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2 Comments

  1. Chris
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Beautiful!

    • Penny-Anne
      Posted July 13, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t it? And it sounds so much like something Jill would say.

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