A DEAR FRIEND HAS PASSED FROM EARTH TO HIGHER REALMS
He is not the first of my close friends to leave us by far, for there have been increasing numbers of deaths in my small world over the last few decades.
It is a hard reality of aging that as we live longer, we suffer the loss of more close friends and family.
I am learning to treasure those still alive more and more each day, and I find myself praying for them often. The fear of losing close friends whom I count on to be with, share with, and laugh and play with far outweighs any fear I have of my own death.
As a single woman, living alone, this is perhaps a selfish thing on my part. I fear their loss in my own life. I dread the thought of living without their companionship.
Most of my closest friends have a strong spiritual faith similar to my own, and therefore they seem quite at peace with the idea of their own death and future ongoing existence in a higher realm. (Albeit not necessarily as defined in traditional texts regarding a ‘heaven’) So, ironically, there is also a sense of relief for the deceased friend when they are allowed to take their leave peacefully after having lived a full and rewarding life.
Such is the case with my friend who passed away this weekend. He was a man who touched innumerable lives in profound ways, who shared his knowledge and experience freely, providing a model of great compassionate and humanitarian spirit. He taught me to believe in my own deep truths and to trust my intuition even when it diverges dramatically from the conventional norms and common paths. And he showed us how to bear great suffering and heavy burdens with a light and forgiving spirit.
I shall feel the loss of this wonderful man very deeply, but I can only be grateful that I was privileged to be counted among his friends in these last years.
IN HIS MEMORY AND THAT OF MY MANY OTHER FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO HAVE DEPARTED FROM THIS EARTH-LIFE, I SHARE THIS FAVORITE POEM AS EULOGY. IT WAS WRITTEN ANONYMOUSLY LONG AGO AND IS OFTEN PARAPHRASED IN EULOGIES.
HERE IS MY CURRENT VERSION:
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am in the clouds and the rain from the sky
And in earth’s wild creatures wherever they lie
I am in the wind that bows the trees
And in the buzzing of busy bees
I am in the waves that lap the shore
And in the sand and the rocks and more
I am in the flame of the candle’s glow
As well as the glitter on fallen snow
I am in the cosmos that spins afar
And in the sun and moon and stars
I am in the minds and hearts of those I have loved
And on wings of birds flying above
I can be found in meadows and roads that I roamed
And also in writings and works that I honed
So do not stand by my grave and cry
I am not there
I did not die.