Mike here. My dad, Jacques Séguin passed away last week so we wanted to take a moment or two to honour him. He turned 83 years young last spring, and he’s lived a good, long life. He showed up in mine when I was about four, and he’s been the only dad I ever had. Much of who I am today is because of his influence. My dad was not perfect (few of us are) but he had the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. He was almost universally liked, and he would go a long way out of his way to help others, to engage someone, to generate a smile and/or a laugh. He taught me many, many things, some of them tangible, and others simply about how to be. He was invariably patient and kind. He will be missed.
A number of poems have been written on death and dying; here are two of my favourites:
“Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of 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 that 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 an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!” ~ Canon Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918), from a sermon preached 15 May 1910, Saint Paul’s, London.
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on the snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
“Throughout the years, this poem has appeared in many places and in many forms. The original was written in 1942 by Baltimorean Mary Frye on the back of a brown paper bag. Frye wrote the poem for a friend whose mother had died in Germany; the daughter had been unable to attend the funeral because of World War II.”
Marcia and I will miss his laugh. He knows he has our love.
(image ©2015 M. Belikov, used with permission and appreciation)
A quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder that fits here:
“Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you can only remember me with tears, then don’t remember me at all.”
and a link from Andy Ilachinski: Limit of Our Sight