There was something distinctly detached in that chapel; the blazing sunshine and natural life that was outside was silent inside the building. The warmth didn’t penetrate through the high windows despite being able to see the ripples of heat haze, the sadness inside seemed to cool and fill all the available air so that you breathed it and felt it on your skin and in your mind. Saying goodbye to someone is such a hugely devastating occurrence; I’ve been in this building to say goodbye to people that were immeasurably close to me and others that I barely knew. Every single time I felt that overwhelming sadness of a light going out. It emanates from every mourner but mostly from those who feel that gap so greviously. The following poem is therefore based on that feeling, that ‘freezing yet continuing’ of time that occurs during the service. So this is for my friends and family near and far. Feel free to use it if it might convey a meaning for you. May it bring peace and a smile to someone, somewhere.
I have come to say goodbye today,
But as I enter in,
The air closes up around me,
The light in here is dim.
Your body rests upon the plinth,
Encased in wood and gold,
Already you are gone from us,
But your soul will never be old.
The room is full of people,
Who knew you long and short in time,
But time has called an end to you,
In the sand, it’s drawn a line.
I remember you as you once were,
To me, you still just ‘are’,
You live inside my memory,
The thought of you not far.
I wonder if you’re here with us,
If you’re present in this shade,
Released from mortal bonds you are,
But you will never fade.
We say so long and cheerio,
And step out into the sun,
And talk and weep and reminisce,
Of memories and fun.
I came to say goodbye today,
But really it’s ‘see you soon’,
For life is just a moment’s gasp,
A blink, a sun, a moon.
Life’s filled with ups and downs and things,
In our deeds, our purpose clear,
Our love and pride of friends and kin,
The people we hold dear.
So until our paths may cross again,
When the dusk reveals me ready,
From now ‘til then, I honour your wish,
That we are unconquered by grief and remain;