I cannot stop thinking of the importance of gentle speech...whether you believe someone is grieving or not, it is a humane practice to build into your personality. And, I think often of the prose written by Henry Scott Holland following the death of King Edward VII, titled "Death the King of Terrors." The piece is written as if by one who has died, who wants to stay connected to the living in a wholesome, loving, easy manner.
If you have lost someone, as the weeks and months go by, you may find it difficult or impossible to perform the function many will tell you is necessary, which is to "let them go."
No one really knows what that means, anyway. Shall we stop thinking of them? Shall we attempt to behave like robots and pretend the sadness came and went like magic? Or shall we open to the possibility that there is a way to let love continue after a loved one's heart has stopped beating? Here is Holland's beautiful piece of writing, which I have posted in poetic style, although he wrote it as prose.
Death is nothing at all
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 round 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!
Reflections from a grief dula to help others navigate the waters of grief. Blog posts here are copyrighted and are part of an upcoming book. Please quote with attribution. Sheridan Hill