Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Death is nothing at all

I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
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 just waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.
All is well.

Tod bedeutet gar nichts.

Ich bin nur nach nebenan verschwunden.
Ich bin ich und du bist du.
Was immer wir füreinander waren, das sind wir noch.
Nenne mich bei dem alten vertrauten Namen.
Sprich von mir, wie du es immer getan hast.
Ändere nicht deinen Tonfall.
Zwinge dich nicht zu aufgesetzter Feierlichkeit oder Traurigkeit.
Lache weiterhin über die kleinen Scherze, an denen wir gemeinsam Spaß hatten.
Spiele, lächle, denke an mich, bete für mich.
Lass meinen Namen weiterhin so geläufig sein, wie er immer war.
Sprich ihn unbekümmert aus, ohne die Spur eines Schattens.
Das Leben bedeutet all das, was es bisher bedeutete.
Es ist genauso wie immer.
Es geht uneingeschränkt und ununterbrochen weiter.
Ist der Tod nicht nur ein unbedeutender Zwischenfall?
Warum sollte ich vergessen sein, nur weil du mich nicht mehr siehst?

Ich warte einstweilen auf dich, ganz in der Nähe, nur um die Ecke.
Alles ist gut. 

Henry Scott Holland (27 January 1847 – 17 March 1918)


  1. "I am just waiting for you..." Hmm, or just gone back to not existing, again, after such a brief flickering of being?

    1. Indeed. Why grief and tears, coffin and funeral service, condolences and "deepest sympathy"? Rubbish! Landfill would do.

    2. Oh, I have selected a better option - have I ever told you? - having signed up for Dundee Medical School to chop up my remains for student education or whatever (which saves the expense of a funeral too, says this canny Scot); a decision which led one departing student of mine, on graduating from my pre-medical course and heading onto her years at medical school, to cheerfully declare, "Oh, well maybe I will see you again soon then, Andrew". A lovely and thoughtful lass. However... (obviously) the poet above was not referring to physical remains, but was presuming that something else might remain.

    3. Hm, my reply was a bit grumpy, sorry.
      As it happens my friend's wonderful mother Sue did what you have signed up for. And imagine, Andrew: There is a service each year, I think in Westminster Abbey, for the surviving friends and family members of those who donated their bodies to science. ;-)

    4. A service in Westminster Abbey for me? Now I am having some doubts... (I will add a :) since DQS is not currently looking over my shoulder but is for some reason looking up angrily at the moon, perhaps pondering a new quest)

    5. Imagining they are going to build windmills ... while there is a service in Westminister Abbey ...

  2. Truth.
    And no-one is gone while they are remembered.
    In the fullness of time I hope to feed a tree. A tree which will welcome birds and insects.

  3. Ha, Sue! You hoping to feed a tree and welcoming birds and insects reminds me of Dschuang Dsi.

  4. Did you do the translation? I recognised 'Tod' immediately from works such as Schuberts Death and the Maiden!

    1. Uff, sorry for replying late; obviously took my intention for the deed.
      No, the translation is offered on the German site.

  5. Sean, your Beer and Books feature has inspired me to do a similar category but with music. See what you think..

    good health to you, Mark.

    1. The same here: ten days delay.
      As written on your site, I enjoyed it very much. Thank you, Mark.

  6. Replies
    1. Ha ha, now you ask. Would not be that bad, eh?
      No, I just prefered to enjoy a few days without blogging. More time to read and reflect. May 22nd thought of that Jams died already eight years ago.
      As for a blog death announcement: Right now I do think rather my unannounced death once will "tell".

  7. Since the day I first lost sight of a person I've loved I always end my prayers with the words, 'Please wait for us.'