Dziadzio Henry [Last name was taken out] was a great man. He was loved by a large array of people- friends, family, acquaintances- many of which are here today. We were all very fond of him and his lively character. He was a loving husband, an obedient son, a caring grandfather, a lovely uncle, a dear friend, and other charming titles that I could spend hours enumerating. I have a little poem that I would like to recite that illuminates and reminds us of the eternal life that Our Creator presents us with:
Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep
By: Mary Elizabeth Frye
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 snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn 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.
This poem paints death in a beautiful and touching light- something that is rarely seen or heard of. Our society portrays death in a gruesome way, giving us terrifying images of the grim reaper, or skullbones; these tormenting depictions have humans viewing death in a very negative light. We fear it because it resembles what is unknown, and not knowing what happens to our soul after this life can most definitely be disheartening. In times like these, I would like to remind those sitting before me that death is a natural occurrence in life; without it, life would be meaningless and important. If we were immortal, then we would not care for anything around us; we would get bored of how we live, we would tire of the ones we love. This is why life is called a gift. Our beloved Creator gives us an amount of time where we can appreciate and truly fall in love with what He has given us. Personally, I like to compare human life to a tree and the seasons. During the spring, a tree has blossomed with delicate, angelic flowers-this represents a human’s birth. In the summer, a tree has leaves the color of emerald and it bears beautiful fruits and seeds- this represents adulthood, where one (either male or female) can produce children. In autumn, even though the tree’s leaves are dying, the tree itself never looked so alive. On many occasions, I have stopped and stared to admire the autumn trees glistening in the sun, almost resembling gold. In this season, the tree represents the elderly, or as I like to refer to it, the “Golden” ages. Lastly, we have the winter- the death of the leaves. The tree is bare; there is nothing on it. Yet, I still can find some beauty when I cast my eyes upon trees with snow upon them. But, winter does not last forever, spring comes soon enough, and there will be life upon the trees again. Even though I do not know what comes after death, it brings me comfort to think that life is just like the trees; winter never lasts and spring always comes
Thursday night, around 1 o’clock, after I just came home, I was sitting by my bedroom window writing a history assignment that needed to be sent in early Friday morning. I heard, very audibly, an owl hooting. I smiled and I had a rushing feeling of love and homeliness. For some peculiar and unknown reason, I searched in Google “symbolism of hearing an owl hoot”. I clicked on the first website, read it, and learned that some cultures believe that an owl hooting was actually a spirit of a recently deceased family member. I’d like to believe that my Dziadzio was telling me a lovely “welcome home” and a final goodbye. Just like the poem states, he is still all around us, and he will never truly die even though he is physically gone from this world. He is still very much alive in our thoughts, in our words, in our memories, and especially in our hearts. And with those, he is with all of us, no matter what we do or where we go.