The Times of India carries large number of obituaries every day. It devotes full one page for this purpose where bereaved people want to share with the world the loss of their dear ones. Generally, there is a photograph of the person who has gone up and then there are epitaphs some of which are simply exaggerations, but this is permitted because there are both flip and face sides to everything and everyone’s perspective is different.
Today, I saw a obituary which quotes a poem by Henry Scott Holland. It is reproduced below in Toto. It is beautiful poem exuding optimism and treating death as only a transient reality. It runs as follows:
“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!”