Funeral Blues


A very dear friend of mine lost her father on this Easter Sunday. It is hard to narrow life into words in times of sorrow. The most we can do is hold strongly to the notion that maybe, one day, we will meet again in another time and place. And, in the meantime, live fully and joyfully in honor of their big life and bright spirit.

This poem by W.H. Auden has spoken powerfully to me in times of loss. You can also listen to it here, as read in the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral when Matthew loses his partner. It opens the door for a time of stillness, and allowance of the sadness that flows like churning waves into our hearts.

Once the currents subside we must paddle forward on our boats, if ever so slowly, until we make it to the shore.

Funeral Blues
by W.H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

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