Thursday, May 9, 2013

Kims' dash

I attended the funeral of a friend today. I had felt so guilty when I had heard that she had passed away. I hadn't gone to visit her for such a long time.

She was my neighbour twenty years ago, when I was pregnant with Jake and was a big part of our lives as he grew up. I was reminded of her kindness, her hospitality.

Even with more than her fair share of problems, she was the first to ask how my family was and if I was OK. 

It has brought back to home the fact that we never know when our time is up. I wish I had of visited her more in the past few years, been a better friend. It comforted me to know that the last few weeks had been her happiest in a long time. 

The celebrant read a poem at the end. I hadn't heard it before, and it really made me think about how I live my life.

The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone,
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,

the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect

and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

Linda Ellis

Do you have a friend you haven't made the time to visit for a while? 

  • pick up the phone
  • send a text to say you thought of them.
  • post them a short letter with a fancy tea bag inside

How are you spending your dash? 

  • be a better friend
  • let people know your thinking of them
  • be a great host when people come through your door
  • be kind
  • be generous
  • be patient
  • be tolerant


  1. A beautiful poem. It's one worth remembering in 'the dash'. Thanks for sharing x

  2. Sorry to hear of your friend's passing and such a poignant reminder too. Thank you for sharing xx

  3. A very touching post Alicia and lovely reminders about remembering those important to us x

  4. Really sorry to hear about your friends passing. You may not have seen her for awhile but the fact that you still remember those moments of kindness, shows you were a true friend indeed.

  5. So sorry for your loss and I know that feeling, a dear friend of mine, who I knew was sick (she kept HOW sick she was from me) Passed away a year ago, and the last time I spoke to her was 3 months before that, when I was in labour with my 3rd, you never know when your time is up and I agree it's so important to stay in touch. Em


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