Death is nothing at all

Death CemeteryI was reading Life in the Balance by Thomas Graboys, MD, who is a nationally renowned Boston cardiologist. He not only took care of the hearts of his patients, but also their souls. In his foreword, Peter Zheutlin said,

…what truly set Tom apart was his uncommon humanity, his intense concern for what ailed the hearts and the souls of his patients, and his unstinting generosity with his time. Despite the crushing workload he carried on his shoulders, no patient was ever rushed and no patient concern was ever belittled. A patient’s annual follow-up with Tom always ran for an hour or so, unheard of in this era of managed care. After each examination, Tom would sit, knee to knee with the patient, on a small sofa in his office and talk. He never interposed his desk. He treated you as equal.

I respect and salute people who walked their talk! I’m quoting the above as my way of honouring a Dr. Thomas Graboys who was a great doctor, which can be so rare these days.

What also caught my attention when I was reading the book was a poem about death he found solace in. I, too, found these words comforting. Death is one heavy topic which some avoid, including myself at time, and yet it is journey everyone will take whether one chooses to or not.

I was chatting to a friend recently on Facebook and she was telling me about someone she knows in UK who is already starting to plan for his death and he was only in his twenties then. A thought immediately came to my mind then, “If we keep planning for our death, would we ever learn to truly live our life to the fullest?

Death is a positive reminder that we would not be living forever; the time will come naturally or it may just creep up on us when we least expect. Death is just part of the whole package of living.

When the time comes for us, we will move from this end into a new beginning; “… I have only slipped away into the next room … I am I and you are you…” This poem is comforting as it described death as sort of a ‘new beginning’ that one takes on; death is not an end. I wish anyone who have lost could also find comfort in this poem.

Death is nothing at all by Canon Henry Scott-Holland

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 my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way 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 we always 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 effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; 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!

Photo by Mattox

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12 thoughts on “Death is nothing at all

  1. One of The Guys

    I applaud any doctor that spends quality time with his or her patients. It is very rare in the world of medicine. Doctors are overworked and forced to take on more patients than they can handle. The result is inferior care.

    Nice article.

  2. Hilary

    Hi BK .. it is a wonderful poem isn’t it .. and it does give hope as we read it.

    Anyone who goes beyond their bounden duty deserves our appreciation .. your doctors certainly do ..

    I certainly appreciate this poem as I spend time with my mother .. I was at a funeral recently where they read it ..

    thanks for ‘spelling’ it out for us .. it’s great to read .. as was the post .. Hilary
    .-= Hilary┬┤s last blog ..A Century of Aces Afghanistan to Zimbabwe =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Hilary, it certainly gives us hope.

      @ Meleah, death can be frightening especially when no one can share their experience with us. It is a mystery to us all. I understand that not everyone likes to think about such issue. Good to see you here again.

      @ Jacqueline, glad that you like this post too. Have a lovely merry happy week and love to you and yours too!

      @ VanillaSeven, indeed … and too bad we do not know. However, the unknown can be exciting too. ­čÖé

      @ Pam, you are most welcome. I am glad that you found the post comforting.

  3. Eren Mckay

    Death is a topic that really gets to me. It hurst to even think of it at times. Honestly I love being around the people that I love and when they die it’s very hard. I have written about this before and how I have dealt with the deaths of many of my loved ones.
    There is however solace in the thought that their souls are still alive just not with us at the moment. I also agree that we shouldn1t dwell too much on death or else we will stop living in the present moment. That is a very comforting poem. Thank you for sharing it.
    All the best,
    .-= Eren Mckay┬┤s last blog ..Princess and the frog baby shower =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Eren, it is normal that when our loved ones die, we will find it hard to move on at time. But then as you said, if we continue to dwell too much on death, we will stop living in the present moment; I couldn’t have said it better than you. We must move on with our life and I truly believe that our loved ones would want to see us move on with our life too. I am glad that you found the poem comforting too.