Celebrant Views

The Dash by Lisa Ellis

The Dash by Lisa Ellis

As you may know Dinah, The Grateful Celebrant and I have a monthly podcast, Ask a Celebrant.  In episode 6, Dinah mentions a wonderful and thought-provoking poem, The Dash by Lisa Ellis.

It perfectly describes my view of my role as a celebrant, that all of the little moments in between birth and death are really worth marking with a celebration!  We are all the things we do in between, how we felt, how we made others feel.  The ripples we left on the sea of our life.

I thought I would share it with all of you

I read of a man who stood to speak 

at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on the tombstone 

from the beginning…to the end.  

He noted that first came the date of birth 

and spoke 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 they spent alive on earth. 

And now only those who loved them 

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?

by Linda Ellis, Copyright © 1996-2050, LindaEllis.life 


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