Funeral Poem The Dash Remembering a Life

Amanda-Louise Funeral Services
October 5, 2022

Remembrance Poem to Bring Comfort of Grief at Funeral

When searching for suitable grief words for a funeral or memorial service, many turn to a reading entitled ‘The Dash’. It’s a poem about the little dash symbol, often seen on funeral order of service pamphlets or on gravestones, between the date of the person’s date of birth and date of their death.  It resonates when reflecting on life as that dash looks quite small doesn’t it, but when reflecting on that person’s life, that dash can represent so much.    For those still living, it’s a reminder how we wish to spend our life. While some people dont like the poem as they feel its dictating how to conduct our lives, it does bring comfort to others when thinking of a person who has lived their life the way they wanted to - after all, isnt that a positive thing?

Change of Ownership of the Poem : The Dash

The poem was originally written by Linda Ellis and now the ownership of its rights is with Inspire Kindness I understand.   For those who wish to use the poem, its suggested to acknowledge as shown below:-

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 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@2020 Inspire Kindness, thedashpoem.com

Final Comments

There are so many poems and readings to choose from its good to spend time considering which one reflects the person's personality, or if the words resonate with the family. After all, memories as well as thoughtful words become treasures to cherish when trying to come to terms with someone who has died.

Amanda-Louise Funeral Services
Amanda-Louise Funeral Directors 3 Blenheim Road, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5PY (by appointment only)
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