There is a poem, written by Mary Elizabeth Frye, which my mom was very fond of, and which was read at her memorial service in 1996. It seems like an appropriate poem to quote on this, the second anniversary of Tommy’s death. We held my mom’s memorial service in a boat, at sea not far outside the breakwater of Los Angeles harbor. We scattered her ashes near the sea buoy, which is where harbor pilots board oceangoing ships that are entering the harbor. My mom’s old friend, Dick St. John, read the poem at her service. Here it is:
Do not stand at my grave and weep:
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there; I did not die.
The poem captures her spirit and, for me, it expresses how I continue to feel about her, as well as my son Tommy. I miss them both, but I sense that they walk beside me every day.