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My Favorite Poem About Dying...and Living!

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

I found this poem over a decade ago.

Searching for comforting words to send my friend Andrea who had just shockingly lost her 14-year-old son to an accident.

My eyes welled with tears, not because the poem was about, in fact, dying and death, but most importantly because it was about living and life.

It made me reflect on the time we spend loving each other, learning about ourselves, and sharing kindness with the world.

The impact this poem has had on me is immeasurable.

I send it and share it with everyone I care for.

Which is why I want you to read it.

The true impact we have in this short life we get to live is not about the things we do or the titles we amass. It’s about who we love, how we love, and whether we can be present to that love while we have breath in our bodies.

Something I contemplate regularly. I hope you enjoy this and feel moved by it as much as I do. Feel free to share it.

And most of all — let’s enjoy and embrace our dash!

The Dash

by Linda Ellis

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 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.


Are you able to listen to me read it to you?

Watch/listen just below:


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