Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep -Mary Elizabeth Frye

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.

 

I read this poem at my father’s funeral last year. I like to think he would have approved although we never really discussed death. I know he once said to my daughter, quite out of the blue, that he wasn’t afraid to die, but that was pretty much all he ever did say.

I wonder, does the poem make sense? Do you cry for the person or for yourself? And if it’s feeling sorry for yourself, why can’t we just stop being so pathetic and get on with things like we’ve all been told? … It doesn’t quite work like that, does it?

Anyway. I like the imagery of it. The quiet birds in circled flight.

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