A dear friend of mine just lot her best friend. I don't think death is ever an easy thing to accept. I read this story about death and the poem that goes with it is something that I would like at my own funeral some day. No, I am not planning to leave any time soon, but once you have had cancer, trust me...those thought do pass your mind every now and then. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks
SEE YOU IN THE MORNING By John Wayne Schlatter
Because of my mother and her wisdom I have no fear of death. She was my best friend and my greatest teacher. Every time we parted company, whether it was to retire for the evening or before one of us was about to depart on a trip, she would say, "I'll see you in the morning." It was a promise she always kept. My grandfather was a minister and in those days, around the turn of the century, whenever a member of the congregation passed on, the body would lie in state in the minister's parlor. To an eight-year-old girl, this can be a most frightening experience.One day, my grandfather picked up my mother, carried her into the parlor and asked her to feel the wall. "What does that feel like Bobbie?" he asked."Well, it's hard and it's cold," she replied.Then he carried her over to the casket and said, "Bobbie, I'm going to ask you to do the most difficult thing I'll ever ask. But if you do it, you'll never be afraid of death again. I want you to put your hand on Mr. Smith's face."Because she loved and trusted him so much she was able to fulfill his request. "Well?" asked my grandfather. "Daddy", she said, "it feels like the wall." "That's right," he said. "This is his old house and our friend, Mr. Smith, has moved and Bobbie, there's no reason to be afraid of an old house."
The lesson took root and grew and the rest of her life. She had absolutely no fear of death. Eight hours before she left us, she made a most unusual request. As we stood around her bed fighting back tears, she said, "Don't bring any flowers to my grave because I won't be there. When I get rid of this body, I'm flying to Europe. Your father would never take me." The room erupted in laughter and there were no more tears the rest of the night.As we kissed her and bade her goodnight, she smiled and said, "I'll see you in the morning." However, at 6:15 A.M. the next day, I received the call from the doctor that she had begun her flight to Europe. Here is the poem that Dad and I found in her room a couple of days later.
"WHEN I DIE, GIVE WHAT IS LEFT OF ME TO CHILDREN. IF YOU NEED TO CRY, CRY FOR YOUR BROTHERS WALKING BESIDE YOU. PUT YOUR ARMS AROUND ANYONE AND GIVE THEM WHAT YOU NEED TO GIVE ME. I WANT TO LEAVE YOU WITH SOMETHING, SOMETHING BETTER THAN WORDS OR SOUNDS. LOOK FOR ME IN THE PEOPLE I HAVE KNOWN AND LOVED. AND IF YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT ME, THEN LET ME LIVE ON IN YOUR EYES, YOUR MIND AND YOUR ACTS OF KINDNESS. YOU CAN LOVE ME MOST BY LETTING HANDS TOUCH HANDS AND LETTING GO OF CHILDREN THAT NEED TO BE FREE. LOVE DOES NOT DIE, PEOPLE DO. SO WHEN ALL THAT IS LEFT OF ME IS LOVE... GIVE ME AWAY..."
My dad and I smiled at each other as we felt her presence, and it was morning once again.
"IF YOU WERE GOING TO DIE SOON AND HAD ONLY ONE PHONE CALL YOU COULD MAKE, WHO WOULD YOU CALL AND WHAT WOULD YOU DAY? AND WHY ARE YOU WAITING? ~Stephen Levine
"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."
Well, I can't call each of you, but I can tell you how much you mean to me in my life and how grateful I am for your love and support. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. Good night and I'll see you in the morning! :)