This month our community lost a well-known New Orleans journalist and during her funeral one of her sorority sisters read a moving poem. This poem explains the meaning of the dash on the tombstone between the birth date and the date of death. This poem touched me so deeply that I wanted to share it with you all today. It was written by Linda Ellis and it’s called “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 beginning… to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of 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 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 still can be rearranged.
To 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 that 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 lived your dash?