Given the task of doing the eulogy at my mother’s recent funeral, this poem struck a deep chord within. Take a few moments and ponder on these words:



I read of a man who stood to speak

At the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on his tombstone

From the beginning to the end.


He noted that first came his date of birth

And spoke the following date with tears,

But he said what mattered most of all

Was the dash between those years. (1983 – 2000)


For that dash represents all the time

That he spent alive on earth

And now only those who loved him

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.


If we could just slow down enough

To consider what’s true and real,

And always try to understand

The way other people feel.


And 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’s being read

With your life’s actions to rehash

Would you be proud of the things they say

About how you spent your dash?