This poem was submitted by Erin and was originally published on Mormon Women in September 2008. We thought it fitting to include it during this week where we are celebrating those who have left a legacy by how they have lived their lives.
Tears were unwelcome
at Grandpa’s funeral
harsh and cold like his body
with its Light put out
so we danced in the dew on the lawn by the farm house
Uncle played his truck radio
bright Music filled the night
as we held hands and sang
to the beat of the barefoot
and Uncle spun me in the air while my hair whipped back
Cars drove down the dirt road
Farmers stared as they reached
the town’s only stoplight
Shaking their heads thinking
Didn’t their dad just die and they’re dancing?
This was Grandfather’s life
Dancing, not weeping
All the limbs of his Family
breathing fast in the still air
Living for his Life- Dancing for his Death
You can read more poetry submissions here. To submit something to this website, send an email to ‘mormonwoman’ AT ‘gmail’ DOT ‘com’
There is always someone there to judge the appropriateness of your mourning. Two weeks after my son died someone told me I needed to just get over it. We all mourn in our own way. How ’bout comforting those in need of comfort rather than judging. Sometimes the comforting comes in a dance.
I love this! I hope to live my life & share my testimony such that my family will know that “Death …is only like going into another room. In that other room we shall find … the dear women and men and the sweet children we have loved and lost.” (Robert Blatchford, as quoted by President Thomas S. Monson)
And I hope they will sing and dance for joy in that knowledge!
Unfortunately, I am in the business of life and death, I am a chaplain by trade. The one thing I tell my families is that there is no right way and no wrong way to grieve. Grief is as individual as how we each live our lives. If people judge us, it is their way of being uncomfortable with death and dying.
Being “unconventional” by others standards may be normal by your family’s standards. If my brother could have planned his own funeral he would have played the music from Star Wars, which is what we did, to honor him. It was, a celebration of his life and he lived his life loving science fiction. To all of you free spirits out there, celebrate and live your lives, and when your time comes to leave this life, celebrate the life you lived in any way choose without judgement or fear of reprisals.
“Men are that they might have joy” we are told. Find your joy!