“When You’re Dead, You’re Done” Or “It Ain’t Necessarily So”

Over the weekend my wife and I went to an Indian Powwow (Monacan Indians, Amherst, Virginia). There we viewed Native American tribal dances and examined hand-made crafts that were for sale. On one vender’s table she saw a stack of papers on each of which someone had printed a poem.

My wife read what was on the top sheet and, pointing, said, “There’s a poem that says basically the same thing you said in your novel The Phantom Lady of Paris. I perused the sheet and she was right. Some poet, long before I penned The Phantom Lady, had captured, without knowing it, what my story would be about.

I had never heard of the poem. After Googling it, I found that it has been around for decades, a favorite for eulogies. In The Phantom Lady of Paris I suggested that love, like time, does not end with death, but endures beyond the grave. If you don’t believe that, you might after reading this poem.

It’s’ a powerful piece. Enjoy. Let me know if you agree with the sentiments in the poem or if you believe “when you’re dead, you’re done. Next!”


Don’t stand at my grave and weep
For I’m not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am the sun 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.




Filed under writing

2 responses to ““When You’re Dead, You’re Done” Or “It Ain’t Necessarily So”

  1. What a poignant poem, Calvin. Having been a military spouse for many years, I join you and many others in respect and reverence this Memorial Day for those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

  2. Very lovely tribute, Calvin.

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