Living Forever

Do not stand at my grave and weep
by Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep:
I am 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 circling flight.
I am the soft starshine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there; I did not die.

Found on “The Most Beautiful Poems in the English LanguageHands courtesy Eric Danley under a Creative Commons License

I’ve heard it said we die three deaths. The first is when our body ceases to breathe. The second is when those near to us stop remembering us. The third is when there is nobody left that has been touched by us.

The first death is well known and certain. So many in the world are valiantly trying to prolong their lives. In fact, humans as a species are living long now than ever, so that’s some progress.

We can delay our second death by living fully and in deep connection to others. Creating memories with others, living in love, and sharing who we truly are can prolong the memories.

Love is not a matter of counting the years —
it’s making the years count….

by Wolfman Jack Smith

Our third death can’t happen, so there’s nothing to do. There is nobody alive who has not affected the rest of us. Simply being born affected our mothers. The air we breathe and water we drink are the same molecules that continue to recycle through, in, and out of all of us.

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand,
you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors.
All of them are alive in this moment.
Each is present in your body.
You are the continuation of each of these people.

Everything we think, feel, and do has an effect
on our ancestors and all future generations
and reverberates throughout the Universe.
Therefore, our smile helps everyone.

by Thich Nhat Hanh


15 thoughts on “Living Forever

  1. That sounds interesting. Are there any histories you’d like to share?
    I wonder how many gravestones are written by the deceased, and how many by others.

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