Poetry is one of our most powerful ways to expressing ourselves as individuals and groups so it comes at no surprise that it often will play a fundamental part of lifes important events. One of those important periods is celebrating life after death where we are able to reflect on the life of a lost loved one, their experiences and their relationship with those who were touched by their life.

A poem which exemplifies understanding the relationship of celebrating the life lived is “The Dash” by Linda Ellis. Ellis’ poem speaks to the listener about the value of the ‘dash’ that is between the birth date and date of their passing. It is not only a reflection of the life of the person lost but also a reminder for the reader to live their own ‘dash’ to the fullest.

If you’re looking for a poem to help express your feelings during a time of loss of a loved one, The Dash might help you through this time.

The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak at a 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 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 lived and loved 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?

Linda Ellis

Does “The Dash” poem help you through a time of grief and to encourage you to live your life on your terms and to the fullest capacity? Let us know how poems such as this and poetry in general has allowed you to better process your feelings through times of transition and encourage you to re-evaluate your life.