Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How to live forever

Last night I was going through some papers and found a faded newspaper clipping that I had squirreled away many years ago. It's a poem that spoke to me about the greater meaning of life at a time when I had yet to experience the pain of losses that were to come.

It rings even more true now...

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To Remember Me
By Robert Noel Test (1926-1994)

The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital busily occupied with the living and the dying.

At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.

When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don't call this my deathbed. Let it be called the Bed of Life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.

Give my sight to a man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face or love in the eyes of a woman.

Give my heart to a person whose own heart has pain.

Give my blood to the teen-ager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.

Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.

Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.

Explore every corner of my brain.

Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that, someday, a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her windows.

Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.

If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses and all my prejudice against my fellow man.

Give my sins to the devil. Give my soul to God. If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you.

If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.
.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday sandra dahlink!
i hope you did something special for you today.
miss you
laave halleyanne

Amanda M said...

This poem helped me through my grief for my mum. It's lovely. We had the poem laminated for her memorial service, so that all of the attendees could have it forever.