We had this lovely poem at the funeral I led yesterday. I had never heard of the author, but it was one of the person who died’s favourite poets.
It was the last two verses that affected me most. The majority of teenagers do not subscribe to any kind of defined ‘orthodox’ faith, but there seems to be a vague feeling amongst many that ‘something’ is there or could be there. For others, the idea that there is nothing there, but what if there was?
This poem captured the mood beautifully. Apparently the person had said that people should wear black as we ‘should be bloody sad’: how can you use euphemisms like ‘passed away’, ‘gone to a better place’ or ‘no longer with us’ when the rest of their teenage friends are there, weeping and in rude health?
Sometimes only poetry or song will do.
The growing, aching quiet of this home
has led me to reading space theories.
The notions are slowly wrapping around my bones,
settling between my heart and ribcage with intricacy.
When I feel bereft in this aching grief
I find soothing in the words of a philosopher.
William James explained the multiverse in brief,
but with the foresight of an astronomer.
He spoke of time as a non-linear vision,
one where the universe is not one but many,
a different one spun off every one of our decisions,
therefore the versions of us that exist are many.
How comforting to think
that there are so many universes.
Perhaps one where the Titanic did not sink,
one where humanity is kind to the earth, not a curse.
Possibly one where magic is real
where faith is rewarded instead of scorned.
And perhaps even one where I do not grieve,
because you are alive and I have no need to mourn.