In memory of Daniel

I went to sleep last night
to the sound of gentle rain
and awoke to it

Right now
the entire sky is grey
soft rain falls in drifts
raindrops bead my windows

This day could be a poem

My dear friend Daniel passed away peacefully at home on Thursday evening surrounded by those who loved him most. He was just 63 — three days younger than me — and lived less than five months after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.

He was a big man with a huge heart, a vast capacity for compassion and reflectiveness, and a wonderful smile, who had taken long service leave to explore what he would do with the next phase of his life: painting, sculpture, writing, developing the garden of his five acre block, travelling all called to him.

His wife, Marianne — also a dear friend — has asked me to offer a reading at his funeral, so I was browsing poetry. I’ve settled on this beautiful reflection from Thich Nhat Hanh.

This Body is not Me

This body is not me.
I am not limited by this body.
I am life without boundaries.
I have never been born,
and I have never died.
Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars,
manifestations from my wondrous true mind.
Since before time, I have been free.
Birth and death are only doors through which we pass,
sacred thresholds on our journey.
Birth and death are a game of hide- and seek.
So laugh with me,
hold my hand,
let us say good-bye,
say good-bye, to meet again soon.
We meet today.
We will meet again tomorrow.
We will meet at the source every moment.
We meet each other in all forms of life.

From Chanting and Recitations from Plum Village



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4 Responses to In memory of Daniel

  1. Shelley says:

    darling… he would love this… and he knew what a dear and loving friend you are… blessings to Marianne, to Daniel, to you…xx

  2. joyce says:

    what a beautiful selection for a reading, desney.

  3. Rachel says:

    That’s a wonderful piece. Beautiful. My thoughts are with you and with Marianne x

  4. Marie Brooks says:

    So beautiful and so apt. All my thoughts with you and Mariane – I know Daniel was a dear and loving friend. His spirit will now be free xo

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