“Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep” and why I love it.

Do not stand at my grave and weep

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 sunlight 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 circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

-by Mary Elizabeth Frye
I first discovered this poem, oddly enough, in a cross stitch catalog. The text was part of a sampler and it struck me so much that I typed up a copy and saved it to my computer. More recently part of it appeared as an epigraphy to Victoria Schwab’s delightful latest book The Archived.
I guess the poem can seem kind of depressing or morbid but I’ve always found it very peaceful and appealing. I don’t really buy into organized religion and the more I try to think about an afterlife or reincarnation the less likely it seems. But I like the idea in Frye’s poem that no one is ever really gone. It fits in well with one of my other favorite ideas–that as long as someone remembers you, you never really die. There’s a certain comfort to be had in that.