My oldest and dearest friend has suffered the worst loss anyone can. I don’t want to go into detail because I’m not sure how much she would want me to say. I looked around for a poem and considered a few and the first one I thought of seemed best. It’s the only one that truly states just how bad loss can be.
Stop all the clocks
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
W. H. Auden
And this chorus is for both Chris and Tim. It is the In Paradisum section of the Faure Requiem. It is my prayer for Tim’s safe passage. The words translate to:
May Angels lead you into paradise;
may the Martyrs receive you at your coming
and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.
May a choir of Angels receive you,
and with Lazarus, who once was poor, may you have eternal rest.