Monday, April 15, 2013

Saying Goodbye to My Dad

Exactly one month before he passed away, I wrote this post about how I badly wanted my father to be present in my son's life for the long term.

And now, Dad's gone.

I've written elsewhere a little bit about what Dad meant to me, although if I dedicated the rest of my life to writing nothing else, I would never be able to truly and completely articulate it. And as for how I feel about his passing, I simply don't have the words.

So, I'm going to share with you the poem I read at Dad's funeral last Sunday. I first read this piece when I was a teenager, and I remember it giving me chills. Now, it perfectly and beautifully sums up the sense of unfairness and anger I feel at having to say goodbye far too soon:

Dirge Without Music
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.


  1. I'm sorry to hear of your loss. We are never prepared to lose a parent.

  2. I'm sorry you had to say goodbye too soon.

  3. I'm sorry for your loss. My father was 95 when he passed in's always hard when you love someone.