In case of my death

Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of my mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.  

 

~ Henry Scott Holland (1847 - 1918)

 



 

"One Autumn day I was in a park and I looked at a very small, beautiful leaf; its color was almost red. It was barely hanging on the branch, nearly ready to fall down. I spent a long time with it and asked the leaf a number of questions. I found out the leaf had been a mother to the tree.

 

"We usually think that the tree is the mother and the leaves are just children, but as I looked at the leaf I saw that the leaf is also a mother to the tree. The sap that the roots take up is only water and minerals, not sufficient to nourish the tree, so the tree distributes the sap to the leaves, and the leaves transform the rough sap into an elaborated sap with the help of the sun and air and then send it back to the tree for nourishment. Therefore leaves are also a mother to the tree.

 

"I asked the leaf whether it was scared because it was autumn and the other leaves were falling. The leaf told me, 'No. During the while spring and summer I was very alive. I worked hard and helped nourish the tree, and much of me is in the tree. I am not limited by this form. I am the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue to nourish the tree. As I leave this branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell her, 'I will see you again very soon.'

 

"And after a while I saw the leaf leave the branch and float down to the soil, dancing joyfully because as it floated it saw itself already there in the tree; it was so happy. I have a lot to learn from the leaf because it is not afraid; it knew nothing can be born and nothing can die."

 

 

~ Thich Nhat Hanh