Not

Our daughter Eleanor died 21/04/2020

Statue of Bud Neill characters in Glasgow

E:

I am not alive as I have been imagined.

When Dickens invented his characters Fagin

And The Artful Dodger he never thought they really existed;

But when you imagine me alive in heaven you’ve twisted

Memories together with theology to make me as real as

Donald Trump or Boris Johnson or the wee lass

Who tends the early morning till at Tesco’s, who are in

The world and make a difference to it. Not me. No sin

or grace of mine makes anything worse or better.

I am not alive as I have been. I am neither giver nor getter,

Lover nor hater. The particulars of my character are scattered

With the ashes of my body, becoming part perhaps

Of some other assemblage of life, which will itself collapse

Into dissolution also. Death is the mother of beauty, the glory

Of life is its balance on the edge of nothingness, my story

Has a beginning and an end; surely it’s good after

All the fights to say R.I.P.? And if there were laughter

Too, and beauty, to say, Well Done? But the griever

Wants to continue what has finished, and becomes a deceiver

If he thinks the phantoms of his grief are real. Leave me!

I am not. The pronoun that named the beautiful bundle

Of molecules that was me, applies to nothing now. Wonder

At its loveliness, mourn its fragility, but let it, as it must,

Go and cease to be, like all the productions of dust.

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