Our daughter Eleanor died 21/04/2020
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.