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My Apologies to Canon Henry Scott Holland

Death is nothing at all, unless you’re a conservative and know that you’re in for it later. I have only slipped away into the next door room, hooked up to a lot of machinery that legally maintains that I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, the fundamentalist right will make damn sure we are still. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the usual way which you always used. My parents do, and then use every involuntary twitch of my atrophied muscles to cling to a false hope. Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrows, because that would mean facing a very hard truth. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together, because I can’t laugh anymore. Let my name ever be the household word that it always was, even in the households of people who never knew I existed until it was too late. Let it be spoken without effect, without the ghost of a shadow on it, regardless of what my parents, in their parental grief, would like to believe they see in my face. Life means all it ever meant, it is the same as it ever was, there is absolutely unbroken continuity, which should include death, as it always has. Why should I be out of mind, because I am out of sight, when daily lawsuits and press briefings can keep my image fresh? I am but waiting for you, in the interval to do what should have been done years ago. Somewhere very near just around the corner...all is well now that I’ve been allowed to leave.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
mortaine
Mar. 31st, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC)
Very appropriate.
kr8vkat
Mar. 31st, 2005 06:51 pm (UTC)
Oo, can I read this at my open mike next week? I like it very much.
junglemonkee
Mar. 31st, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC)
Certainly, but be aware that the non-italicized parts were written by Canon Henry Scott Holland, Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral. It was originally titled "Death is Nothing at All," and was taken from a sermon on death called "The King of Terrors," delivered on Whitsunday of 1910 as the body of King Edward VII lay in state.

Thanks!
kr8vkat
Mar. 31st, 2005 07:18 pm (UTC)
Good to know. I'll be sure to mention that before I read it, and I'll identify you as the author. Thanks.
wordweaverlynn
Mar. 31st, 2005 08:43 pm (UTC)
(swoon)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )