Dust if You Must

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better

to paint a picture or write a letter,

bake a cake or plant a seed?

Ponder the difference between want and need.

 

Dust if you must but there’s not much time,

with rivers to swim and mountains to climb,

music to hear and books to read,

friends to cherish and life to lead.

 

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there

with sun in your eyes and wind in your hair,

a flutter of snow, a shower of rain;

this day will not come around again.

 

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,

old age will come and it’s not kind.

and when you go – and go you must –

you, yourself, will make more dust.

Rose Milligan

 

A Man and His Dog

A man and his dog were walking along a road. As the man was enjoying the scenery, it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and then he realized that his dog had been dead for years. Where was this road leading them?

After walking a while, they came to a high wall along one side of the road. The wall was made of white stones that looked like fine marble. The man and the dog continued to follow the road along the wall until they reached the top of a long hill. Up ahead, the wall opened into a huge arch that glowed in the sunlight. The arch contained a magnificent gate that looked like mother of pearl. The street leading to the gate looked like pure gold. As he approached the gate, he saw a man sitting at a desk to one side, and called out, “Excuse me, where are we?”

“This is heaven, sir,” the man answered.

“Wow! Would you happen to have some water?” the man asked.

“Of course sir, come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.” The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

“Can my friend,” gesturing toward his dog, “come in, too?” the traveler asked.

“I’m sorry sir, but we don’t accept pets”.

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going.

After another long walk, he reached the top of another long hill; he saw a dirt road that led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. “Excuse me!” he called to the reader. “Do you have any water?”

“Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there.” The man pointed to a place that couldn’t be seen from outside the gate. “Come on in.”

“How about my friend here?” the traveler gestured to the dog.

“There should be a bowl by the pump.”

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink – then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them. “What do you call this place?” the traveler asked.

“This is heaven,” was the answer.

“Well, that’s confusing,” the traveler said. “The man down the road said that was heaven, too.”

“Oh, you mean the place with the golden streets and pearly gates? Nope, that’s hell.”

“Doesn’t it make you mad for them to use your name like that?”

“No. I can see how you might think so, but we’re just happy that they screen out the folks who’ll leave their best friends behind.”

Helpful Poetic Advice for Celebrants

The following was used at the funeral of an elderly gentleman who admitted to being a ‘grumpy old git.’ When he spotted this amongst my resources he laughed loudly and said: ‘I want this read at my funeral’ and so it was! The congregation laughed too, as it reflected his character perfectly.

I don’t want any of that… ‘We’re gathered here today to celebrate his life, not mourn his passing. ‘Oh yes you are. Get one thing straight, you’re not here to celebrate but to mourn until it Continue reading

Rainbow Bridge

Link

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.When an animal dies who has been especially close to someone they go to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and they are warm and comfortable. Continue reading

The Native American Ten Commandments

Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.

Remain close to the Great Spirit, in all that you do.

Show great respect for your fellow beings.
(Especially respect yourself).

Work together for the benefit of all Mankind.

Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.

Do what you know to be right.
(But be careful not to fall into self-righteousness).

Look after the well being of mind and body.

Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.

Be truthful and honest at all times.
(Especially be truthful and honest with yourself).

Take full responsibility for your actions.

I used this recently within a pagan funeral ceremony where the deceased felt a deep connection with Native American culture.