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Things I Want My Daughters to Know
Dear All of You,
Despite my controlling streak, there aren't too many rules, so far as the funeral goes. Do it as soon as you can, won't you? Good to get it over with. Lisa knows about the music, if you can bear to go with what I've chosen. We've talked about the committal—you know I only want you lot there, and you know which coffin, and which fabulous outfit. I'd like this poem—which, by the way, I love. Thank God for insomnia and the Internet—I'd never have found it otherwise, and you'd be stuck reading something yucky. It should be read by whoever thinks they can do it without crying, because that is my biggest rule. No crying, please. If you can manage it. Oh, and no black. Wear the brightest thing you can find in your wardrobes. Both are clichés, I know, but better the colorful one than the somber. And try and make the sun shine (although I recognize that this last one might be outside of your control). I'm not saying anything mushy in this letter—strictly business—but I daresay there will be other letters. I have other things to say—she says ominously—if I last long enough to write them . . . (don't you just love terminal illness humor?).
I'm sorry you all have to do this. I really am.
So, never-everending love, as always . . .
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond light on snow
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain
I am the gentlyfalling autumn rain
When you wake in the morning hush
I am the swift uplighting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight
I am the soft starlight at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I do not die.
(Isn't that perfect for a funeral in a field?!)Things I Want My Daughters to Know
A Novel. Copyright © by Elizabeth Noble. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.