An Eulogy – How Do You Live Your Dash?


I read of a man who stood to speak

At the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone

From the beginning . . . to the end.

He noted that first came her date of birth

And spoke the following date with tears.

But he said what mattered most of all

Was the dash between those years. (1934 – 1998)

For that dash represents all the time

That she spent alive on earth . . .

And now only those who loved her

Know what that little time is worth.

For it matters not how much we own

the cars . . . the house . . . the cash.

What matters is how we live and love

And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard . . .

Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left

That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough

To consider what’s true and real

And always try to understand

The way other people feel.

And be less quickly to anger

And show appreciation more

And love the people in our lives

Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect

And more often wear a smile . . .

Remembering that this special dash

Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’s being read

With your life’s actions to rehash . . .

Would you be proud of the things they say

About how you spent your dash?

~ Author Unknown


3 thoughts on “An Eulogy – How Do You Live Your Dash?

  1. Charles Christano

    Yes, it’s true.
    But we ought to remember that sometimes life is so short.
    So what really counts is how by God’s grace we live our life,
    be it short or long, so that when our hearts stop beating,
    God is pleased with us.

    We also learned that when a baby is born usually it brings laughter,
    but Shakespeare said, “All is well that ends well!”
    So, I think the meaning of the “dash” will show how many will weep
    when we are laid to rest.

    Though people can have their own opinion. But if I remembeone of the story Jesus told us , I think the rich who died was not really missed except by those who enjoyed his money, wine, and you know what while he was still living. But Lazarus “whose dash” is kept secret enjoyed life eternal.

    It’s a pity that not a few want to live like a selfish boy. When he was young he wanted
    to live like the rich but when he died he wanted to be like Lazarus.

    Another point which I like to make is about one of the thieves beside Jesus’s cross.
    He started with the mob who called names even cursed Jesus, but when Jesus was
    hanging on His cross, hopeless and helpless because He could not even move His hand to bless others, healing the sick and changing water into wine; when Jesus was not even preach any sermons except asking forgivenness for others, the very same thief asked: “Jesus (think of it, he did not even call Him Master, let alone Lord), remember me …” Some time I feel that my faith is not as strong as that thief. His fate was secured. He too was dying, yet what he asked was only: “Rmember me …”

    What is his “dash”? But all is well that ends well. To all of us what is most important is
    not to gamble with our lives which soon will last, we know not when. The stake is too high. Why not by God’s grace we change what still can be changed. Nothing is impossible with God. And by God’s grace and mercy, what is impossible can become possible. Yes, Impossible can be easily changed into I’m possible. What a wonderful God and Savior we have in Jesus. Halellujah.


    1. Rod Butler

      Author is not unknown. Author is Linda Ellis.
      very reflective and one concept which we all share when pointed out.
      Many a eulogy has used this poem to make the same point of our connection to each other and the basic thread of our unconditional love as the ultimate reward in justifying an existence
      “The Dash” says it all..

  2. My brother-in law, Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at age 40. While he was in the hospital he was visited by a local pastor of a little humble church in the city of Saint John, NB. a short while after receiving Jesus as his Savoir he ask the Pastor if he could speak to his congregation, he agreed. While he, Randy, was addressing the congregation the following Sunday, his sermon was being recorded. Approximately one year later Randy passed away to be with his Lord. During the funeral it was decided to play the recording which was made of the service he spoke at..He spoke on the “dash” and how one’s life is represented by the dash. The Church was full to capacity, and during the recording Randy said ” could we all stand for prayer “. The whole congregation came to their feet while Randy prayed. What a touching moment, to hear a man speak from beyond the grave. That day and Randy’s transformed life had an impact on my own life which I am grateful to have been a part of. I also learned of Jesus and received Him as my Lord and Savoir and wanted to share this with everyone who passed by to read about the dash. It seems like there is a lot of disrespect for the Christian today…maybe that’s because the Jesus they portray isn’t the Jesus of the Bible…If you decide to become a Christian, if you feel called to do so, please do it the Bible way by learning from the book itself and not from some man who will surely give you his version…check it out starting the book of “John” (4th gospel, New Testament)and from there read the book of Acts(Actions of the Apostles) and see first hand what being a Christian truly meant.

    God Bless,

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