The Funeral by Edna Gurganus Norris

church-steeple-cross-pixabay-480x320 - Copy
Image by Pixaby,  permission for noncommercial use.


The Funeral


At the podium stands a man,

There’s not a pew to spare,

A solemn hush is everywhere,

Many veils are royal lace.


From a distance comes a sound,

It must be angels and so sweet.

The blended chords so nice to hear,

And all the music so complete.


The muted footsteps coming close,

Now the moving is all in step.

Why do we wait for pride,

There’s always someone needing help.


  • Edna Gurganus Norris April 6, 2006.


This lovely poem was written by an elderly patient of mine in 2006 near the end of her life.  She was a person who exuded a smiling and confident peace even as her health deteriorated with her final weeks filled with expressions of gratitude for her life even in the midst of her illness.  She dedicated the poem to the attendants at our community hospital and had a copy of it posted on the wall of her room.  I have had a copy of this poem on my bulletin board in my clinic ever since then.  I love this poem not only because I know her, but because this poem teaches me much about hearing the beauty and the peace in the silence and music of this world even when grasped by suffering.  I also love the sense of community in it that seems to reach beyond her room and her small chapel out to the world and seems to interface comfortably with an eternity as if bound only by a tenuous brush border.  I also hear a gentle call to action based on empathy.  I have felt for some time that this singular piece of writing needs to be shared.  I am no longer able to reach her heirs to receive permission to share this, although I have tried and have left them messages many times.  Therefore, I am taking a liberty to share it with you even in the absence of express permission by her heirs on this non-commercial site only in the spirit of sharing her love and her words with my friends.  Her heirs will know how to find me if they feel this should not be shared here, but I think anyone who reads it will hear a singular voice.  Please leave comments…  But since I am not the poet, I will not respond.


I love you Mrs Norris.




Linked to Open Link Night at dVerse hosted by Grace.  Here is the Link.  OLN  is always grand.


OpenLinkNight #250

13 thoughts on “The Funeral by Edna Gurganus Norris

  1. Thanks for sharing such a meaningful message … my poems are often about real people although I change their names … I always ask their permission first although they can’t be identified and they are always keen to share their suffering if it helps others … but this poem is one of beauty 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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