Note: It’s Hallowe’en. For the longest time, I’ve eschewed the practice of donning a mask and costumed attire. (Truth to tell, until relatively recently, I’d had a hard-enough time knowing and being myself!) Even less have I felt the urge to party. Still less, to trick-or-treat.

Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve is followed by All Saints’ Day, November 1, and All Souls’ Day, November 2; respectively, celebrating the saints, the followers of Jesus throughout the ages, past, present, and yet to come, and commemorating the faithful departed. As a Christian, this annual triduum always puts me in a reflective frame of mind.

Today, my contemplations call me to consider my end; that day beyond which I will be numbered amongst the All Souls.

gravestone - born - died

“Every now and then…we all think…about that day when we will be victimized with what is life’s final common denominator…death…If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I…want (you) to say that I was a drum major for justice…peace…righteousness…”

From the sermon, A Drum Major for Peace, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, February 4, 1968)


When this world’s last night
draws impenetrably dark o’er mine eyne
to open fore’er, I pray,
in God’s eternal day,
thereon I shall walk no more by faith, but sight.

as Martin, I, too,
oft muse
about what I would want said of me
(if I dared to choose)
by those I do love and will leave.

I know.

I want it to be this truth:

Daily, he sought, in word and deed
(though, for reason of his reigning
sin of self-regard,
oft failing,
natheless ne’er tiring,
aye, e’er trying)
to point to the Light of God in Christ…

The Light that o’ercomes the shadow of all death.
The Light that hath o’ercome the shadow of his death.
The Light of deathless Love.

4 thoughts on “Epitaph

  1. This is Fabulous!! Yep we are definitely of that age where we wonder what our loved ones will say and / or think about us after we are gone. People continue to tell me that I don’t realize how many lives I touch and how many people I help. One of the things I often think about though are what will the people say about me who “don’t / didn’t ” like me… will they forgive me for my transgressions after I’m gone? Will they regret not resolving issues we had? Will they see things more clearly after I’m gone, it my intent was never to hurt them etc.

    Once you’re gone of course you can’t fix anything but I truly agree with you that we want people to know we tried our best to follow the path of Jesus and to be God-like in our thoughts, words and deeds!!!

    Much love!


  2. Loretta, two (indeed, the chiefest) reasons that I asked and want you to speak at my funeral is that (1) I know that you love me and (2) I trust that you will be honest about me. For though, yes, I accept that in Christian and New Testament Pauline nomenclature, by virtue of the saving ministry of Jesus Christ on the cross, I am a saint, I also am aware and quite clear that I, with all of my flaws and shadowy elements of soul, am not a saint in the common, worldly parlance of one whose flawless purity of purpose rises above that of all other folk. So, my dear sister, I thank you in advance.



    1. Though I’m certainly dreading the day of your funeral I’m So honored to be asked!! And I remember the day you “informed me” I’d be speaking at your funeral. And you’re right on both counts – I love you and yep I’ll be honest!!


  3. Again, my dear Loretta, I thank you in advance and always.



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