My beloved Oma was one of my best friends. And yet she is with me constantly. It’s not easy, it never will be, but it changes. I am learning to become more natural in my connection with her, even though I can’t see her. I can still feel her presence, I can still feel her love.
I spoke this from memory at her service, and I still love it to this day. Oma, I know you are “just around the corner.” I love you, Oma.
Death Is Nothing At All
Henry Scott Holland
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.
All is well.
Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918) was Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, one of Oxford’s oldest and most prestigious seats. He was also canon at St. Paul’s Cathedral, the founder of the Christian Social Union, and a strong advocate for social justice. The CSU was used Christian principles to bring equitable sollutions to modern economic challenges. Henry Scott Holland also formed a group called PESEK (Politics, Economics, Socialism, Ethics and Christianity). Members of the group investigated social challenges, particularly around wealth and poverty. “Death Is Nothing At All” is his best-known writing.