Its so hard to find the right words to give comfort but being in the midst of sadness of both strangers and intimates several condolence poems, thoughts and prayers have been passed on and recycled. One that has really hit the spot is the wise words attributed to a senior Master at Ampleforth, a Catholic British public school. When asked what was the ethos of the school's teaching, he answered; "Our job is to prepare our pupils to live life in preparation for a good death."
It has helped the bereaved of those who lived life well, and to find some purpose for themselves going forward, as has this poem which was left one friend in an envelope by her mother who died of cancer last month.
You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has live
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.