William Wordsworth has always been my favorite poet. And of his poems, the Lucy series is my favorite. This one in particular has always stuck with me:
When my dad passed away, his coworkers from 20 years ago came to the funeral as did the dentist he had been to see only twice in the months prior to his passing. These are just two examples of the unexpected guests. I remember thinking, wow, he maybe never knew what an impression he had made on these people, that his coworkers would remember him and fly all the way to California and his dentist, who hardly knew him, came because the conversations he’d had with my dad in just a few visits had affected him so much.
And I think of a guy named Jess I once knew. We played in an adult flag football league together. He and I became friends, and shortly thereafter, he developed a form of leukemia. He passed away, and even though I only knew him for a short while, I still think of him. He’s gone and it made a difference to me.
There’s also Cheryl. She was a friend of my mom’s. I got to know her playing on the ladies’ golf day with my mom and her group. Cheryl was great–funny and kind. I loved playing golf with her. She developed a brain tumor and died suddenly. Golfing with the group was never the same, and I still think about her and miss her.
So I wonder sometimes…when I pass away, will someone say of me, “She is in her grave, and oh, the difference to me.”