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Do not stand at my grave and weep

The Origin


Here is the original text of the poem I wrote  in 1981:

 

Do not stand at my grave - and weep
I am NOT there, I do not sleep ....

I am a thousand Winds that blow
I am of  Diamond - glints on snow...
I am the Sunlight on ripened grain -
I am the gentle Autumn rain

When you wake up in the morning's Hush
I am the swift up-lifting Rush
Of quiet Birds in circling flight
I am the soft starlight of Night

Do not stand at my grave - and weep
I am NOT there;  I do not sleep...
I am awake, and guiding through the Night -
Towards a gentle gleam of Light

Do not stand at my grave and weep -
I am NOT there; I do not sleep...


© Karin Aleida Vorrink
March 22nd, 1981

manuscript

Note, the last two lines I added as indicated in 1994 before the funeral of my father's.


To everyone who reads this.

In the beginning of February 2007  I  came to know that my poem "Do not stand at my Grave" was circling around the globe. There is a lot of speculation and/or research on the authorship of that poem. 

Although there have been different opinions expressed and whatever may have been suggested about the supposed authorship, my poem as shown above  "Do not stand at my  grave and weep"   originated on March 22, 1981 as part of a series of poems I wrote in the time between 1975 and 1982.

Since I shared the poem initially with some friends and sent it once as condolence card to the family of a deceased friend it is possible that my poem found its way into the public realm.

First reading in public:

I read my poem for the first time  in public on November 2nd, 1994 at the funeral services of my father's.  At this occasion we provided some copies for the guests attending the funeral ceremony; as my father was a teacher during his working life, there were several colleagues present of his old gymnasium (high school) he taught at.  They all got a copy of the poem.  About 7 years ago I suddenly found my poem in our local paper, adjusted to an announcement of death for a former colleague of my father's. So, I became aware that my poem had been spread around, I thought it was only in Holland. I wrote and asked these people where they found my poem . They answered a bit vaguely that they "found it some-where" . I was surprised to find out that my precious poem - which I wrote in  such a deep emotional state  was now living its own life. After this day we (my husband and I ) searched the internet as we got a sudden idea that probably we might find a clue. And see what happened -   we found references all over the place , people suggesting that it might have been written by Mary Frye in 1932 or even originating with the Navajo indians.

Recently, February 2009, I became aware of a 'new' input by Alan Chapman that places a publishing date of a similar poem in 1968 _Portsmouth Harold_
I want to emphasize, I wrote the poem as shown here without any knowledge of similar poems around in the literature or otherwise.
Acknowledging the fact that similar poems have been known before my own writing in 1981 (e.g. Portsmouth Herald version 1968) I would believe the people who suggested to me that my writing came about during a very special time through “the acashic record/collective unconscious...", or else it might have been a case of multiple open consciousness during a special time (which is more or less the same).

In any case, I consider my poem as I wrote it in 1981 as an original input. I believe strongly that after I published it at my father’s funeral in 1994 my poem found its way around at least in Europe and I am very happy that my poem certainly has reached and brought already lots of comfort to grieving people who lost loved-ones, and this comfort provides me with a fine feeling of gratification knowing that my emotions expressed in my writing reached so many persons and gave them some relief in their sadness...!

Regards and greetings to you all,

Karin Aleida Vorrink