“No One Spoke of Her Car”

I went to a memorial,
And to my strange surprise,
No one spoke of her car,
Or the size of her thighs…

Nobody ever spoke,
Of her bright diamond ring,
Or her toil at the office,
Not a bit, not a thing.

Nobody ever spoke,
Of her lovely new dishes,
Or her brand new carpet,
Or her oriental fishes.

Nobody even spoke,
Of the size of her home,
Or the size of her checkbook,
Or her gold-plated phone.

None of that mattered,
Not one little bit,
We remembered her smile,
And her sweet loving wit.

We spoke of her kindness,
And the friends that she made,
We spoke of her courage,
Living life unafraid.

We spoke of her humor,
And that in-fectious smile,
And never a reference,
To her wardrobe or style.

All that time at the office,
Or the size of your boat,
They matter no more,
Than the words I just wrote.

The one thing that matters,
Looking down from above,
Is how we’re remembered,
For our kindness and love.


What I know…

I had the pleasure of getting to know a very inspiring woman recently. She was in the process of fighting a second round of cancer. But this time she knew she would not win. She had come to peace with the inevitable. Her name is Lynne Austin from Vista, California. As part of my job at The Cal State University Institute for Palliative Care I was charged with the responsibility of documenting her experience of end-of-life decisions and the process of palliative care on video.

This documentation would be a teaching tool for students studying this difficult topic. I worked with a doctor who specializes in end-of-life care and we both took time interviewing Lynne about her life and her thoughts about dying. It was a very moving experience. Shortly after that she made her transition and I attended her memorial. Lynne had planned out everything for that event and it was simply – beautiful. I was so inspired by the outpouring of love for this amazing person that I had to write what really struck me the most.

Of all of her accomplishments, the biggest one seemed to be love. She gave it. She received it. Nothing was said of the material things we all focus on in our daily lives. Nothing was said of her financial wealth, the size of her home or the scope of her portfolio.

So, thank you Lynne for sharing your life and end-of-life experience with us in the most authentic way possible. Students will learn from you for years to come.

Steve Dahl

Copyright 2017