Donald Bramkamp, brother of our long-time parishioner Mary Lee, passed away March 9th, 2018. He was considered a master poet and wrote his own eulogy years ago in this poem called “In Parting”.
Please do not think of me when I am dead,
for it would hurt me if you grieved, and yet,
there is this that has been a part of me,
that I so hope you will not quite forget.
Remember how I loved the varied hues
each season wore, and how my heart would thrill
to see a seagull curved against the sky,
or shadows sketch twilight upon a hill.
For there was that within me that found peace
in tawny fields and blossomings of earth,
I never saw a tree I did not love,
no animal I deemed devoid of worth.
I loved each flower, each flake of falling snow,
each star that magnetized my earthbound gaze,
the spicy air of autumn, spring’s green gauze,
the drowsy warmth of languid summer days.
There was nothing in Nature I thought false,
nothing unworthy, nothing spoiled or crass,
I often felt as if God’s very touch
had venerated each separate blade of grass.
It was an ecstasy for me to breathe,
to see, to feel, to have my heart respond
to each nuance of beauty, so I ask
when you might stand somewhere I’ve gone beyond.
Forget my strengths, my weaknesses as well,
the straight of me, the part that was so lame,
the attributes you thought were settled on
the length of flesh and bone that wore my name.
And if a thought of me should find its way
into your mind, release it, set it free,
but, please revere those things a little more.
that I so loved, in memory of me.
This poem is included in a book of Don’s poetry entitled “When the Muse Smiled”.
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