Your smile is my peace…

Susie’s beloved husband, a man who always had a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face, even during extremely painful and difficult times, died peacefully on November 23rd.

I always find it so hard to write about the death of a member of the myeloma family. Yes, a family…For there is a connection that links us all–myeloma bloggers, patient list members and blog readers–even though most of us have never met and may never meet. But when one of us is suffering, when one of us dies, we are all affected…

 And so I have kept putting off writing this post…until today.

A “Celebration of Hamada’s Life Service” is going to take place on Monday, 6 December 2010. I would have loved to attend it and meet Susie…but that is simply not possible right now…

Here is the link to Susie’s most recent poem:

And here is my own tribute to two friends…a poem by St. Augustine (my own quick, rough translation follows):

La morte non è niente.
Sono solamente passato dall’altra parte:
è come fossi nascosto nella stanza accanto.
Io sono sempre io e tu sei sempre tu.
Quello che eravamo prima l’uno per l’altro lo siamo ancora.
Chiamami con il nome che mi hai sempre dato, che ti è familiare;
parlami nello stesso modo affettuoso che hai sempre usato.
Non cambiare tono di voce, non assumere un’aria solenne o triste.
Continua a ridere di quello che ci faceva ridere,
di quelle piccole cose che tanto ci piacevano quando eravamo insieme.
Prega, sorridi, pensami!
Il mio nome sia sempre la parola familiare di prima:
pronuncialo senza la minima traccia d’ombra o di tristezza.
La nostra vita conserva tutto il significato che ha sempre avuto:
è la stessa di prima, c’è una continuità che non si spezza.
Perché dovrei essere fuori dai tuoi pensieri e dalla tua mente, solo perché sono fuori dalla tua vista?
Non sono lontano, sono dall’altra parte, proprio dietro l’angolo.
Rassicurati, va tutto bene.
Ritroverai il mio cuore,
ne ritroverai la tenerezza purificata.
Asciuga le tue lacrime e non piangere, se mi ami:
il tuo sorriso è la mia pace.

Death is nothing.
I have only gone over to the other side:
it is as if I were hiding in the next room.
I am still who I am, and you are still who you are.
We are still what we were to each other.
Call me by the name you have always used, the one that is familiar to you.
Speak to me in the same affectionate way.
Do not change your tone of voice, do not look solemn or sad.
Keep laughing at the same things that made us laugh,
at those little things that we loved when we were together.
Pray, smile, think of me!
Let my name always be the same familiar word:
utter it without any trace of shadow or sorrow.
Our life means everything that it has always meant:
it is the same as before, there is a continuity that cannot be broken.
Why should I not be in your thoughts and mind, just because I am out of your sight?
I am not far, I am on the other side, just around the corner.
Be reassured, all is well.
You will find my heart again,
You will find its purified tenderness again.
Wipe your tears and do not cry, if you love me:
your smile is my peace.


  1. Dianne, that makes my heart smile…

    I just found out that Italian websites have wrongly attributed this poem to St Augustine (who wrote a similar poem, though); it was actually written by Henry Scott-Holland, canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral, in the 19th century. And I translated it, hah…Well, no matter, I still love the words, even though I am not sure that I agree that death is…nothing.
    Not to those who are left behind, anyway…

  2. I’m saddened by the news. I had no idea. I get so bogged down in the details of my own life that I sometimes lose touch with the outside world. Thanks for posting this.

  3. I have read this before and it aligns with my belief of how IT happens, going through a door sort of. And I have had too many post-death connections to think that there is nothing beyond the time when the soul leaves the body – my father came to visit me three times in the first year, honoring his promise to come back and tell me what it was like since he was of the opinion there was nothing… so I don’t think I hold with ‘death is nothing.’

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