In the last two years, Bill Mitchell and his wife Mary have lost two dozen relatives, friends and neighbors. The grief has been significant at times.
It’s especially difficult at this time of the year, around the holidays.
“We are relying on our Catholic faith,” Bill said.
A few months ago, as Mary sat down to write another sympathy card, Bill opened up his laptop and started to compose a poem about eternal life:
I AM still ME
I have passed into eternity, and the reality we shared is no longer mine.
But our souls were created immortal, and where I go there is no time.
Though I’ve gone away you did not lose me, so please don’t grieve too much for me.
In my heart I am still with you, and please believe that I AM still ME.
When it is your time to come and join me, be assured I will greet you there.
We’ll meet again someday in heaven, and together eternity we will share.
We will praise the Lord for our salvation, and we will worship Him for He is love.
God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, forever perfect in heaven above.
“The words just came to me,” he said. “I read them to Mary, and we both cried, because it’s true. How can you and all your thoughts and experiences cease to exist just because your body is no longer there? We have souls.”
Bill immediately made copies of his poem, and by his estimate has handed out hundreds of copies to help people suffering from the loss of loved ones. Some churches and funeral homes are using it, and it has spread widely on social media.
“Several people began to cry when they read it and hugged and kissed me,” Bill said. “Many have said, ‘I’ve never thought about death that way! It’s so comforting.’”
“I feel that the Holy Spirit inspired me to write this poem, and it makes me feel good to help people.”
A 1965 graduate of Central Catholic High School and longtime member of Saint Mary Parish in Cecil, now part of Corpus Christi Parish, Bill believes the poem will not only provide consolation to those in mourning, but also help many people understand Catholic teaching that death is not final.
“It’s also increased my faith tremendously,” he said. “I pray a lot more.”