I lost a dear friend recently. A star the sky took back too soon. I still can’t believe it, and I won’t for a long time because it shouldn’t have happened. Her father read the poem below at her service, and she chose the Sufjan Stevens song that follows to open the gathering. Both pieces touched me before, and now with the additional personal context I find them even more resonant.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
–by William Ernest Henley