Aloha, I found this poem in one of my notebooks. I don’t know who wrote so I’m unable to give credit. Several years ago, a woman who regularly attended my Maui Oceanfront yoga classes called me and said she was diagnosed with brain cancer and was unable to attend upcoming classes. As difficult and challenging as dying can be, she always gave yoga credit for preparing her for life’s trials and tribulations. After she informed me of her condition, I went to visit her a few times at her home and one of those times she asked me to bring her this poem that I read during yoga. I’ll never forget her simple request and the truth of this poem. I was fortunate to know her and have the privilege to be with her for a few visits as she stayed present with losing her bodily form.
I love how this poem deals with both life and death.
You may not think the world needs you.
But it does, for you are unique
like no one that has ever been
or will come again
no one can speak with your voice
say your peace
smile your smile
or shine your light
no one can take your place
for it is yours to fill
If you are not there
to shine your light
who knows how many travelers
would lose their way
as they try to pass
by your empty place in the darkness. ”