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'Be near me'

Today I am attending the funeral of a man who had separated from his family and friends and who died as a result.

A little girl by the name of Heidi, who lives in the north of England, has been diagnosed with childhood arthritis. To prevent pain, paralysis and blindness, she must endure injections, blood tests, physiotherapy and strong medication. So far, she has not uttered a word of complaint when receiving her injections, and will not let anyone help her climb steps. Her parents, her grandparents and her brother love her and are close at hand.

My Aunt Rita and my friend Dan are stoical. Their bear their pain, make the best of it and refuse to complain. They have families and friends they love close by.

Be near me when my light is low,
When the blood creeps, and the nerves prick
And tingle; and the heart is sick,
And all the wheels of Being slow.

Be near me when the sensuous frame
Is rack'd with pains that conquer trust;
And Time, a maniac scattering dust,
And Life, a Fury slinging Flame.

Alfred Lord Tennyson, from In Memoriam AHH

'Be near me.'

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