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November 13, 2007


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Black Panther White Tiger Wolves

I first heard your poem my freshman year of high school. I was in a class about building up your own character and self-esteem, along with those of the people around you. This poem was brought up in class after a terrible accident, involving several students in the class.
At that time I did not know how far this poem would carry me. In the following years, there were many deaths in my family, along with a few in my friend's circle, including not only natural deaths, but also suicide, homicide, and accidentals. With this poem in mind and being able to read it at free will, I have been able to get through each one a little easier than had I not been able to think of it this way.
I just wanted to thank you for your poem. It truly has been an inspiration to me and to those around me I have shared it with.


Hello, On June 26, 2010 my friend's husband went next door to help a neighbor he heard screaming. She, along with her father and grandfather had been murdered and my friend's husband walked in on the killer and he, too, was stabbed to death. Steve was a father of 3 grown children and he and Janet, my friend, were just starting to live life together and do things for themselves.
Enclosed in one of the sympathy cards she received from someone she did not know was a copy of your poem. I was over visiting her and she shared it with me. I felt so honored. I just want you to know that she said she has read it several times and it gives her peace. She is far from coming to terms with what happened and probably will never be the same again. But your words, they have indeed touched her and myself as well. And, the lady that sent her the poem said she, too, found comfort in it after her husband had died.
Thank you.

Mary A. Moloney

Dear Linda,
I am compiling a book on people's memories, and would love to use your poem in my publication, in a feature entitled "Words of Wisdom and Reflection" Could I use it please, it goes without saying that you will be credited with these beautiful words.

Thanking you in anticipation

Jenny Matlock

Linda. Hi. I wonder if you might share with me who the publisher on your book is?

You have an unusual length and format that intriques me.

Thank you for any assistance you might be able to offer with this.

Rosie Fisher.....Mrs

Linda........I attended a funeral service yesterday in Manchester England.... Your poem was read by the vicar as a tribute to a wonderful gentleman who left this earth too soon.. Your poem was so fitting and right for him, I was really taken aback at how it promoted deep thought and reflection of ones own life and the time we have.
Thank you so much for a wonderful thought provoking poem.....which carries so much meaning........

David W. Loosley

Linda, a stroke of genious is your poem 'The dash'. I played the organ at a busy crematorium in central Scotland for 12 years giving it up 3 years ago and had not heard your poem until today whilst playing elsewhere. Today also the pleasure of meeting a retired church minister and recommended seeking your contribution for future material at these difficult times because it so beautifully and succinctly explains all conditions of man. I would be delighted if it were read to comfort my family and friends when that time comes. Thanks for your inspiration and wisdom above all, sharing it with all us unknowns.

Tiffany Hernandez

today my teacher read me your peom,oh my lord that touched me.I've never haerd of anything like that.I cried and also the kids in the class.I want to find the words to the peom so that I can share it to my family and friends.That was beutiful...

Keelie Penfold

Hi Linda...
we had a Humanist at our Dads funural and she read out 'The Dash', how wonderful it was to hear... Thank You so much for such beautiful words...

Love n Peace

Cathy Horcher

During the memorial service for my uncle, his sister, my aunt read your poem The Dash. It was beautiful and reminded all in attendance to think about how he lived his life. It was important that we remember his life because he committed suicide, not the last thought we wanted to have of him. I receive your e-mails and newsletters and enjoy these greatly. The Teacher's Dash is wonderful. At my school we recently read it at our staff meeting to launch Staff Appreciation Week.

Looking forward to more of your wonder work,
Cathy Horcher

P.S. If you should have any inspirational thoughts for our elder population as they face life's changes I'm sure many would love to hear them.

Patricia Abel

Dear Linda: I held a Military Service for my father who passed away at 94 years of age on March 12, 2010. Kevin of the cemetary where the service was held read the 23rd Psalm at the beginning of the service and your poem - the Dash Between The Years - at the end of the service. He knew I was going to speak about the volunteerism of my father and mother. He could not have chosen a more appropriate poem. I was quite taken with it. We are having a family gathering in my father's honor on Friday March 26, 2010 and I am going to read that peom again. Thank you so much for contributing so much to these 2 services.

Donna Malcom

Dear Linda Ellis,
Two years ago on April 30th 2008 we had a daughter murdered an your poem (The Dash) was read. Yesterday other one of our daughters sent me the (The Dash Movie)vie e-mail and I played it. Now I will have it very day,so that I can hear it.
Thank you so very much for this beautiful poem.

Mike Lange

Dear Linda:
For the past six years, I've given a generic eulogy at our Elks Lodge memorial service on the first Sunday in December. After awhile, I thought I was running out of ideas.

This morning, however, I discoverd not only your poem, but your Web site and blog with some great insight on what inspired you to write "The Dash."

I also use salty language at times, lose my temper once in awhile, always have a couple of beers before supper and don't always act charitable toward others.

But after attending numerous funerals over the years, it's become quite apparent that our time on Earth is indeed short. So while trying to live life to the fullest, we should always keep in mind how we want to be remembered.

I sspecially like your answer to the person who questioned why you left God out of your poem. Priceless.

Have a joyous holiday season.

Mike Lange
St. Albans, Maine

Pattie Curran

I first read this beautiful poem about a year ago when a friend passed it along to me. It is so profound! And I wasn't aware it was an actual book. A close friend of mine just passed away and I dug out my saved email with the link so I could sent it to his wife, and then I started wondering if this was a book or poster that I could buy. Then I strated checking things out and called all of the local bookstores in my area and I'm so disappointed that this isn't carried anywhere! I will have to make do with the link for now but I hope you'll find a way to get into the Albuquerque bookstores. This is so beautiful and needs to be shared! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story!

shaun kratzer

A great poem I wish I could purchase and give to my grandmother before she passes from lung cancer just to let her know just how well she used the dash each and everyday.

I agree 100%


I have heard your poem several times,Yesturday at a good friends funeral. I hate the fact that it is tied in with such a sorrow event. However it has made me start thinking or should I say acting on how to spend the rest of my DASH. I will be 54 this year and I think a long Comma has been keeping me from my Dash. ,,,- My friends will surely think I've went crazy, because I plan on a major over haul on myself. Things can only get better from here. Thanks for erasing my comma.
Lori L

Natasha L. Terry

Hi Linda,

This weekend I attended a memorial service of an old friend. On the way driving, I began to think about how the last time I had seen those who would be attending was at a memorial of another friend. At that moment I began to think about how our days are not promised, just the second we are speaking and standing in. I thought of the words I wanted to say if given the chance to stand up in front of the congregation. The words weren’t going to be many but enough to ask them to live like they’ve never lived before, to dance like they’ve never danced and love like they’ve never loved. I also wanted to ask them if we could all get together within the next coming weeks to celebrate us. However, when arriving to the location I noticed the format of the service would not allow speakers. After the service, we all assembled and they asked for people to speak if they desired. A friend of mine stood and pulled out a piece of paper and she began to read…

“I read of a man…” and from there, all ears were locked into her presence. Tears rolled down many faces and the words touched me significantly. It said many of the words I wanted to say.

Thank you for your poem.

Sandy Hooton

My husband and I own a '47 ford. We attended the Bakersfield, CA 2009 NSRA (Street Rods) in April. I was talking with one of the ladies and she asked if our license plate was related to your poem, "The Dash". Our license reads "DASH 47". I said, "no, why"? She said it reminded her of the your poem.

My husband had a rough 2008 with cancer and we are so happy that it is in remission. She had had a rough 2008 with a severe spinal infection and said that the poem is how she lives her life after that, glad to be alive and joyful every day.

So, when we got home I jumped on the internet to review your poem. Amazing how the message in "The Dash" has touched so many lives. (Oh, by the way our license is for our names: Doug and Sandy Hooton). Thank you for this wonderful gift, Sandy


You made my Saturday. Thank you for the poem.With poems like these, we still have hope and help. Poets like you are much needed in today's world. Ella Wheeler would have enjoyed your writing. Will send link to your site to all my friends. Keep Inspiring.

Lisa Peters

Dear Linda,

I recently attended a leadership course for my company and the facilitator read your poem (giving you credit of course)for her closing comments - WOW.... what message - thanks for the inspiration and sharing it with the world!






Dear Linda,

I first heard of your poem "The Dash" many years ago and loved it. I recently started a blog about life lessons and would like to share "The Dash" with my readers. Of course I will credit you as the author of this poem. Would that be possible? Thank you, Anita

Justin Wood

Linda i love your poem. The thing is, is that I read this in high school when i graduated 3 years ago and I loved it. Then tonight at work, a co-worker of mine's sister passed away and they read your poem at the funeral and she was telling me about it and how she wanted a copy and how she said it was a wonderful poem, and i said "I KNOW THAT POEM!!!" hahaha small world!

so i got on here and jotted it down for her...with your name at the bottom of course! thank you!


Your poem is amazing, and it has inspired me to become a better person and live life to the fullest. I am 15 years old and was diagnosed with a disease called Marfan Syndrome, and it is expected that I will only live for 2 more years if I'm lucky. I am been living my life with so much stress and regret and I wish i hadn't. So from now on, I promise to myself, that I will live life to the fullest and love every moment of it. Words cannot describe my gratitude towards you, for writing this poem. I love you <3



Great poem.


Dear Linda,

I first heard of your unique creation: 'The Dash' by one of my male friends who enjoys poems like yours. I found it about a week later after waiting for him to send it to me.

On March 11th, 2009, I was asked to present the Homily at St. Lawrence Anglican Church and I used 'The Dash' to express the theme on which I spoke--TURN ON THE LIGHT! The poem touched everyone. As I gave references to people whose significant DASH has been shared by many others, naturally these are those who have passed and at their funeral, there were people upstairs, downstairs, main level standing throught the funeral; there were those who stood at the sides; there were those outside in the street, and those people who flew in from different distant national and international cities. The doors of these churches and funeral parlours couldn't close.

Your 'DASH' is relevant to everyone who is in the best of health--NO EXCEPTION!

I wish to thank you for this wonderful creation and as one member made a copy of the poem, I made sure that when I copied it, your full name and website were at the bottom of the page on which I printed the poem.

Linda, thank you very much for sharing with the world such a unique creation: THE DASH!

Allow me please to make an enlarged copy to put in my home. You are truly a Divine Inspiraion.


EstherMaria Weeks

I finally got an acknowledgment that The Dash, was stolen from you. I wrote a poem to the young lady that stole it. I called it SUNSET because the deception felt like death. It also revived thoughts about my mother's teachings. I entered both poems on


I was given your poem by a girlfriend two years ago when my father passed away very suddenly. My girlfriend's father passed away last week and I read the poem at his funeral. Until I did a google search today I did not know the author. My apologies. I will make sure that your name is now linked to your poem.

Thank you for writing this beautiful & thought prevoking poem

Christchurch, New Zealand

Alfredo M. Diaz


I am an ordained deacon in the Catholic Church and this evening I was asked to lead a wake service for a lady that died in our community. I didn't know her but two of her sisters at the wake are good friends and it is they who introduced me to your poem "The Dash". They asked me to share it with the family and friends gathered. I was hesitant at first until I started to read it. What a wonderful way to think about our human journey through life. Since I did not know "Lupita" I invited family and friends to share thier memories, the "dashes" in "Lupita's life. That is how I came to know her. These wonderful dashes are the good memories that give life and death meaning in a time when it is more needed.

Thank you!


I just read a book- the dash -by a public shelter resident. A group of us began to discuss it. I enjoyed it because it reminded me of poetry. We formed a poetry reading group,that Friday night. I just sat in on the session, I had nothing to read. I realized that I had not written a word of poetry,affirmation etc.since my possessions were autioned off,a week after my dad's death. This is two years later but I wrote my first poem on Saturday morning. I googled the dash and found that it is your poem. I wonder if me,myself and I, knows that. I'll tell her.



I'd be very grateful for permission to post 'The Dash' on the 'notes' section of my facebook page. I was originally given a copy of it at work over ten years ago and it had a really profound effect on me. All this time has gone by, and today, while reflecting on my life, I remembered it (all of a sudden!!!). I will, of course, credit it to you, but respectfully would ask your permission to do so first. Thank you.


Dear Linda,

Just like to ask your permission to introduce this poem to my students. It is beautifully crafted poem that provokes thinking and inspiration.

Thank you and God bless you with joy everyday!


Carol Thompson

My mother and I first heard this poem at the memorial sevice of a good friend. My Mother said, at that time, she wanted it to be read at her memorial. Mother just went to be with Jesus at 90 years young and was a wonderful christian woman.
I hope that is okay to use the printed poem at her service.
We will repect your copyright.
You are a true blessing,
Thank you,

Kristi English

Dear Linda,
This is a very beautiful poem. I have sat and read it several times with many tears. I think we all help make the dashes in each others lives. It was read a t the funeral of a DPS officer several years ago. My mother has held on to a copy of it ever since. Recently my father passed a away, he was also a DPS officer. My mother would like me to read your poem at the memorial, with your permission. Thank you for your inspiration. I intend on buying a print for my mom, it will mean so very much to her.

Elaine Wright

I would like permission to use these words at the funeral of my father in law naxt week. It speaks to everyone in the room!

Maureen Gilbert

Thank You


A few years ago a professor of mine, who is a pastor, told me about this poem. I am not a religous person at all and tend to question alot of things like that, but this poem changed my way of thinking and my life! I wish I had heard of it long ago, it may have saved alot of hurt and heartache I caused myself. Thank you so much for writing it!

Dear Linda,

I was just praying and I just wanted you to know that I recently heard your poem The Dash, for the first time and was provoked. Not only by the insightfulness about the words, but your words -- I am not a counselor, I am not an advisor-- I am a poet. Continue being who you are because that is what ministers to people. Thank you for your gift of being a dynamic poet.



Dear Linda,

I have read your poem many times but until this evening I did not know to whom to attribute it's creation. Unfortunately, "The Dash" has been forwarded to me in numerous emails with the only tribute being to an anonymous author.

After doing a web search on Google, I finally found your website and your store and will be purchasing my own copy of the poem.

Your work has certainly been an inspiration and a cause for reflection in my life. Thank you.


David Pacheco

Just reading your blog, blog, blog brought tears to my eyes. I am a Health Professor at a California Community College. I talk about your poem in class ofter, especially in the early sections of the class. I tell my students that the dash in their life is so important. I hope by presenting your poem and thoughts, that they will make better choices in how they live their lives. Thanks for the poem and for sharing your thoughts on the poem. I know can make it even more relevent to my students.

Sam Kelly

Dear Linda,
I came upon your poem shortly after my grandmother died. I was only 12 and I decided that I wanted to use it in her funeral which is what I did. (I hope you don't mind).
Now I am nearly thirteen and I really would like to publish a book about my grandmother called "Sorrow Falls". For the book to feel complete, it would have to mention your poem and I would really like your permission to do so.
I will mention your name and in the back I will mention your website too.
Before replying you may like to visit my website to read the first chapter. You can do so at

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this comment and this poem means my life.

Yours Faithfully

Sam Kelly

Leslie - SkinCareGirl


Thank you for writing this poem.
It has made a difference in so many lives, especially during this challenging economic time. We mus cherish what we have....our loved ones and not material things.

Thank you and Bless YOU!

Mike Stapleton

Hi Linda,

I've been telling friends about your poem The Dash for years. It is truly awesome. To me it says what life really should be about. I'm sure you have some of an idea of how many people it has touched. Your words are an inspiration for us all.

Thank you for sharing this with us all....Mike

Marilynn Frederiksen

My husband was asked to read your poem at the memorial service for his sister. She was killed a week and a half ago in a random act of violence. We had a memorial service for her where she lived last week, and today there was a service for her where her parents live. You were acknowledged for your poem. Thank you for your beautiful poem. Both my husband and I had not known of your work. We both feel that its thoughts were especially fitting to read for a lady who had life taken from her so suddenly.
Thank you, Marilynn


hey Linda,
a friend of mine sent me the link to this poem, because i had a status that said about the same thing. just a hole lot shorter, this is an amazing poem. Great job.


Rachel Smith


I just wanted to let you know that I love your poem. I actually have a tattoo with angel wings with the words "Never Regret Your Dash" in the shape of a halo on my back. Everytime someone sees it they want to know what it means and more and more people fall in love with the poem.

Thank You,



I heard your poem read at my grandpa's funeral. A man I hadn't seen in 11 years and barely remember. I was worried I'd be emotionless towards him but when I heard "The Dash" I couldn't help but cry. It really brought home the fact that there are ppl in my life I need to get back in contact with. Thank you so much for writing such a beautiful poem!

Mary Ong

Hi Linda
I read heard your poem at the end of a sermon and I find it awesome! I would to publish it in my website and of course shall quote your name. It does mean to me very much and I can't help sharing with my friends. Recently I had my wish came true. I had the choir for the first time sang to the cancer chidren in the hospital after been trying hard for 7 years.THe children choir did brought smile to the children in the hospital . Thank you.
Hong Kong

Area Rugs


I thank you sooo much for sharing this poem. I read your poems few years ago and it got me thinking that everyone knows me but when my time ends, how will they remember...i'm just an ordinary human being. Now I'm very well focused in my life, I wrote my goals and working very hard to achieve them...because I want that dash between my birth and death date to represent something that people can remember me by. Thank you so much once again. God Bless!


I heard your poem at a funeral this morning. The rabbi read it very quickly so I looked it up to read it for myself. Strange -- one of the lines that he read that sort of snapped me to attention -- something about you might already be more than halfway thru your dash -- doesn't seem to be in your original poem. Either way, it's a very thoughtful poem.

Jami Thomas

I am a 4th grade teacher at a Christian school. Today in Language Arts I was teaching about Articles in an encyclopedia. Within this lesson I was supposed to get across to my students the purpose of the parenthese with dates in them. As I began teaching the lesson, your poem instantly popped into my mind. So as I began telling them that (1929-1968) meant that the person was 39 years old when they died. I stretched the lesson into a life lesson. I read your poem to my students. At the end of the poem, there was absolute silence in my classroom. A student finally spoke up and said, "I get it Mrs. Thomas. I need to tell my mom I am sorry."

As a teacher you live for the life changing "teachable" moments. I know one of those moments happened today in my classroom because of your poem. Thank you for making our encyclopedia lesson one for the memories!

carl holmes

this poem is so nice and the words should strike a chord with all that hear it this was a poem read out at my nans funeral and i was choked at the words thank you for such a beautiful poem and a wake up call

Patty Ann Morse Limke

Ms. Linda,
May I have permission to use your beautiful poem for mine & my husbands funeral program.
I am posting what we want on our computer for our children to have avaliable when God calls us home.
May God bless you for the precious words you have written now and always.
Patty Ann Morse Limke

Steffani Adaska

Livin' the Dash is how I choose to live my life. Livin' the Dash is how I teach my children to live as well.

Years ago I heard the poem read at a funeral of an 8 month old child. I was so moved that I wanted it read at my life celebration (a.k.a. funeral (hopefully 100 years or so from now))) so I "Googled it" and printed it out for my family and friends to have. At the time it was "Author Unknown". I am glad you finally got the recognition for your moving words. I have since updated the information for them.
Thank you for the beautiful words and inspiration.
A "Dashing" fan.

Victoria Emerald


May I post your poem on my myspace account? I am setting up a memorial for my husband there and love your poem.

Jo Manly Hohlstein

Linda ~ Your poem was read at a memorial service for all who had been buried in 2008 at the Memorial Garden where my Mother and Father are buried. Dad died this year and lived his "dash" to it's fullest. He was such an example for the grandchildren I want to give them a framed copy of the poem to remind them to live their lives as "Pa" would have. Bless you for writting what many of us know to be true but few have the courage to live it. Many blessings ~


Hi Linda,

This poem has touched on the foundational issues of how to live a meaningful life..Really love your perspective on ordinary days.

Is it ok if i reprint a few copies of this poem for my church group as they go through a structured experience to reflect about their own lives in a war cemetery?

Thanks and have a blessed Christmas!

Kimsing, Singapore

eugene smith

Hi Linda, I had never read the poem before today but heard the thene of it preached at a funeral many years ago. As a matter of fact I have used the thought in many a funeral myself. But I think I will use the poem for the first time this Saturday. Of course giving proper credit to where it is due. It is an thought provoking topic that whenever I seem to get to far off of track helps me to remember that life is short, long term friends are few and living for the now is the only promise I have. Blessings, Eugene Smith

Manny Carcel

I was at a friends funeral, when the Pastor read this beautiful poem "Dash". It is so moving that it kept going over and over in my head that I had to find it on the web.I'd like to say thank you for the poem.


Manny Carcel

I was at a friends funeral, when the Pastor read this beautiful poem "Dash". It is so moving that it kept going over and over in my head that I had to find it on the web.I'd like to say thank you for the poem.



Two years ago I suffered from anorexia and bulimia. I starved myself, forcing myself towards the unobtainable goal of being perfect. I attended outpatient group treatment program that taught us many way to cope with feelings and after months of struggle and pain I was able to recover. The one most memorable and influential element of my recovery was this poem. They gave it to us and explained that when we die our weight is not written on our tomb stone or spoken about at our eulogy for a reason- it does not matter. What really matters is how we spend our days and the lives that we touch. Whenever I think about relapse I remember this poem and the wonderful opportunity the dash between our years provides.

Thank you so much for touching, and essentially saving, my life.

Lots of love,

L Moore

I belong to a women's service organization and my dear friend and immediate past President of our local club recently passed away after a very quick struggle with a stroke and liver cancer. I found your poem "The Dash" so meaningful when I read it a number of years ago and keep it in a book for reading when I feel I need to be reminded of it's words. Our club published a monthly newsletter and will be devoting our December 2008 issue to our recently deceased member. I would love to have "The Dash" included in that memorial issue, with your permission.

Thank you for sharing such a meaningful piece and hope I have your permission to use it in our memorial newsletter to our dear friend.



hey Linda,

The first time i read the poem and saw the video, i wanted to cry! the first time i ever heard of it was on someone's profile on myspace. when i saw the title, i said to myself "what's the dash?" so i went to Google and typed the title in, and looked for it. when i found it i started reading. it's so amazing. and when i saw the video they have for the poem, i almost started to cry. it's really amazing. thank you for writing a powerful poem!

shelia jones

very interresting poem ,thanks

Eileen Gardner

Hello Linda--yesterday I heard your poem for the first time at a funeral. Today I used"the idea" in ministsry at the hospital ie "it matters how you spend your dash !!" It is a great tool for ministry!! Many thank you's!!


I ADORE this poem! The dash has made me want to live my life every day to the fullest. I will always remember this poem throughout the years. Even though I am 11 it was made such a big door opening in my life. I first heard the poem at church and thought is was one of the most beautiful and inspiring I have ever read. I will send it to all my family and friends. Thank you

Kevin Remington

Hi Linda,

Thank you for that wonderful poem. I found this poem somehow and one morning i read it to my mom (Linda). The last couple of years she was slowly fading away. On March 4th 2007 she passed away. I was greatful to be able to read this poem at her funeral. I knew she liked this poem. It gave many people comfort listening to this poem. Thank you very much!

Bill Koon

Dear Linda,

Could you please send me an e-mail and I'll provide my phone number. I'd like to talk to you about doing a story on you, and your poem for a fraternal magazine with national distribution. Thanks, Bill

 s priest

THE DASH POEM: I'll say a prayer for you every night. I believe we need a lot of them. May God Bless You

Sandra Chapin

I have the book with the CD and ordered a few to give and kept one for myself. My brother just passed away unexpectedly and with all that was going on, I did not even think of The Dash until that moring of the funeral. It was placed on my heart to read this awsome poem to my family, friends, and to anyone that would listen. It was over whelming to so many... Its a poem you can listen to/or read and it will lay a different meaning on ones heart. That is what makes it so special. In some, it took away a deep grief, because they were now reflecting on the dash and all that he had done, and then they looked at their dash... Wow..... I'm glad that I was introduced to this poem many years ago, but never thought that I would be sharing it with so many people at a funeral. My brother died suddenly, he was 56.... He was so young and did live the "dash".... Thank you for being the person in so many lives that filled an empty spot through your writings and this poem.
Special Blessings



Dear Linda,

almost two years ago, a great soul was taken from a small town. It hit hard to my best friend and I... not to mention his entire town. He touched a million souls and when he was gone, it was like the world literally stopped. It's so true that only the good die young, because he was truly the model son and student. i've seen the movie and it has just impacted me so much to never settle for anything less than you deserve and to rather take it to the limits and beyond. Life is for sure short and each breath everyone takes, its closer to the end. I'm sure to live every day so that when I am remembered, friends can say I lived my dash--just like Chris.

Thank you for that poem. you're an inspiration.


Dear Linda, My partner passed away 15 days ago at the age of 39 after a long battle with cancer.Part of his funeral service was your amazing poem. He is not religious at all bet very spiritual. The amount of people that have been touched by the words is amazing.Thank you very much x x
Regards Nicole

Valarie Brummert

Hi Linda

I would like to thank you so much for this poem. I am going thru a horrible time right now. I am 22, and last year I was diagnosed with cancer... and I survived it thank goodness..... And now the guy i was with for 3 years did something so horrible to me... and it hurts to the core. I sent this poem to him because it relates so well.. and its the last thing he will ever see from me. I am so strong and will get thru this.... and i encourage everyone... no matter how big or small the issue is... you always pull through... and you always become stronger. everything happens for a reason. just believe. and hope.

thank u so much linda... it was weird how i heard of the poem too... it was mentioned by my friends dad when he heard what was going on with me... and everything fell together like u knew it was a sign...... it was an incredible feeling.

thank you so much


High school Tim

I plan on using your poem in an oral interp. speech for my speech class. I love it. Thanks for your inspiration

Mike Zao

Loved the - !!!! It was fandashtic!

Keep it up Linda!


I just want to say that your poem is amazing, i just lost my uncle friday the 24th of october and yesterday at his funeral this poam was read by the pastor. I was very touched by it. Thank you so much for allowing the world to read these beautiful words and allowing the world to be touched by them as well.
Thank you

James Carpenter

I came across your poem many years ago during a rather rebellious time in my life. I had lost several friends, some to accidents, some to suicide along with a few close relatives. After deciding to do what I wanted to do and not consider others, I had yet another close friend get killed. That is when I came across your poem, printed in the newspaper in someone elses obituary. I cut it out and placed it in my Bible. Its been there for almost 10 years. I come across it in church or when I'm reading my Bible and remember all the times I wasted, then remember how my life started to come back. Thank you.

Andra Henderson

Hello Ms. Ellis,

I am a "disabled" college administrator/instructor/advisor who was "downsized" in 2000 (prior to my disability). I came upon "The Dash" while scanning through Stephen Covey's "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (1989)" as I prepared a "Time Management" seminar for a group of potential adult learners. It made a great impact on them and me. I have never forgotten it, and I share it often with others as I travel on my journey. Now, a five-year breast cancer survivor, having gone through many other health challenges, "my" dash has become even more important to me. Using it and the law of attraction help me to press on.

Recently, while visiting my therapist, I asked her if she had ever heard of "The Dash." I was surprised she had not, but I told her that if I were to come across a copy I would share it with her. Also, I have written six yet-to-be-published booklets (hmmm!), and I have included such poems as "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley to inspire readers. My health has kept me from motivational speaking, but I hope to get out there, again, soon to help inspire some of the folks directly hit by the very serious economic downturn (I was also once a career counselor). Enough about me!!

Having dealt with time management (or self management as time is a constant and cannot be managed) and motivating folks, I had a collection of "tools," and amongst them were my "Roundtoit" and my idea of the value of a minute... "I have only just one minute, with sixty seconds in it... gotta use it; can't abuse it..." (I am truly clueless of the author, and my hard copy is in my files at home).

So, thank you, so much, for having penned "The Dash" as it has inspired me on many days when I have been "down" and I continue to use it to help inspire others (I live with a daughter who is depressed). It is a real "picker-upper."

Continuing to "pick her battles"

Yvonne W.

Your poem was read at the memorial service of a best girlfriend 2 years ago and I've never forgotten it. It is most poignant and I intend to keep it in my files for use at my demise. I am young and hope that it'll be several decades before that happens, but your poem provokes wonderful memories.



A dear friend left a copy of your lovely poem on my parents kitchen table the day my Mother died, December 23, 1999. My Mother suffered and died from Alzheimer's Disease. It was a long struggle for our family and friends, and particularly for my Father. I love your poem and carried it with me for several years after my Mother's death. I recently looked for it and couldn't find it. So, I thought I could find it on the internet. I am so glad I did.

I think "The Dash" speaks to everyone who reads/hears it because we all know that you have captured a different way to convey the most important of God's commandmants, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself". Unfortunately, we all fall short; but your poem, if read often, can help keep us on the right track. I believe it was inspired by God and that you are one of God's chosen. He tapped you on the shoulder to spread a very important and most meaningful message from Him. Thank you for hearing and listening to Him.



Dear Linda,

I must admit I used your "Dash" poem several years ago when a client's close friend died. She sent the poem via e-mail and it was signed by your alter ego, "Author Unknown". I apologize for infringing on your copyright but I had no idea. I should have researched it before I made the poster. Now I am in a situation where your poem would be very appropriate once again and that is how I found your blog. Is there some way I can make up for the time I used it not realizing my blunder? May I pay you double to make up for the damage done and for allowing me to use it on a funeral program I am putting together today? I understand if you say no and I will respect that.

Thank you for writing such a beautiful and meaningful poem. It truly is at the top of the most thought-provoking ever.


Julie Brough

Hello Linda,

My sister's son just died from a terribel freak accident, and someone sent her your video of "The Dash". She was so moved by it that she asked if I could incorporate it into the funeral program for his service next week.

I've seen it several times myself, and if only we could all start our day with it's words, and realize what a difference it would make in each of our lives and those around us if we would embrace the wisdom the words in your poem. Thanks for the inspiration it's given to the world.


Carol Hutchinson

Dear Linda,
I first heard your poem at a friends funeral. I was so impressed that I searched for and found 'The Dash' on the internet.
Three years ago I started writing a book - and now (after having many 'life'-'dash' moments in between) have just about completed it. After having a number of deaths in my family, and attracting grieving clients (I am a counsellor) I have compiled a work book / life stock take style book.
Your poem keeps coming back into my mind so I'm inquiring if it would be at all possible to include it? I know of no other piece that speaks so clearly and with such wisdom about our tenuous hold on mother earth. Whatever your decision thank you for The Dash.
Heartfelt wishes,

erika cox

Hi Linda!
Even though i am only 15 years old, this poem really had a big impact on me. It really made me think about my life so far and how i think i have a long time to still live. About 2 summers ago there was this boy that was 2 years older then me, but still went to the same school and i talked with him frequently. He drowned when he was away at summer camp and reading this poem made me think of him. At the time he was only 15 years old. I cannot even imagine dieing that young. I have so much a still would like to accomplish. Thank you for writing this, it really made me think and it touched my heart:)


Drear Linda

Like many of the others on this blog who dearly love your poem, I ask permission to use it during my Mother in Laws funeral on Monday 6th October 2008.

I was asked by members of my wife’s family to speak on their behalf and deliver the Eulogy. A task I was not quite looking forward to after losing my own mother last year and speaking at her funeral, because I know how difficult this can be and how hard it is to find the right words to say.

However I realised that this was not a task but an honour, and on Thursday I found myself sat at the computer looking at a blank screen waiting for some inspiration, talking to my mum and asking for a little guidance, when that familiar ping sound alerted me to (you’ve got mail). This is where it gets a little spooky, now like most people I get lots of junk mail but this one stood out is was from the rest as the subject read “Need Inspiration for the day? Problem solved” now contained in the message was a link to a site that promotes poems like yours (Simple Truths), but the video the sender chose was yours, there is no way that the sender knew of my circumstances. I was completely overwhelmed by your poem I only had to read the first few lines before I rushed out of my home office to get my wife, within seconds we both had tears rolling down our faces and like many other on this blog it gave me great strength and a passion to deliver this message, it means so much more when you are actually living the experience of losing a loved one and I can only thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Now I am not sure if I will receive a reply before the funeral but I would love to add the words of your poem to the Eulogy. I will read the poem out but some members of the congregation are hard of hearing and I would love to be able to give them a copy so they can follow what I am saying.

If you can reply before Monday 6th Oct both my wife and I would be eternally grateful.

Kindest Regards

My mother is in her final stage of life from terminal CA.  May I use your poem for her eulogy?

Beautiful words.

My mother is in her final stage of life from terminal CA.  May I use your poem for her eulogy?

Please do not blog. Send answer by email. Thanks.


Dear Linda - I wrote you not long ago AFTER I found out you were the author of "The Dash." It was sent to me by my nephew who is in his late 40's, not a sentimental nor religious person, and it really touched my heart. It had come at the time of my first dear friend dying and it was so appropriate to read it at his funeral. It was like God had meant for me to get it and read it for my friend. Not knowing who wrote it, and having two friends die within a short time of each other from Cancer, I read your poem at their memorial services, putting in the dates of their dash and changing "her" to "him". I also stated at the end how the poem came to me and that I didn't know who wrote the poem. Several of my friends at one funeral with whom I went to school with, came up to me and cried and told me how wonderful they felt hearing that poem. I typed it up and one man said he was going to keep it in his wallet forever as it was his best friend who had died, my good friend, and it had so much meaning. Tears were running down his face. Once I found out who wrote the poem (someone sent it to me with your name on it) I wrote you and told you what I had done, and you said you were glad it gave me so much peace or joy. I wasn't scolded for using your material which you were so gracious about. Now that I know you have a site, I refer people to it, but have printed it up for the loved ones left behind, now with your name on it. I hope you don't mind. It isn't often and only three times now. I wish I were as talented as you because your poem is so true and so touching. Thank you again, for sharing it will all of us.

Pastor Walter Snyder

Linda, I’m pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Emma, Missouri. The president of our women’s group used your poem as part of an opening devotion for a previous meeting. It was so well received that she asked our church secretary to print it in our newsletter for benefit of the entire congregation. I agreed with her assessment and would be happy to share it with others.

However, as a pastor, a generally ethical person, and a published author, I do not want to do so without permission. If there is a fee, I’d like to know how much and how it should be remitted. If you allow publication with attestation, we would be more than happy to oblige. If this permission would include publication or linkage from our online site, I will do that, as well.

No matter how we proceed, I’ll make sure that a link to your site is published, so those who are interested would be able to order other items from you.

Unfortunately, an earlier request went unanswered and the newsletter goes to press this evening. Along with this comment, I left follow-up phone message and will send a second email. However, if we don’t have permission, I’ll have my secretary delete it from the September newsletter and hold it pending a reply.

Pr. Walt Snyder

Fred Rudy

Dear Linda:
I can't begin to tell you what an inspiration your poem has been. Every time I hear it or read it the tears start flowing!!
You are fantastic!!! I can't find words to describe how your poem is loved by everyone it touches.
You may not realize that this poem has changed thousands, if not millions of people's attitude towards others and I'm sure that it has changed the lives of all who have had the good fortune to come across your most beautiful creation!! We love You!!!!

Cristina Gonzalez

Hi Linda,
To tell you the truth I can't tell you how I came to find you and your beautiful poem, probably fate.
I am very happy I did. I look forward to buying and reading your books and other works.
You are truly an inspiration.
God Bless

Cecile Ryan


I've been going through a rough time as my real dad who lives in one state and my mom who lives in another are both going downhill healthwise at the same time. So ironic to me because they have been divorced for years and married other people and now at age 72 they are down at the same time. I love to write poetry myself, but have'nt been able to express what I really want to say this time. I came upon your poem "the Dash" on the internet after much surfing, and it meant the world to me. Seeing my parents get closer and closer to the end of their lives really makes me change my way of thinking about my life, and so did your poem. I don't want my dash to be that I was always dashing around worrying about everyone and everything. I want my dash to be of how much I loved.

Dustin Wagner


I had never read your poem but my step father spoke of it often. It was a way he lived his life. He was one of those truly "GREAT" men. After he passed in Jan. I read your poem and understood even more why he loved it so much.

I have always wanted to get a tattoo but never had anything I would want to have on me for the rest of my life. Until now. I would like to have " Live the Dash" tattoed on my back as a rememberance of my step father and of a way to live my life. Im not sure I would need to ask your permission but I thought I would! :-)


Hi Linda,

My mother passed away last August 2007. I love her so much and forgetting her is not in my vocabulary. I greet her in the morning, call her name when I feel troubled, even when I am in the middle of an important project. I feel like she's my shadow that's always behind me and guiding me in my life as she were when she was still alive. Despite of her physical absence I promise myself not to forget her so she can stay here with me. Other says that it is selfish not to let go of her, but my thoughts says it will be more selfish not to remember her. Other says that her soul will not be at peace if I always mention her name. But it will be a lot selfish not to call her and remember our times together. I think we just let go of our loneliness, but we do not let go of those who passed, remembering them is binding us with them in spirits, and because remembering them at all times gives assurance not only to ourselves but also to them knowing that they are not forgotten.

Your poem gives me more confidence to keep my mother in my heart and never to forget her greatness in my life. The poem you created and shared gave me a sense of direction to always follow my heart to my mother. Now I am sure I am not the only one who always mention my love ones name. For sure people who read and will read your poem will be moved and realize that there is no greater respect in this world to our love ones who have passed than to remember their names and memories everyday in our lives.

Thank you for sharing with us your great poem(s) especially "THE DASH."


PS. This may seem a little strange but Joannes maiden name was "Ellis"


Hi Linda.

Would you mind if I used "The Dash" for a donate in memory page I created for my wife. The page is set up for donations to cancer research in her memory. I have watched The Dash a few times and it always brings tears to my eyes because it say so much about Joanne that it could almost have been written for her.

Thanks and kind regards

Edinburgh - Scotland.




Angela Cofre

Hi Linda
My Dads Funeral Took Place Yesterday an The Dash was rea out dueing .I would like to put it on to his memorial site so family members around the world have a idea of the service
many thanks angela

Angela Yee Loong

Linda - I first heard your poem when it was read at a funeral of an associate. It really touched me and soon as I got home I googled and found you! This was so inspirational and I keep it pinned to my wall in my office. Recently I lost a very dear aunt (aged 92) and I have asked my sister to dedicate the beautiful poem by you to my Aunt.
I am now constantly in your website. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

mona klickklockin

Your poem is so meaningful i had never ever in my life thought abot that little dash.
not knowing that it meant the life you lived and that your whole life is withheld in that small line
its amazing how you can just show what youve learned, expericence, people youve met, people you love in just that line and how you expressed that in your poem
i thank you for writing it

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