Esta entrada también está disponible en: Basque Spanish

This article was translated by John R. Bopp

We’re already a few days into this new year, 2017, and it’s at times like these that many of us stop to dedicate a few moments to think back to what’s happened in the year that’s just finished and to lay out new goals, plans, and hope for the one that’s just begun.

It’s also a time when the void that those loved ones who’ve left us have left behind is more evident, meaning it’s a good time to remember them.

The phrase, “We exist as long as someone remembers us” is deeply true.  Our friends and family, our loved ones, are with us as long as we keep them in our thoughts and our memories.  That’s why it’s good to remember them and talk about them: it keeps them alive, and that should not be something that makes us sad.

The children at the Agurain school: an example of a generation that would become our parents and grandparents.
The children at the Agurain school: an example of a generation that would become our parents and grandparents.

Many years ago, at the funeral of a dearly loved one, I first heard a poem by St. Augustone of Hippo.  I was speechless.  Whether or not you’re a believer, it’s deeply inspirational and helps you understand the importance of remembering those we most love.

“Death is Nothing”
“I have just moved to the neighboring room.
I am who I am … you are whom you are,
That which we were to one another,
We will always be.
Call me by my name.
Speak to me like you’ve always did.
Don’t use a different tone …
Don’t take that look; solemn or sad.
Continue to laugh at that which made us laugh together.
Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be pronounced at home,
As it always was,
Without pomposity or gloom.
Life is still the same,
It is what it always was
The string has not been cut.
Why should I be away from your thoughts?
Just because I am away from your sight?
I am not far, just on the other side of the road..
You see, everything is fine …
Wipe your tears and cry no more.

If you love me …”

Our recommendation for this year is to resolve not to allow the memory of those we’ve loved and lost to be forgotten.  We’ve made it one of our resolutions for 2017, like we do every year; after all, we are who we are thanks to them.

We were inspired to share this reflection with our readers after listening to the first album of a rock group, Tresonrock, some of whose members are dear friends of ours.  One of their tracks, a ballad, has the same title that we’ve used for today’s blog entry.  It’s the song that made us want to write this entry that, we know, has very little to do with the themes we usually cover here.

But it’s also true that part of our work here is to remember the history of the Basques.  By remembering them, by remembering their stories, by remembering each individual, we help keep their memories, and the memories of our nation, alive.

For our families and friends, for everyone.  For those who are “here” and those who are “out there”.  For their memory, for their thoughts, and for keeping them alive among us:

We raise our glass for those who are no longer with us.

We’re sharing the song (and encourage you to listen to the whole album)

Por los que no están

(Autor: Jon Ander Pérez Expósito)

I see you on the street
or going into a bar
I feel you so close
It all seems so real

I don’t have an answer
it’s only intuition
we’ll find each other again
where the sun sets

I don’t want to believe it’s true
I raise my glass to those who are no longer here

If I close my eyes
when I go to sleep
you slowly come closer
I know you’re taking care of me

When I wake up
I understand it better
we’ll find each other again
where the sun sets

I don’t want to believe it’s true
I raise my glass to those who are no longer here

 

It’s so hard to think you won’t be there anymore
I never wanted to accept that it could come true
We were so short of time to enjoy
and today I raise my glass for those who are no longer here.

And I dream that someday
you’ll be here again
with your neverending smile….

It’s so hard to think you won’t be there anymore
I never wanted to accept that it could come true
We were so short of time to enjoy
and today I raise my glass for those who are no longer here.

 

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