Life Goes On

As I was watching an episode of Body of Proof, the main character, Megan Hunt, in comforting the wife of a policeman who was killed in the episode shared this quote from the poet Thomas Campbell:

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

As our extended family mourns the passing of my wife’s mother, Barbara Cassat Keleher, this one line is somehow comforting.  Barbara’s obituary describes her long and happy life.

The full Thomas Campbell poem is:

“What’s hallowed ground? Has earth a clod
Its Maker meant not should be trod
By man, the image of his God,
Erect and free,
Unscourged by Superstition’s rod
To bow the knee?

That’s hallowed ground where, mourned and missed,
The lips repose our love has kissed;—
But where’s their memory’s mansion? Is’t
Yon churchyard’s bowers?
No! in ourselves their souls exist,
A part of ours.

A kiss can consecrate the ground
Where mated hearts are mutual bound:
The spot where love’s first links were wound,
That ne’er are riven,
Is hallowed down to earth’s profound,
And up to heaven!

For time makes all but true love old;
The burning thoughts that then were told
Run molten still in memory’s mould;
And will not cool
Until the heart itself be cold
In Lethe’s pool.

What hallows ground where heroes sleep?
‘Tis not the sculptured piles you heap!
In dews that heavens far distant weep
Their turf may bloom;
Or Genii twine beneath the deep
Their coral tomb.

But strew his ashes to the wind
Whose sword or voice has served mankind,—
And is he dead, whose glorious mind
Lifts thine on high?—
To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.”

Rest in peace, Mom Keleher.

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4 Responses to Life Goes On

  1. Paula Vesta says:

    thank you for posting this picture of the US Ronald Reagan.n My dad designed the hydrolic lifts on the ship. It was not until his death in 2005 that we found out the depth of his involvement while this ship was being built at Mistic Seaport. Most of the prictures we have found of the ship is at the dock, but now we have this beautiful picture to add to our family file. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Liz says:

    Thank you…wow

  3. Not too many people know of Thomas Campbell nowadays. I thought you might be interested in hearing that he appears as a character in my forthcoming novel, Death and Mr Pickwick, which tells the story behind the creation of Dickens’s first novel The Pickwick Papers. Although Campbell does not have a large role in my novel, he inspires the creation of the poetic member of the Pickwick Club, Augustus Snodgrass. Further info can be found at

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