In the earliest hour of the fourth day of January, 2008, John O'Donohue died peacefully in his sleep. He had, only a few days before, celebrated his fifty-second birthday. For those who were with him on his birthday and in the few days that followed, memories of the time are filled with exuberant laughter, abiding love, and deep joy. His sudden departure took us by surprise.
Over the past year, we have heard from people all over the world offering beautiful condolences to those who feel most keenly his absence. They also express abundant gratitude for John's life and gifts. We cherish these messages and thank you all for reaching out to us.
There are a few who have asked us to share our own experiences in relation to John's passing. We find that our own words fail us when we are asked about our journey over this threshold; John's words, however, remain faithful. We turn to his books and poetry, and find there: understanding, compassion, and a steadying hand as we navigate the revised universe in which we find ourselves.
You can find a few excerpts at the blogspot that we have created for sharing thoughts, memories, and other blessings arising from the life and work of John O'Donohue.
John O'Donohue was born on January 1, 1956.
For his book, BENEDICTUS (To Bless the Space Between Us in the U.S.A.) - John chose the following as,
"A New Year Blessing."
On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
And when your eyes
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.
To hear John's own voice reading this blessing, you can go to this page provided by "Speaking of Faith" and American Public Radio.
John O'Donohue passed away unexpectedly and peacefully in his sleep in the night of January 3, 2008. He was 52 years old.
The Family of the late John O'Donohue wish to thank all those who have so generously offered their condolences on the passing of our beloved John. We are overwhelmed by the expressions of sympathy and support we have received from all over the world and we wish to express our sincere appreciation.
Through his life and works, John touched the lives of an enormous number of people across the globe. The Family hopes that his memory will be carried in the hearts of those who knew and appreciated him during his all too short time with us.
Go raibh maith agaibh go léir agus beannacht.