Saturday, December 03, 2011

Kith and kin

The word "kin" is still used and is commonly recognized to mean those people descended from a common ancestor and belonging to a clan or family.

"Kith", though, is less common -- indeed to my knowledge in these modern days is only used as part of the phrase "Kith and kin".

It comes from the Old English word "cunnan" which meant "to know", and means -- formally -- those people whom are your close friends.

Informally, a wiser gentleman than myself described it thusly:

"Kin are the family God gives you. Kith are the family you choose."

Phlegmmy and I met the matriarch of the Farm Family at the first Blogorado, when she was kind enough to welcome a horde of bloggers into her home; as she did at each subsequent get-together.

I will always remember the twinkle in her eye and her merry cackle at a good story.

This morning, we woke up to terrible news: she had lost her fight against cancer.

I wish that I had words to console her kith and kin; but I don't. Instead, I shall fall back on Mary Elizabeth Frye to convey that which I wish I could:

"Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die."

Farm Family, I hope that the pleasant memories that you share of Mamaw comfort you now, and that they provide some small measure of peace in the days ahead.



FarmGirl said...

Thank you, LD. We appreciate everyone who has offered sympathy and condolences.

Old NFO said...

Well said LD.

Borepatch said...

What a moving tribute.

Matt G said...

My clan is my family, and more. She was of the clan of our making, and we are diminished.

Larry said...

I hate this disease.

Wayne said...

Well said LD. My heart goes out to all who knew her but especially to her kith and kin.

Guffaw in AZ said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

armedandsafe said...

Would that I had someone so eloguent as you to speak at my wake.

Deoje said...

I am sorry for your loss of a friend.

I really love your choice of words.

Unknown said...

Sorry for your loss, and that of your friends. Beautiful eulogy.

Derius Thoran said...

My prayers and condolences at your loss.

RobC said...

Sad to hear that, down my way it has been a four funerals and a wedding year.
I'm borrowing that poem...

Anonymous said...

Well said , Lawdog . Just that . Well said . The bards would be pleased with you .

Jeff said...

I'm late to log in and late to read of your loss. My thoughts and prayers to all family and friends.
Beautiful words LD well said.