A Blueprint for Living a Meaningful Life

Love, kindness, and making a difference.

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The Dash

by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we lived and loved and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

Feel free to share the poem on your social media personal account. We invite you to share the poem with your friends and family, so long as you include our copyright disclosure: By Linda Ellis, Copyright © Inspire Kindness, 1996, thedashpoem.com. However, you may not make copies of the poem, in part or whole, in physical or digital form and distribute them without our written approval. Please respect our rights, we appreciate it.

Click here for full details on our usage policy.

© 1996-2018 Southwestern Inspire Kindness, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Dash has been shared with millions of families around the world to celebrate the life of loved ones. Our memorial cards allow you to incorporate the Dash poem into your funeral or service.
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We offer a variety of graphic prints and home decor that incorporate the poem or themes from the dash. Prints are available in a variety of designs and sizes.
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Shop a wide variety of keepsake gifts, aftercare including sterling silver jewelry, apparel, wall decor and more.
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Live Your Dash

When Linda Ellis wrote The Dash poem in 1996, little did she know how impactful the poem would become. What is now widely considered the most popular funeral poem in the world, has also become more than a poem. It’s a proclamation to ardently live a meaningful life.

The Dash poem serves an inspirational reminder that it’s not about the number of years we spend on this earth, it’s about how we live those years that truly matters. To “live your Dash” means to boldly live a life that impassions you while positively impacting your family, friends, community and even strangers. Your Dash need not be perfect; it’s an ongoing journey to living a life filled with joy and intention, and it looks different for everyone.

In 2006, a short video version of the poem was created and posted online. Since then, more than 30 million people have watched this video. The Dash book, published in 2006, has sold over 1 million copies worldwide. You can buy it here.

Today, our mission is to embolden you to live each day with purpose and passion while inspiring others to do the same. To support this, we have created a full line of Dash products including jewelry, books, home décor and framed prints to use as personal reminders to live your dash. Dash products make great holiday gifts for friends and family to serve as tokens of admiration, support and encouragement. Additionally, the line of Dash jewelry offers meaningful reminders to yourself for the New Year, serving as a proud expression of living your dash for the next 365 days.

The poem and products are widely popular mementos in celebration of those who we’ve loved and lost, reminding us of both the fragility and vitality of life from those who fervently lived their dash. Our Affiliate Licensing program provides the opportunity for funeral homes to incorporate the poem into their business and services through use of the poem, the video and personalized memorial cards.

Southwestern Inspire Kindness is expanding the awareness of the poem and its message through partnerships and new products that embody the essence of The Dash. Now more than ever, our world needs more kindness, compassion and people who are willing to make a difference, both big and small.

Funeral Director Affiliate Program

We now offer an affiliate partner program for funeral directors. Benefits include:

  • As an affiliate partner, you can show the Dash video on your website and at memorial services, share the poem online, and print the poem in programs for your families.
  • You can purchase Dash products at wholesale to offer to your customers for services and aftercare.
  • Link to The Dash Poem online store and receive affiliate commissions for referrals.

“Since becoming an affiliate partner with The Dash, countless families have found comfort and inspiration in this sought-after poem. Aside from displaying The Dash, reading the poem at services, and incorporating the verse in memorial stationery, The Dash products have become a successful addition to our aftercare offerings.”

Matthew Baskerville

Owner, Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes

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