Andy Samuel Griffith (June 1, 1926 – July 3, 2012)
I’ve grown up watching The Andy Griffith Show and later Matlock at my grandma’s house and some at home. He was a great part of me, and as Sheriff Andy Taylor was one of my first screen crushes.
So, this is how I heard about his death. I had just gotten to my cousin’s house for a visit when my uncle came in and said, “Did you hear that Andy Griffith died?” I stood in shocked silence while everyone else chattered about how sad it was and then moved on about 30 to 45 seconds later. You know how you always see in the movies how the background goes blurry and everyone’s voices go dim when someone’s mind is occupied with something sad or shocking, and you always think, “Yeah right, that never really happens.” Well, it does. That’s what happened to me. I felt like someone had slapped me in the face. You know, its true, you never realize how much someone means to you until you lose them. I feel really wishy-washy, and sentimental, and kind of stupid, but I’m crying as I write this. A little less than a year ago no one I cared about had died, now there’s five. I guess heaven was needing some heroes.
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 sunlight 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 circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.