Don’t grieve for me for now I’m free,
I’m following the path God laid for me
I took his hand when I heard him call,
I turned my back and left it all
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I’ve found that peace at the close of day
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things I too will miss
Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish for you the sunshine of tomorrow
My life’s been full, I’ve savored much,
Good friends, good times, my loved one’s touch
If my time seemed all too brief,
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief
Lift up your heart, rejoice with me,
God wanted me now, He set me free.
© 1974, 2021 Anne Lindgren Davison
All rights reserved.
I wrote the poem "I'm Free" on June 22, 1974. I still have the original handwritten poem with that date noted on it. I had been to a funeral and consequently, began to think about my own mortality. Being 35 years old at the time -- a wife and a mother -- I did not want anyone to be sad if I died at that age. For me, all the big questions had been answered: "Would I marry?" "Would I have children?"
My mother tried to persuade me to obtain a copyright on "I'm Free," but I could not imagine -- at that time -- of it being of interest to anyone except for mortuaries! I finally applied for and received a copyright dated May 9, 1994 (registration number TX 3-837-377). When the Internet came into our lives, I found my poem listed on so many different sources: just enter the title of the first line in Google, and you will see what I mean! In most cases, my name is not included, attributed to "author unknown," or is listed with the name of someone else. Some persons included it on products and are profiting from it. It even was on a page in the memorial book that my family purchased when my mother passed away in 1995!
Some persons altered it slightly and used it on Web pages for loved ones or even for a champion quarter horse and beloved pets! I found it listed on memorials for Michael Hutchence (a rock star), a 9/11 memorial, Columbine High School, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes (R & B group TLC), Kenny Irwin (NASCAR driver), Ossie Davis, and Whitney Houston.
I hired intellectual-property attorneys to pursue those who are profiting from my poem (such as Walmart and others). These efforts produced many letters back and forth but that is expensive with little results.
MAY I USE YOUR POEM?
I am happy for people to use my Poem for memorial services and other noncommercial uses. I request that my name is credited to the poem. If any part of the poem brings comfort to others, then it would make me very happy. I would love to hear how you use my poem.
Please email your story, include your location as it is nice to know what part of the world you are from and will be in touch.
For commercial publication -- or if you have any questions -- please contact me.