"June, You've Gone First and I Remain"
- Published on Thursday, 22 December 2011 02:03
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
(Stan's Goodbye Message to June)
"June, You've Gone First!"
"June, you've gone first and I remain,
To walk the road alone,
I'll live in memory's garden, dear,
With happy days we've known.
In spring I'll wait for roses red,
When fades the lilac blue,
In early fall, when bright leaves call
I'll catch a glimpse of you.
June, you've gone first and I remain
For battles to be fought,
Each thing you've touched along the way
Will be a hallowed spot.
I'll hear your voice, I'll see your smile,
though blindly I may grope,
The memory of your helping hand
Will buoy me on with hope.
June, you've gone first and I remain
To finish with the scroll,
No length'ning shadows shall creep in
To make this life seem droll.
We've known so much of happiness,
We've had our cup of joy,
And memory is one gift of God
That death can not destroy.
June, you've gone first and I remain,
One thing I'd have you to do:
Walk slowly down that long, long path,
For soon I'll follow you.
I'll want to know each step you take,
That I may walk the same.
For on that glorious someday June,
You'll hear me call your name!"
Original "Should You Go First" written by Albert Kennedy Roswell in 1935.
June's "You've Gone First" edition and revision by Stan Berg in 2011
(6 sentances were altered, the last two lines replaced, signature added and title altered.)
During our forensic travels in the US, Canada and Europe, London became June's favorite city. June very quickly learned to navigate about the city of London, using the double-decker buses and the London Underground. At first I used the cabs as I thought the London underground was too complicated and inefficient as a mode of getting around and about London. I remember clearly that day in Circa 1974, when June taught me how to use the London Underground system. I recall June taking me to the the underground station close to our hotel and pointed out and explained the instructions on a sign by the entrance. A demonstration ride followed the verbal instructions. The underground there after became my standard mode of traveling in London.
Because I am now 85 years of age, my final act and the time when God lowers the curtain on my life, may well be close at hand. It is my hope that when the final bell tolls for me here on earth, God will send June to once again show me the way!...so until that day and time, my nights remain lonely...a lonliness that seems to peak on Friday nights...a night that always seemed to be a special night for June and I...
(June and Stan's Hand's Photo Jim Gehrz - October 2007 - June passed away 1 year later in October 2008)
The top photo was taken in May of 2002 during the 5th year of June's journey into Alzheimer's. June was still doing fine and was still in the early stages of the disease. This was also the year of our 50th anniversary.
The bottom picture was taken at the Benedictine Health Care Center's Alzheimer's Villa in October of 2007 by Jim Gehrz a photographer from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The "Star" was doing a feature article in a regular series called "The Duet". Our story was featured with the title: "Stan and June: To Have and to Hold for 55 years." (Minneapolis Star - Tribune, November 24th, 2007.) June at that time was into her 10th year of Alzheimer's and was in the late stages of the disease. June was non responsive most of the time and sat with her eye's closed. Those were dark and hopeless days in which the end of June's life was in sight. June passed away on 23 October 2008. The beautiful symphony that had played during the times of our life together, fell silent!
Gospel Song - "Beyond the Sunset"
Gospel singer George Younce incorporated the words of this old poem into the song “Beyond the Sunset” for a great match and it became one of his most popular songs. He was a regular on the Gaither’s Gospel Group. George Younce himself passed on in 2005. June and I always enjoyed the "Gaither Gospel Hour" on Saturday nights in the past years. Hank Williams also used this poem with added lyrics of his own for his version of “Beyond the Sunset” There are also several so called “author unknown” pirated versions of this poem on the internet. To hear the George Younce gospel version click below link:
Stan’s Introductory Comments: By publishing these “Reader’s Comments,” it is not my intention to in any way suggest that the marriage relationship and the love that June and I had/have for each other and experienced during our lifetime together is in any way superior to similar relationships of other’s. It is merely a collection of the reactions of readers to this page in June’s website. Some are simple appreciative comments; some are generous and kind comments reflecting the care and concern of others. Some comments are a sharing of the reader’s own experiences. Many reflect the love of God. These comments often reflect the human and the caring side of the readers. It is my hope that if June is able to look in on us, that she can see and understand how much I appreciate the love and the life that she gave to me and that I miss her very much…there will never be another to take her place! If anyone is searching for evidence of a caring and loving God, need they look further then these comments?
Lisa Mendez: - Sugar Land, Texas - (15 March 2012): “Beautiful, I know June is looking down smiling. …you have really inspired me to do more. I need to wipe away the tears and make a difference.”
Terry Ferlas: - Cottage Grove, Minnesota - (15 March 2012): "You are a painter of words....your love for June is your palette......you have great talent. I truly hope that all you have written will be published in a book. I have no doubt a best-seller. You have an uncanny way of describing June, the horror of the disease, what you are going through presently.....it is like a really good book that one can't put down. Not that I enjoy the sadness but you make the reader feel as if they were there experiencing it all with you. I hope that is your plan....there is enough for a book already! What a legacy that would be!”
Stella Sheldon - Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom - (4 August 2012): "A beautiful poem and tribute to a loved one-very moving!"
Dianne Cogar - Springfield, Ohio - (4 August 2012): "Should You go First," absolutely beautiful and heartwarming. You have a poetic voice indeed. How could you not, your heart is in everything you stand for."
Karen Barbier - Houston, Texas - (12 July 2013): "Friday nights ARE lonely nights. Sending positive thoughts your way. The poem was beautiful."
Amy Stiel Almas - Waterford, Michigan - (13 July 2013): "That is so heartwarming."
Nancy Senechal (12 July 2013): "Very heart touching......and I love that pic of you and June.....so lovely..."
Catt Stichter - Le Claire, Iowa- (12 July 2013): "So beautifully written. May God give you peace until you see your June again."
Mary B. Walsh - Montclair, New Jersey - (12 July 2013): "Your poem is so beautiful, Mr.Berg. Yes, it is Friday night and reading your poem was the nicest part of my night!"
Sara Watson (12 July 2013): "Lost my daddy on october 23, 1992. That anniversary never passes without a little prayer. Now i'll have to also remember you and your June on that day. Your poem and obvious devotion moved me to comment. You were obviously very happy and so lucky to have had 55 years. I can only hold on the hope that I may someday find love so true. God bless you Stan."
Alzheimer Society of B. C. - Vancouver, British Columbia - (12 July 2013): "Thank you for sharing this poem, Stanton."
Merideth Sindel - Sydney, Australia - (12 July 2013): "That is a very good line. 'You have gone first and I remain.' Whether you are a spouse or child or whatever, it is the cry that goes throughout the world...Wish you peace and happiness Stan, and if you have a bit to spare ..."
Deborah Anne Shepard (12 July 2013): "So very beautiful her life, your life and the journey to help others thank you. I am with friends family who are going through such a journey."
Terry Shepherd - Warsaw, Indiana- (12 July 2013): "This is beautiful. I take care of my brother who is now on Hospice. some day I will be doing the same as you."
Annemarie Weers - Olin, Ohio- (12 July 2013): "June .... what a wonderful name to go with a wonderful lady ... God Bless!"
Laurie Rodosta Dupuy - New Orleans, Louisiana - (12 July 2013): "That's lovely."
Annette Lefevre Ekelman - Los Angeles, California - (12 July 2013): "So very sorry for your loss. My Mama passed not to long ago from Alzheimer’s also. I was her soul caregiver during her years of battle. We are still here though because God still has things for us to do! Remember the good times and smile! Big Hugs and Love to You!"
Marsha McKneely Ault - Nacogdoches, Texas - (12 July 2013): "What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful June! Most people only dream of such an eternal love."
Huzaafa Yousuf (12 July 2013):"So beautifully written!"
Nancy Rudquist - Arden Hills, Minnesota - (13 July 2013): "I understand lonely nights. I am learning to keep myself busy. I have a tough sleeping time too. So I pray a lot and finally fall a sleep around 5 or 6 o'clock. Then I sleep the morning away."
Dianne Creel - Concord, North Carolina - (13 July 2013): "The one part that truly touched me Stan, was whenever you asked your bride to walk down that very long path~~slowly. I know June will be waiting on the very long path, especially for you, Stan~~her loving and devoted groom."
Lillie Franklin - Sequim, Washington - (13 July 2013): "Hi Stan, I don't even know how I found your site. I was in Facebook searching the people I know and then suddenly your page about your wife June came up and I started reading some of the poetry and learning about your beautiful life together. I understand grief and live it everyday too. I lost my beloved parents seven years ago. I was closest to my mom and there isn't a day that goes by that they ...don't figure into my thoughts. I write poetry too and I journal about my grief and try to find ways to heal and live my changed life. The deep love you have for your wife echos on every page and I can feel a loss that goes just as deep. I hope there is a reunion with our passed loved ones. I endeavor to keep the faith that it is so. God Bless you and if you feel the occasion to write back you are welcome to do so. Regards, Lillie."
Elaine Wharmby - Tamworth, United Kingdom - (13 July 2013): "What a beautiful poem. No one as love...as you should ever feel lonely."
Lisa Hirsch - New York, New York - (14 July 2013): "Wonderful photograph of the two of you showing such deep love and affection. One to cherish."
Beverley Alfred - London, United Kingdom- (15 July 2013): "Tears came to my eyes when I read the words of love and sorrow, made me think of my mum and dad and how they loved each other for over 50 years, thank you Stanton so much!"
Sharon Collins Watters Addison(16 July 2013): "Beautiful...I took the journey with my Dad...he's with my Mom now. Boy, did I learn a lot from him during those years. What an honour that he trusted me to travel with him."
Ben Mcbrien - Dublin, Ireland - (16 July 2013): "Truly beautiful poem!"
June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website under the "In Memoriam" label - or Click on: