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Live Your Dash - Obituaries

We each have a date we were born and a date we will die. The two dates are separated by a dash. While these exact dates are important in genealogy research, the team at Icelandic Roots (IR) is extremely interested in "the dash."

In the Icelandic Roots Database, we want more than just names and dates. Obituaries are a valuable resource and tell the story of "the dash." Precious family information is included in an obituary. The IR genealogists use many newspaper resources to find obituaries. GenealogyBank, Newspapers .com, NewspaperArchive, WinnipegFreePress, Morgunblaðið, and all the online newspapers at – (my favorite). In addition to these sources, the IR team has over 2,000 other sources where we gather information.

By using obituaries, notes, custom events, special reports, histories, and more, we can tell and preserve the stories of Iceland, ancestors, and descendants wherever they may live. Please share obituaries and stories from your family. We will connect the information to the IR Database.

Enjoy this wonderful poem called “The Dash.” Have a great day, everyone.

Live your dash!


the poem by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at the 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 he 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 live and love 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?

by Linda Ellis, Copyright © 1996-2019,

Icelandic Roots has received written permission to post The Dash poem by Southwestern Inspire Kindness, Inc. They own the copyright and trademark of the poem. Icelandic Roots is a registered charity 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Individuals who read this blog post may share it to their personal FB and social media pages and share the blog post via email with family and friends. To read additional terms of use for this poem, please follow this link:

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