Jason’s best friend details 1984-DASH-2020

Tom Kennedy, Editor

Jason Knox’s best friend quoted from that special memorializing poem by Linda Ellis. It’s entitled The Dash Poem and is oft-quoted at memorial services for special people.

Senior Police Officer Michael Bruner paid special tribute to Knox, whose DASH goes between 1984 and 2020. He was 35 years old when his life was taken in the line of HPD duty the early morning of Saturday, May 2 in a Fox crash at a Greenspoint area apartment complex.

The “dash,” Bruner explained symbolizes what a person – in this case, Officer Jason Knox – achieved between the date of birth and date of death.

Quoting from the Ellis poem, Bruner said, “For that dash represents all the time that they spent alive on earth. And now only those who loved them Know what that little line is worth.”

In a very moving tribute to his best friend, Bruner said, “Jason lived his dash. Life was an adventure and he made sure that all who knew him knew this.

He dreamed of being assigned to Air Support and he accomplished that goal much faster than I ever thought he would.”

Like every other speaker at the May 9 memorial service, Bruner stressed the tight-knit HPD extended family and specially emphasized its importance.

“Before I conclude,” Bruner said, “I want to pay my respects to the LifeFlight crew who took Jason to the hospital. Thank you for trying your hardest to save our brother. Thank you for your amazing work.”

Then Bruner turned to the vast number of mourners present and said:

“Go home today and hug your family. Hug your friends and colleagues who are here today. After the tears are gone, go home and live your dash.

The Badge & Gun prints the entire poem by Linda Ellis herewith.


The Dash Poem


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 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
That 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 can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And 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 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 spent YOUR dash?