Gone from Sight

My friend Adina sent me this Van Dyke poem in response to the JWF post. She has always loved the picture of the waiting crowd, cheering to welcome someone home. These words describe it so well. I thought you should see it too.
Thanks, Adina.

I just read your post about your grandpa's death on your blog. Something reminded me of this:


What is dying?

I am standing on the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says: 'There, she is gone!'

'Gone where?'

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says: 'There, she is gone!', there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: 'Here she comes!'

And that is dying.

-Henry VanDyke