In July, 2008 I wrote this post about the eloquent eulogy the priest gave at a funeral I attended.
Yesterday a kind lady named Lili left the following poem as a comment on that post! I’m delighted, because I recognize this as the poem I had heard long ago that so perfectly expressed the sentiment in the priest’s message.
(7/14/10 Update in a comment from “Doug” : It is actually entitled “Gone from My Sight” and was written by Henry Van Dyke sometime in the 19th century. We put in on the back of the bulletin at my Dad’s memorial service.)
I am standing by 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,
and I stand and watch
until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, ‘There she goes!
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 just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the places of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
‘There she goes! ‘ ,
there are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout :
‘Here she comes!’
Thank you, Lili. It is a lovely poem and a wonderful way to look at the passing of a loved one.