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For Jan's family

Apr 22, 2009 - 9 comments

When my Dad was dying from cancer, the hospice folks gave us a little booklet. At the very end was this poem. It's stuck with me even after all these months but it also eased some of the pain in my heart.

Parable of Immortality ( A ship leaves . . . )
by Henry Van Dyke - 1852 - 1933


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 peck 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!'


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483733 tn?1326798446
by TrudieC, Apr 22, 2009
So true.  Thank you for sharing.

272338 tn?1252280404
by crecco, Apr 22, 2009
  It is beautiful Irene and so very true. Thank you

146692 tn?1314331773
by butterflytc, Apr 22, 2009
Just a beautiful way of looking at goodbyes Irene. Thank you for sharing this with us all.


386450 tn?1263733624
by Hindat, Apr 22, 2009
That is a beautiful poem.  Thanks for posting this.  

356929 tn?1246389756
by Sandymac, Apr 22, 2009
How beautiful..I'm going to copy it.. Thanks so much

653618 tn?1260603643
by doicat, Apr 22, 2009
I love this poem.  The version I've kept with me has a few additional lines at the end.

What is Dying?

I am standing on the seashore,
A ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her
Till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says:
"She is gone."
Gone! Where?
Gone from my sight that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me,
not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
"She is gone",
There are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout:
"There she comes"
- and that is dying. A horizon and just the limit of our sight.
Lift us up, Oh Lord, that we may see further.
Bishop Brent
1862 - 1926

Bless you ALL and may the Lord lift Jan up in His loving arms.


329994 tn?1301663248
by lvfrogs, Apr 25, 2009
That was a beautiful poem Irene. Thank you for sharing and I am glad that it brings you comfort even now thinking of our father. Hugs, Colleen

106886 tn?1281291572
by Mary 53, Apr 26, 2009
Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Thank  you, Irene.

Mary

378425 tn?1305628294
by dawnlyn, Apr 26, 2009
This a wonderful poem, thank you Irene, for sharing., Love, Dawnlyn

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