This analogy, by Henry Van Dyke, is from a booklet given
to me when my father was in hospice. It is very comforting to me.
I post it here in hopes it may comfort you too.
I no longer have a copy of the booklet from which it
came. To order a copy, please go to BKbooks.com.
I am standing upon 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
Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"
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
And that is dying.
A friend emailed another wonderful way to describe death which
is posted here.
"Gone From My Site" is printed
in a booklet I found helpful in my father's final weeks. It is titled: "GONE
FROM MY SIGHT The Dying Experience", by Barbara Karnes, RN, and is available,
along with her other booklets at BKbooks.com.
KAT's Meow is not associated with her or
the booklet's publication in any way.