Where are you?

As some of you know we lost a member of our family last week. Our fit, seemingly healthy cousin, gone in a moment. As the week has passed by, I have wondered how those Anne left so suddenly are getting through. She was a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, so huge a presence in many lives, how do they fill that void. How do they make sense of her loss?

Yesterday as I tried to process the suddenness of her passing, I saw a post in my Facebook feed. It was written by her sister and simply titled, ‘Reflecting on the untimely and sudden death of my sister Anne (October 1960 to 25 February 2016) RIP.

Beneath the title was printed a poem, the same one she so bravely read at Anne’s funeral. As I listened to it in the church last week, it spoke to me about the loss of my Dad, like nothing else ever has in almost thirty years. It was also perfect as a reflection on the loss of Anne, such a huge character, from so many lives, and young Daniel also.

So as I reprint it here, I hope that those of you who have lost someone you continue to greatly miss from your lives, will get as much from this as I did.

Gone From My Sight

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.2637878143_b5e27bb99c_n (1)
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,
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 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…

by Henry Van Dyke


photo credit: Sailing on the Waddensea 2 via photopin (license)

19 thoughts on “Where are you?

  1. This one hit today as I have been thinking a lot about those I’ve lost recently. I have been wanting to write about it but not quite ready. I think that may be one of the reasons I have been keeping so busy. But the time is coming. This post was well received!

  2. I am so sorry for your loss, Tric. What a beautiful poem and tribute to a loved one. When I read the line “Gone where?” it really hit me as those are the exact words that I said to my mother when she called me about my brother’s sudden death. In the end, the poem is very comforting.
    Sending (((hugs))).

    1. Thanks Mary. I’m really touched to hear that. I’d never heard that poem before. Take care and try to be good to yourself during these sad days. Xxx

  3. Oh Tric, that’s beautiful, and so sad. My youngest boy (4) is obsessing about death and me dying (I’m not, but he’s afraid I will) Trying to explain death is very difficult, I might use a simplified version of that (while reiterating I’ve no intention of leaving anytime soon!!)

    1. Delighted it might help Emily. I love the imagery and the non religious aspect to it. It is exactly what we would wish to believe, especially if we have many waiting to welcome them or even if we believe in re incarnation.
      Good luck with your little one.

  4. I am so sorry, Tric. That is a lovely sentiment and good to carry in your memory.

    A friend of mine is trekking to Louisiana this week to “celebrate” the life of her father, a long-held tradition. She posted this one-line thought she had received comfort: “Love is not changed by Death, and nothing is lost and all in the end is harvest.”

    Like my friend, you have your wonderful family in which to find comfort. ❤

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