Just a thought… There are no happy endings. So just give me a happy middle and a very happy start. [Shel Silverstein]
I’m sorry – I thought that I would have an entirely new journal for you today. Instead, I am here in Toronto, getting set for a funeral. I have written and rewritten something I want to say about the parting of a dear friend – her life, her love, her immense spirit – but sharing it here before I say it at her funeral just doesn’t seem to fit.
So here’s what I’ll do: I’ll share with you a very special piece of writing that someone sent my way. It is attributed alternately to Rev. Luther F. Beecher and Henry Van Dyke; it depends which part of the internet you believe.
It was brought to our attention three-and-a-half years ago when our sweet girl Lauren left us unexpectedly. At that time, it brought me to tears, as it still does today, but all we can do is hope that for someone it conjures hope and inspiration. Here it is. I’ve yet to decide whether I’ll include it in today’s service, but we’ll see. I’ll be back with you tomorrow and I trust you’ll understand why there’s no entirely new journal here today.
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.
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 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….
I’ll be back with you here tomorrow. Today we’ll all try to stand strong and see what happens. Thank you.