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 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 and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear the 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 she comes!”
And that is dying.
-Henry Van Dyke
The thing about living is that it always ends in dying. We can believe that we have control over how it happens, when it happens and what will happen, but in reality, we have very little to say about it when the time comes. When someone dies young or unexpectedly, it is even more difficult to reconcile the fact than if they had lived to be 70 or 80 years.
It is time once again to say good-bye to yet another friend who is leaving too soon. I have been trying to put into words for a couple of days now what I want to say about my friend, what she meant to me and how much I will miss her, but I chose instead to share the quote from Henry Van Dyke, because I believe that as we say good-bye to her, loving arms and healing light will greet her on the other side. That is what is important. Everything will be made known to her when she “sheds this mortal coil” and is freed from the boundaries and limitations of her physical body.
I believe that she will not be alone, not be in pain and no longer suffer from the many distresses that are a large part of living Life. I have to believe that our good friend who passed away a few months ago will be the first face that she sees and she will never again be scared, sad, lonely, sick or lost.
I will remember you, the best of you and the time we shared. I will keep you alive in my heart, in my thoughts and until we meet again, Rest in Peace, my friend. You are loved.