I had to place my brother J.R. in Hospice Care today and my heart is broken. J.R.’s body is shutting down, dementia is winning the battle.
J.R. loved the sea and he has always had a fascination for sailboats. He use to talk of sailing around the world. I knew he had no sailing experience, but that did not discourage him whatsoever. He never got to fulfill that dream. I found this poem which fits J.R.’s wish so perfectly. This last journey toward death is sorrowful for those who love J.R. so dearly. This one is for you J,R. from your sister.
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 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 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