Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Parable of Immortality

Finding words to comfort someone when they lose a loved one can be a search into the deepest parts of our hearts. A parent loses a child or a parent slips from us; a spouse, friend or sibling can leave an aching hole inside. The words are only meant to help soothe the void but can never replace our loved one. Only the memories fill the void, gathering inside and healing pain with time.

When I lost my mother, a brother shared the following poem by Henry Van Dyke called "A Parable of Immortality" and helped begin the process of letting go. A process of letting go the natural connection and beginning the supernatural connection to a lost loved one. I still talk to my mother through loving memories and with a respect for what I believe lay beyond our life here.

So it is that I share with some dear friends that very recently lost their son in a tragic incident. I also share it for anyone that has lost a loved one. Words to help soothe the void and help begin the process of loving rememberance.

A Parable of Immortality

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,
and I stand and watch until at last she hangs
like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says,
" There she goes! "
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 just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the place of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment
when someone at my side says,
" There she goes! "
there are other eyes watching her coming . . .
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout . . .
" Here she comes! "

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