Grief is never a welcome visitor, yet for those of us lucky enough to love, it will most assuredly make a visit. Last week, I said goodbye to my beloved aunt. It was unexpected. It was heartwrenching. I didn't want to say goodbye. Death doesn't wait until we are ready. It can come anytime it pleases. It has no parameters, no age-limit, no rhyme and no reason.
I share with you one of the most comforting poems I have found, to which I was first introduced when I worked in hospice many years ago. I hope it brings you comfort during painful goodbyes, as well.
Gone From My Sight
"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:
"Her she comes!"
And that is dying.
~Henry Van Dyke
I miss you Ciocia Sandy! You will never be forgotten. You are in every snickerdoodle, every laugh, and every memory that we hold dear. I loved how you could still make the very same face that you had in your Kindergarten picture. Rest well. I'm glad you were in my dash.