My husband Bill’s father, our beloved Pop Pop, passed away a few weeks ago and we buried him over the weekend. Avid sailors, Bill and his dad spent many relaxing days sailing here in the Monterey Bay and on Lake Tahoe. At his father’s memorial service, my husband read the following poem:
What is Dying?
I am standing upon that foreshore, 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 her until at length 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’s gone.”
“Gone from my sight, that’s all.” She is just as large in mast and spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at that moment when someone at my side says, “There, she’s 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.
(See you on the other side of the horizon, Pop Pop.)