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? “Here she comes!”
And that is dying.
–Henry Van Dyke
Barbara Karnes RN, nurse author, wrote a beautiful series of helpful guides for people about death and the dying process. This poem is the namesake of one of her most helpful guides to those with advanced illness, facing the journey eminently and their loved-ones, Gone From My Sight.