Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I was at home alone. My husband had died the previous February, and so learning to be alone was part of my new job description. Not one to watch much television, I had gotten in the habit of having it on "in the background" ... just so there'd be noise in the house. So now I share the collective memory. Those images live alongside my memory of the day JFK died.

But I have one more personal memory that lingers of 9/11. My daughter crying for all those people "who have to feel like we do ... because they lost their Daddy."

Contemplating and remembering today has turned my thoughts toward heaven, thanks in part to author friend Randy Alcorn's morning e-mail, which shared a list of quotes on heaven.

My husband once told someone who was expressing sympathy at the concept of his "terminal" condition, "You're terminal too, you know. It's just that I'm more aware of it than you." He'd already turned his heart toward heaven.

So today, in remembrance, I thought I'd do the same. The verse below was one of my mother's favorites. She died in 1996, and when my husband entered hospice care early in 2001, our nurse shared it with me. Both versions said "author unknown."

If you are grieving a loss, today, I hope it brings you comfort.

I am standing on the shore. A ship at my side spreads her sail to the breeze and starts for the ocean. She is an object of beauty and I stand and watch until she hangs like a speck of cloud where the sea and sky meet. Then, someone at my side says, "There! She's gone."

Gone where? Gone from my sight is all. She is still as large in mast, hull, and spar as she was when she left my side. Just as able to bear her load to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

Just at the 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.

I'll post another poem tomorrow, one I wrote back in the 1980s.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Ms. Stephanie... Blessings, healing, and joy to you in Jesus' name. That's what I desire for you... ((HUG))