Well we did it. We laid him to rest. The wake was beautiful. Can a wake be beautiful? 'R' said it was the best wake he has ever experienced. Photos, music, video, flowers and so much love. So many family members who loved Dad so well. So many friends who knew what kind of man we have lost. So much sadness and joy in one set of events. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but there was a sense of joy in just being together through the process of remembering, reconnecting, crying, laughing, singing and praying. I am so grateful for the outpouring of tender care from my extended, yet not so extended family. One of these 'dear ones' sent me a beautiful poem that is so fitting when I think of the loss of Dad and his love of the sea.
"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 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 her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not her. And just at that 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!"
--Henry Van Dyke