funeral

I am standing upon that foreshore

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 where?’ ‘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; just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination. 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.

Victor Hugo (a passage often attributed to Bishop Brent)

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