Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What Is Dying?

On Sunday, I had the privilege of offering a eulogy for the wife of one of my best friends. I closed my remarks with the quote, “What is dying?” by Bishop Charles Henry Brent. Quite a few people made wonderful comments about it and requested it.

Below is the longer version of the quote. If you simply search for “What is dying? Charles Henry Brent” you’ll see both versions.

If you’ve lost a loved one or you see it coming in the future or you are offered the honor and privilege of presenting a eulogy you can’t get much better for an uplifting and supportive thought.

What is Dying? Bishop Charles Henry Brent (1862-1929)

I am standing on the seashore.
A ship sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object and I stand watching her
Till at last she fades from the horizon,
And someone at my side says, “She is gone!” Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all;
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her,
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her;
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “She is gone”,
There are others who are watching her coming,
And other voices take up a glad shout,

“There she comes” – and that is dying.