"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 some one 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 her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when some one 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
I've put this on my blog so I can always find it in the future. A friend sent this poem shortly after Tia was born, and had died during delivery.
It struck me extrmely deeply. Mostly, I think, because our daughter had been born, and our lives had not changed one bit. We couldn't bring her home with us, there were no celebrations, no baby clothes. Everything was supposed to change, and yet we had nothing to show for it.
This poem gave me something to hold on to. The idea that just because I couldn't see my baby anymore, it didn't mean she didn't hadn't existed. I had watched her at leangth until we had to leave.
Tia was gone from my sight. She is just as loved as she was when she was in our arms. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.