Saturday, August 12, 2006

They are all gone

It's been awhile since I punished you with poetry--not mine. I won't do that to you. This is by Henry Vaughn.

They are all gone

They are all gone into the world of light!
And I alone sit lingering here;
Their very memory is fair and bright,
And my sad thoughts doth clear.

It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast,
Like stars upon some gloomy grove,
Or those faint beams in which this hill is dressed,
After the sun's remove.

I see them walking in an air of glory,
Whose light doth trample on my days;
My days, which are at best but dull and hoary,
Mere glimmering and decays.

O holy Hope! and high Humility!
High as the heavens above!
These are you walks, and you have showed them me,
To kindle my cold love.

Dear beauteous Death! the jewel of the just,
Shining nowhere but in the dark;
What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,
Could man outlook that mark!

He that hath found some fledged bird's nest may know
At first sight if the bird be flown;
But what fair well or grove he sings in now,
That is to him unknown.

And yet, as angels in some brighter dreams
Call to the soul when man doth sleep,
So strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,
And into glory peep.

If a star were confined inot a tomb,
Her captive flames must needs burn there;
But when the hand that locked her up gives room,
She'll shine through all the sphere.

O Father of eternal life, and all
Created glories under Thee!
Resume Thy spirit from this world of thrall
Into true liberty.

Either disperse these mists, which blot and fill
My perspective still as they pass;
Or else remove me hence unto that hill
Where I shall need no glass.


Kell said...

The most horrendous thing happened this week. A couple I kind of know (in-laws of a friend of mine) lost one of their two twins.

I need to talk about this because as one who's lost both kinds of loved ones - a little one and a matriarch (I know my grandma and I weren't close - but there's something very empty about her place...) this year, (and knowing you've lost one in his prime) the obvious question is: Is it better to lose one before you know one?

My answer is no- I think it's just as empty - because hope is enormous.

My second, and perhaps more intelligent question is - how will this family split their bitter loss with their sweet joy at their surviving arrival?

I'm so sad for these two. I figured you'd be the one to discuss this with me.

Sarabeth said...

Kell--the answer to the first question is no. With losing a person who you have known for years, you mourn for the loss of a live well lived. With losing a child or an infant, the mourning is for the potential lost, in a way for the unknown.

I like you am no stranger to death. I had one close friend die in college, two boyfriends die while I was in college, and just three months before my wedding my maid of honor died. I watched her die. Seven years ago my father-in-law died. And, well, you know about Dad. It's the emptiness--the void left by that person--that I feel the most. I try to fill it with my memories, good or bad.

The second question--I'm going to punt this to Phill who, because of his job, has seen this kind of situation. He had a hard night last night playing at doctor, but I'll ask him his thoughts. Maybe he'll email you.

Were the twins premature? Or was it the situation where the twins were discordant (one grew larger in utero than the other)?

And, as I have typed these words I have answer to your second question. I think the parents will cling to the surviving infant all that much more. Well, that where they should strive to be. That child's life and accomplishments will be much sweeter as they know the pain of loss.