View Full Version : The Dying Experience
When my husband went into the hospital for his last time the nurses said he had all of the "End signs". When I asked what they were, they brought in a booklet titled, "Gone from my sight, the Dying Experience, " by Barbara Karnes. It was very informative on telling what is happening to someone from one to three months prior to death and up to the final hours or minutes. It is very gently written and I could look back and recoginize the signs my husband was giving me. At the end of the booklet was a poem I want to share with you.
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
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 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!"
And that is dying.
Henry Van Dyke
12-17-2001, 10:32 AM
Thank you for sharing that poem with us. It was beautiful!!!
"Her diminished size is in me, not in her." - what a great line!!!
12-17-2001, 10:40 AM
Thanks for sharing that Gail. It's wonderful. I've copied it and tucked it away.
12-17-2001, 04:22 PM
The poem is wonderful. I especially liked the last paragraph...
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the 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!"
Such sweet joy.
Hi Ken, it's actualy not far off the subject. All of the things described happening to the dying person in the booklet are said to be to prepare them for the next world. There is no connection to a particular religion in it so no one would be offended by it. I didn't run into anyone else outside of the hospital who heard of the booklet.
It's too long for my laboured typing to post but Valerie said she can do it.:) It was really fasinating for us and explained so much of what was happening to my husband and why.
12-17-2001, 05:49 PM
Thank you for that lovely poem. Another version of what we already know to be true.
Having had to deal with multiple deaths in my life I am looking forward to reading the book also. Thanks for asking Ken.
I will quote the very first page to save Valerie one page of posting.
" Each person approaches death in their own way,
bringing to this last expierence their own uniqueness. What is listed here is simply a guideline, a road map. Like any map there are many
roads arriving at the same destination, many ways to enter the same city.
Use this guideline while remembering there is nothing concrete here; all is very, very flexible. Any one of the signs in this booklet may be present; all may be present; none may be present. For some it will take months to separate from their physical body, for others only minutes.
Death comes in its own time; in its own way.
Death is as unique as the individual who is experiencing it."
I just looked at the back of the booklet and it does have a Copyright. I don't know if putting it here will violate the copyright laws. I probably am but will quote one more short section that is "on topic" for JE.
One to two weeks prior to death.
"Sleeping is most of the time now. A person can't seem to keep their eyes open. They can, however, be awakened from that sleep. There is literally one foot in each world. A person often becomes confused, talking to people, and about places and events, that are unknown to others.
They may see and converse with loved ones who have died before them. There may be picking at the bedclothes and agitated arm movements. There is a seeming aimlessness to all physival activity. Focus is changing from this world to the next, they are losing their grounding to earth."
The rest of the booklet deals with the withdrawing from the world and people and all the physical changes that occur as death gets closer.
My husband lost interest in food, television, the paper, and seeing his beloved children and grandchildren as the time for his dying got closer. This seems to be a common thing with people who know death is near and they want to start withdrawing into themselves.
12-18-2001, 12:41 AM
Ken and All:
Here's the addy for Barbara Karne's website, where you can order this booklet and others:
By the way; the title of the poem is "Gone From My Sight".
Tha you CeCe for your post. I was ready to tell everyone that it is available on the net. Used my trusty "search engine" and saw a lot of references to it. There are supposed to be a lot of copies in hospitals, nursing homes, and at Hospice. Hope some of you, who have gone through the agony of watching a loved one dying, can read it and know there was nothing you could have done to stop it.
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