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My Friend Henry Writes About His Son's Passing, September 13, 2008 (UPDATED)

Posted May 12 2009 6:15pm

Henry writes:

Dear Friends & Family:

The hospice nurse was here this morning to examine Cameron. He is showing clear signs that he is at the end of his earthly life, and heading off on his next adventure.

He is in no distress or pain, and looks so beautiful. The nurse described him as regal. Take comfort that this process will be gentle and pain-free. We have days or hours left, and are now in vigil mode.

I am sad, of course, and yet strangely relieved. I do not intend to despair or fall into a dark depression. How can I? My son's life was not a tragedy. It is a triumph! This is a passing that he is worthy of. If it were me instead of him (and I wish it were), this is how I would want to go. With such grace. Such grace.

As the full moon approaches (Monday), imagine Cameron rocketing through space on the back of a comet, his laughter ringing through the universe. Free. Free of cancer. Goal met!

Please light a candle in Cameron's honor, and read the following passage to your children and grandchildren. A friend sent it last week, and it brought me much comfort. It warrants repeating here.

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 is gone!''

Gone where?' Gone from my sight. That is all.

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 the other voices ready to take up the glad shout 'Here she comes!' And that is dying.

~Henry Van Dyke

Peace out, my son.


UPDATE: Cameron passed on the next day, Sunday. Here is an incredible poem one of Cameron's friends wrote:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2008 11:32 AM, CDT

That Joy Thing

I stopped by the creek.

It was flush and triumphant again,

from the rains.

The waters were singing your laugh,

crashing over rocks in a crazy dance—

you know—

with that joy thing you splash everywhere.

Tonight the moon is

cradling her swollen belly.

Her light is soft.

Not as bright though

as those stars we dusted off your shoulders

—while you lay in grace.

I felt the warmth of your breath yesterday

as I leaned in to gather more memories.

The flame from your warrior’s heart scorched mine

And I tucked it away, a treasure.

This earth can be cold.

For you,

for us, I will tend and share your fire.

I won’t hold you. (As if I could.)

Your trail is blazing across one landscape,

moving to the next.

Lay your body down, dear.

I see that it is too small now

to hold all of you.

It is hard work to wrap that much radiance—

But it was so lovely to bask in yours, as it spilled over

into this little moment we call life.

by Kerry Miller, in loving tribute to Cameron David Allen

Sunday, 04/16/95 - Sunday, 09/14/08
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