Lehman Strauss, When Loved Ones Are Taken in Death.
In his excellent little book When Loved Ones Are Taken in Death, Lehman Strauss made some interesting comments about the Greek word translated "departure." He wrote, "It is used metaphorically in a nautical way as when a vessel pulls up anchor to loose from its moorings and set sail, or in a military way as when an army breaks encampment to move on. In the ancient Greek world this term was used also for freeing someone from chains and for the severing of a piece of goods from the loom. This is what death is as described in the Bible. Here, we are anchored to the hardships and heartaches of this life. In death, the gangway is raised, the anchor is weighed, and we set sail for the golden shore. In death, we break camp here to start for heaven."