A life dedicated to service...

Week 10: If tonight should be your last

Ooops — a techno-glitch prevented this to be published 3 days ago as intended.

Dear friend,

you have reached an important marker on this journey. The task ahead must not be rushed. Set time aside to read and to listen, perhaps more than once, even if you’re familiar with this poem.

Afterwards —

close your eyes and sit in meditation. Follow your breath for a while: five minutes at least. Listen within. Notice the thoughts and sensations as they arise. Welcome everything. Ask with your heart: If death were to come knocking, what do I need to attend to while I’m still alive?

Courage, my friend!

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

by Dylan Thomas (1914 – 1953)

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

About the Author
Peter lives in Victoria, BC, where he volunteers in health-care. teaches mindfulness meditation, and offers end-of-life care.
  1. Daishin Reply

    The poem takes me back to the night I received a telegram (remember telegrams?) telling me that father had died. I wept and lamented, pounded the floor, screamed of the injustice of it all. Much like the poet, I raged, “how dare you die!” That was 47 years ago.

    Dad and I had been at odds for years, he even wrote to tell me “you’re no longer my son.” My reply, in effect, F**k you, I don’t need you.” I must have angered/disappointed him immensely. Later found that he’d done the same to my brother and been suffering some mental illness.

    I’d always assumed we’d reconcile one day. Note to self: Don’t wait to too long before repairing broken relationships. Do it soon — why not today?!

  2. Arnie Reply


  3. K Reply

    This post came when I was with my dad who died on March 14. I spent a few days with him before his journey. Grateful for these words.

Leave a Reply