Go gentle into that good night

This piece is a retelling of the poem “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas.

As an emergency physician who has borne witness to suffering and death, I have felt the futility and bravery of fighting against the dying of the light among individuals from all walks of life. Bearing witness to suffering and death is one of the greatest privileges and burdens of physicians.

May we all go gentle once the fight is over.

***

Let him go gentle into that good night.
Old age should nod and rest at close of day;
Accept with peace the dying of the light.

Wise men at their end consider the futility of fight,
And with measured strength and quiet dignity,
Go gentle into that good night.

Good men, whose lives and deeds shine bright
Though none will monument their fame,
Accept with peace the dying of the light.

Wild men, whose lives wrought their own plight,
Who plumbed the depths and trapped the sun,
Go gentle into that good night.

Grave men who sense the end is near in sight,
Yet meet it with a brave and somber face,
Accept with peace the dying of the light.

And you, my father, at the end of a wan and dwindling fight,
Railing now prolongs death rather than extending life.
Go gentle into that good night.
Accept with peace the dying of the light.

Christina Shenvi is an emergency physician and can be reached on Twitter @clshenvi

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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