Do go gentle into that good night

My grandfather is dying and the world feels very quiet now. I held his hand over my father’s yesterday and listened to the rattle in his chest. I wanted to say I Love You but he never was a demonstrative or wordy man. He said little but let you know how he felt in other ways. A casual arm around your shoulder as you entered the house, a cup of tea (which he hated making but did it anyway), the offering of a cold beer, many questions asked about my life.

He lay unconcious yesterday but clearly wanted always to be holding someone’s hand. For me, touching and holding his hand was my way of saying how I felt and good bye.

Sure he’s quite old but his deterioriation has been sudden and the whole thing just both frightens and saddens me at the same time.

I had S with me. It was the first time they met. Granfer tried to open his eyes but every time S squealed (and god knows that’s often enough), Granfer’s eyes would flicker. Funny thing is, he always hated the sound of children. He wasn’t good with his own, or our generation. Things got better when we could share a drink with him and got to know a bit more about sport.

My uncle appreciated the irony that his last days were being filled with the sound of a baby.

I worry about my father. He is so fragile in many ways and I’m frightened this may cause the ground to fall out from under his feet.

Anyway, today is a quiet day. Filled with reflection and work I am trying to plough through.

But I’m thinking of you Granfer and shedding tears for the life that is leaving us. You are surrounded by so many that love you. You have given so much life and your love for Ganny has been unfaltering and so giving to the end. We will all miss you so.

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January 2009
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