There is a poem by my favourite poet Dylan Thomas which begins:
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.
It is popularly believed to be an exhortation to his father to fight against death.
My mother needed no such urging. She fought it tooth and nail.
Even when her body was but skin and bone. Even when she had morphed from a human being into a tiny bird lying broken on a wide expanse of white bed. Even when she had slipped into an unconscious state tn which she appeared to recognise no one. Even when she could not even take water, except to wet her thin lips. Even when it seemed impossible that she could still be alive.
She steadfastly refused to let to go. Brave, stubborn, tenacious, determined. And thoroughly unpredictable. My mother facing her demise the way she had lived.
Her children and her late-in-life-lover maintained a vigil that extended long beyond the expectations of medical staff. There was nothing we could do but hold her hand and helplessly bear witness to her last battle.
She most certainly raged against the dying of the light.
Until this morning.
When she finally, peacefully, let go.
© the author writing as Romantic Dominant
Art by Andrew Wyeth