Rage Against The Dying Of The Light

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 that 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. 

Dylan Thomas
 
I used to hold up that poem as a way to live. I was going to be the old woman who wears purple, I was never going to go gently, I was going to stay young and vibrant no matter how the years marched on. 
I’ve worked with the elderly since I was twenty. I’ve seen how cruel it can be for our bodies to betray us, for our minds to let us down, for us to forget even the people we love. I always believed entirely that it wouldn’t happen to me though. I have good genes. My grandma was in her nineties but still fit and vibrant and ever the matriarch. She was raging against the dying of the light as would I.
Then, at the weekend, I realised that eventually the dying light wins. I visited my grandmother in her nursing home and was faced with a frail, confused woman who at times didn’t know who I was. 
Now my wishes for her, and perhaps for me, have changed: go gently, be comfortable, know you are loved and suffer not. After all the light will fade for all of us so maybe we shouldn’t be fighting.