Do not go gentle into that good night

My dad’s journey on this Earth is finished. His M.S. caused his days to be filled with emotional and physical pain but he fought back with his constant jokes and stories. I picture him running through heaven, running like he has not been able to in decades, hopefully from one fishing hole to the next.

My dad made friends everywhere he went. He loved to laugh and to make those around him laugh. He wanted people around him to be happy, even better if he could be the source of that happiness.

He often told me he loved to hear me giggle. So I will try, to giggle, remembering the good times, for the rest of my days when I think of him.

When he had a heart attack about 10 days ago, this poem came to mind. I have been reciting it in my head over and over, selfishly the last 10 days. Wanting him to stay with us a little longer, wanting him to fight, desperate to have him rage against the dying of the light. But today, I tearfully realize, he did fight his whole life. He stayed with us longer than he could have. And for those who know the whole story, we were united as a family in the end. Apologies were made, regrets were voiced and what more could I ask for from the man who raised me to believe in myself. To believe in God, and to believe in reason, logic and humor. Farewell for now father, I will try to take all the good that you taught me and make you proud. And I shall continue the fight, and I will not go gentle into that good night.

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, to 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

Dad

DeLyle Clair Southam passed away on January 22, 2013. His final days were spent with his family around him. He touched the lives of many throughout his lifetime with his outgoing and friendly nature, quick wit and with the sparkle in his eyes as he told a joke. In his younger years he loved to fish, hunt, dance and spend time outdoors. He served in the National Guard for six years. He earned a Master’s in Guidance and Counseling and he worked for CES as a beloved seminary and institute teacher for over 20 years. He loved his family, a good meal and a great movie. He battled Multiples Sclerosis for over 50 years, never giving up hope. He served a mission for and was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and he had a strong testimony in Christ. He married Carol Southam in the Salt Lake City Temple then they had four daughters. DeLyle is survived by his brother Lavar Southam, his wife Carol Southam, his daughters Kristine Sipple, Renee Reid, Wendy Southam, Debra Fisher and his three grandchildren JJ Sipple, Nicole Sipple and CJ Reid.

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10 responses to “Do not go gentle into that good night

  1. Debbie, my heart goes out to you. I am glad you are feeling peaceful and know your dad is free from all his painful afflictions. But I know your heart still aches and mine does as well for you. I loved reading more about your sweet dad. I wish I could have met him. I love you and you will continually be in our thoughts and prayers. I know you have made him a very proud father and he will smile in heaven every time you giggle. Thank you for sharing this and that great poem.

  2. Debbie…what a beautiful post about your father. Thanks for sharing and know that you are in my prayers.

  3. Hi Debbie. Cheryl sent me your link so I could read about your dad. I am so sorry to hear that he is passing on. I’m sure that you will really miss him, especially at important crossroads throughout the rest of your life. Your sweet blogpost makes it sound like it may have been time for him to have some true rest. Just wanted to comment to let you know that I’m thinking about you and that Singapore misses you! XOXO. Becky

  4. Sarah de Guzman Furner

    Debbie, thank you so much for this beautiful post. Now I know where you get your infectious laugh. You are a wonderful tribute to your father in the way you live your life…you reflect all the good that your father represented in this world. I am sorry for your loss. I love that you mentioned he loved a good meal and the outdoors….like father, like daughter. I know saying good bye to a loved one is a journey, and I wish you a sweet and tender journey in the next days and weeks as you lay him to rest. Thinking of you. Sending my love from Singapore….Sarah and family

  5. Hi Debbie. I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad. I was touched by your post. I can see he had a huge impact for good on you. In fact, he’s helped shape you into the amazing woman you are! I love you and my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. I can’t wait for your next trip to Utah. Please know how much I love and adore you! Love, Julie

  6. Debbie, I am so very sorry. Oh, how I agree with your dad though because I LOVE your giggle…. and I miss it! My heart goes out to you and want you to know that I will be praying for you. May you and your family feel the tender mercies of the Lord and his loving arms holding you. May you be blessed to recall happy memories with him and feel his love for you. This was a beautiful post. Love to you – Gayleen

  7. Oh Debbie, I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish I could wrap my arms around you and give you a giant hug. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man. Wishing you peace and comfort during this time. All my love, Lynette

  8. Thank you all for your kind words!

  9. This is a beautiful post. I’m so sorry for your loss. Know that we are all thinking about you and praying for you. Love, Jessie

  10. Thank you for sharing those beautiful words. So sorry for your loss. Lots of love and prayers coming your way. XO.

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