Whispers of a Fading Mind

dylan thomas memories nostalgia writing Jun 09, 2024

It was a struggle every day to remember, to hold tight to the memories that defined her. The girl with the sharp blue eyes and once dark hair. The one who would climb trees and pocket acorns while kicking up the leaves. The one who used to be able to recite every line of her favourite poem without hesitation, now found herself struggling to recall even the title.


She sat on the edge of her bed, staring at her hands as she tried to coax the words back into her mind. But they slipped away, like sand through her fingers. She could feel the frustration building, the fear of losing herself, fading away into nothingness.


A knock sounded at her door as she sat there, lost in her thoughts and fading memories. It was her caretaker, a kind and patient woman who had been hired by her family to help her through this difficult time.


"The doctor is here to see you," the caretaker said, her words soothed together effortlessly.


The girl nodded, rising from her bed and smoothing down the florals on her dress. She followed the caretaker out of her room and down the hallway, her mind still grasping at the remnants of her memories.


The doctor was waiting for her in the living room, and a stack of papers was waiting alongside him. He efforted a smile warmly at her, but she could see the concern in his eyes.

"Good morning," he said. "I have the results of your latest test. Would you like to sit?"

She nodded and took a seat on the couch, her heart beating faster with anticipation.

"As we expected, there has been a decline in your memory and cognitive function," the doctor said, his voice gentle yet matter-of-fact. "But we have some options that may help slow the progression."


She listened intently as he explained the treatments and therapies that were available. She was determined to do everything in her power to hold onto her memories, to hold onto herself.


As the doctor left, she thanked him and turned to look out the window...a tear sliding down her cheek.


Outside, the world continued to spin, oblivious to her plight. She watched the leaves fall from the trees, and she couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of loss.

Then, in that moment, a fragment of the poem she had been searching for earlier came back to her:


"Do not go gentle into that good night, / Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Written by Linda Bonney


The poem mentioned at the end of this story is by Dylan Thomas and called Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.


To hear the poet himself reading the full version please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mRec3VbH3w